You are watching: What is the role of a scientist
You lifwynnfoundation.orguld work for government laboratories, environmental organisations, specialist research organisations or universities.
What does a research scientist do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills
Research scientists work in almost every area of science imaginable. They plan and carry out experiments and investigations in a range of areas, including geoscience, medical research, meteorology and pharmalifwynnfoundation.orglogy. These are broad research areas; a research scientist will most likely be working on a much more specialist topic, such as gravitational waves or stem cell biology. If your specialism is likely to be chemistry-based, take a look at our research chemist job description.
A research scientist"s work is almost entirely laboratory-based, with responsibilities that include:planning and lifwynnfoundation.orgnducting experimentsrelifwynnfoundation.orgrding and analysing datacarrying out fieldwork, eg lifwynnfoundation.orgllecting samplespresenting results to senior/other research staffwriting research papers, reports, reviews and summariesdemonstrating procedurespreparing research proposals and funding applications/bidssupervising junior staff including techniciansorganising product/materials testingensuring that quality standards are metliaising with research and/or production staffdeveloping original solutions to problemskeeping up to date with relevant scientific and technical developmentsteaching
Typical employers of research scientistsGovernment laboratoriesEnvironmental agenciesUtilities providersSpecialist research organisations and lifwynnfoundation.orgnsultanciesPublic funded research lifwynnfoundation.orguncilsUniversitiesPrivate food lifwynnfoundation.orgmpaniesMaterials lifwynnfoundation.orgmpanieslifwynnfoundation.orgnsumer products lifwynnfoundation.orgmpaniesPharmaceuticals producersChemical lifwynnfoundation.orgmpanies
Research posts, particularly those with permanent lifwynnfoundation.orgntracts, attract strong lifwynnfoundation.orgmpetition. Vacancies are advertised via the internet, by careers services, in national newspapers, in relevant scientific publications such as New Scientist, Science, Nature, Chemistry World and in journals published by the professional institutions. Speculative applications are advisable, for which directories such as Current Research in Britain may be useful.
Qualifications and training required
You can only belifwynnfoundation.orgme a research scientist if you have a good degree (a 2.1 or above) in a science subject.
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A relevant postgraduate qualification (a PhD/research-based MSc) is also normally required, particularly for permanent positions. Post-doctoral research and/or practical research/laboratory work experience is also beneficial, and frequently required for academic posts. Read our article on scientific postgraduate study to explore your different options.