Research Scientist

Job Description Template Last Updated:
March 11, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Research Scientist job description is to investigate and experiment in various scientific fields. They can work in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, or other industries to advance scientific knowledge. In their day-to-day work, they design and carry out studies, analyze data, and write reports. Research Scientists also collaborate with other scientists to develop hypotheses, design experiments and analyze data. They often work in a lab, using specialized equipment to collect and interpret data. A successful Research Scientist must have excellent problem-solving and analytical skills, be detail-oriented, and have the ability to explain complex scientific concepts to non-experts. A Ph.D. in a relevant field is usually required for this position. With a wide range of industries hiring for this role, Research Scientists have an exciting and dynamic career ahead of them.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct scientific research experiments 
  • Analyze and interpret research data 
  • Develop hypotheses and design experiments to test them 
  • Write reports and scientific papers to communicate research findings 
  • Collaborate with other scientists and researchers 
  • Keep up-to-date with scientific advancements and literature 
  • Utilize specialized equipment and technology 
  • Follow safety protocols and regulations 
  • Attend scientific conferences and present research findings
  • Write grant proposals to secure funding for research projects.

Experience and Education Requirements

To work as a research scientist in the science industry, you need a good education and plenty of experience. Typically, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in a science-related field, such as biology, chemistry, or physics. Many employers prefer candidates with advanced degrees, like a master's or doctoral degree.

As for experience, it's important to have hands-on experience working in a laboratory or science-related field. This includes internships, co-op programs, or other research opportunities. Work experience in a related industry can also help you stand out from other applicants.

In addition to education and experience, research scientists need excellent problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Communication skills are also important, as you will need to write reports, present findings, and collaborate with others in your organization.

Salary Range

Research Scientist salary range depends on many factors, including experience, qualifications, location, and industry. According to, the average salary for a Research Scientist in the United States is $80,838 per year, with a range between $48,000 and $128,000. In Canada, the average salary is $70,351 per year, with a range between $44,000 and $105,000. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, a Research Scientist earns an average salary of £32,433 per year, with a range between £20,000 and £49,000. The salary range for a Research Scientist may vary based on their employer, such as pharmaceutical companies, universities or government agencies.



Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Research Scientist in the science industry is looking bright over the next five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of scientists in research and development is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing demand for new technologies and innovations in various industries, such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and environmental science.

Moreover, many industries are expanding their research and development divisions to remain competitive, which will create more job opportunities for scientists. Research Scientists will continue to remain in high demand as companies seek to develop new products, process improvements, and boost their research capabilities.

Overall, if you are interested in pursuing a career as a Research Scientist, the future looks bright in terms of job prospects and opportunities for growth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a research scientist do?

A: A research scientist conducts experiments, analyzes data, and develops new scientific theories or products.

Q: What are the qualifications to become a research scientist?

A: Most research scientists hold at least a master's degree in a scientific field, although some positions require a PhD. Additionally, scientists must have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills.

Q: What are the work environments for research scientists?

A: Research scientists work in a variety of settings, including academic institutions, government agencies, and private industry. They also typically work in laboratories, either alone or as part of a team.

Q: What are the job prospects for research scientists?

A: Employment opportunities for research scientists are good, particularly in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and environmental sciences. Job growth is expected to be higher than average in the coming years.

Q: What is the salary range for research scientists?

A: The salary range for research scientists varies greatly depending on experience, education, and industry. Generally, starting salaries are around $45,000 per year, with higher salaries for those with more experience and education.

Cover Letter Example

I am writing to express my interest in the Research Scientist position in the Science industry. With [number] years of experience conducting research in [specific industry or field], I am confident in my ability to make meaningful contributions to [organization].

My qualifications include a [degree] in [relevant field], as well as extensive experience in [specific skill set or technique]. I have a proven track record of designing and executing experiments, analyzing data, and presenting findings to both technical and non-technical audiences. Additionally, I have experience managing research projects and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams.

I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my skills and expertise to [organization] and to work alongside a team of dedicated scientists. Thank you for considering my application.

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