Research Scientists are involved with designing & conducting experiments, interpreting data, teaching & supervising, project management and writing reports & scientific papers. Keeping up to date with new developments is also critical. They tend to work in a small group of scientists, developing products.
You may choose to specialise in any number of areas, for example;
- Life Sciences: includes whole areas of disciplines such as neuroscience, plant science, physiology, pharmacology, cancer, microbiology, genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology and stem cell research.Researchers within this field are primarily involved in planning, conducting and analysing experiments, either with a definite end use (to develop new products, processes or commercial applications) or to broaden scientific understanding in general.
- Physical Sciences: these study non-living systems such as astronomy, chemistry, geosciences, maths, materials science, meteorology and physics. Scientific research involves designing and conducting experiments to collect observable physical evidence of natural phenomena. This information is analysed to develop practical applications in the creation of new materials and devices.
- Medical: The aim of medical research is to increase the body of scientific knowledge on topics related to medicine through the use of experiments. Medical research scientists may also work to develop new, or improve existing, drugs, treatments or other medically related products.
Research can be carried out at various levels and may range from investigating the underlying basis of health and disease to conducting clinical research to investigate methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disorders. Molecular research may be carried out using appropriate cell and animal models, or human volunteers may be used to study the clinical effects of various factors.
Employers include research & development departments in many organisations for example:
- Manufacturing companies
- Water companies
- Cosmetic companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Defence companies (e.g. BAe Systems, GSK)
- Government laboratories
- Research Council laboratories. e.g. the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)