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Become An Application Scientist

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Working As An Application Scientist

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $66,587

    Average Salary

What Does An Application Scientist Do

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

Duties

Medical scientists typically do the following:

  • Design and conduct studies that investigate both human diseases and methods to prevent and treat them
  • Prepare and analyze medical samples and data to investigate causes and treatment of toxicity, pathogens, or chronic diseases
  • Standardize drug potency, doses, and methods to allow for the mass manufacturing and distribution of drugs and medicinal compounds
  • Create and test medical devices
  • Develop programs that improve health outcomes, in partnership with health departments, industry personnel, and physicians
  • Write research grant proposals and apply for funding from government agencies and private funding sources
  • Follow procedures to avoid contamination and maintain safety

Many medical scientists form hypotheses and develop experiments, with little supervision. They often lead teams of technicians, and sometimes students, who perform support tasks. For example, a medical scientist working in a university laboratory may have undergraduate assistants take measurements and make observations for the scientist’s research.

Medical scientists study the causes of diseases and other health problems. For example, a medical scientist who does cancer research might put together a combination of drugs that could slow the cancer’s progress. A clinical trial may be done to test the drugs. A medical scientist may work with licensed physicians to test the new combination on patients who are willing to participate in the study.

In a clinical trial, patients agree to help determine if a particular drug, a combination of drugs, or some other medical intervention works. Without knowing which group they are in, patients in a drug-related clinical trial receive either the trial drug or a placebo—a pill or injection that looks like the trial drug but does not actually contain the drug.

Medical scientists analyze the data from all the patients in the clinical trial, to see how the trial drug performed. They compare the results with those obtained from the control group that took the placebo, and they analyze the attributes of the participants. After they complete their analysis, medical scientists may write about and publish their findings.

Medical scientists do research both to develop new treatments and to try to prevent health problems. For example, they may study the link between smoking and lung cancer or between diet and diabetes.

Medical scientists who work in private industry usually have to research the topics that benefit their company the most, rather than investigate their own interests. Although they may not have the pressure of writing grant proposals to get money for their research, they may have to explain their research plans to nonscientist managers or executives.

Medical scientists usually specialize in an area of research. The following are examples of types of medical scientists:

Cancer researchers research the causes of cancers, as well as ways to prevent and cure cancers. They may specialize in one or more types of cancer.

Clinical and medical informaticians develop new ways to use large datasets. They look for explanations of health outcomes through the statistical analysis of data.

Clinical pharmacologists research, develop, and test current and new drugs. They investigate the full effects that drugs have on human health. Their interests may range from understanding specific molecules to the effects that drugs have on large populations.

Gerontologists study the changes that people go through as they get older. Medical scientists who specialize in this field seek to understand the biology of aging and investigate ways to improve the quality of our later years. 

Immunochemists investigate the reactions and effects that various chemicals and drugs have on the human immune system.

Neuroscientists study the brain and nervous system.

Research histologists have a specific skill set that is used to study human tissue. They investigate how tissue grows, heals, and dies, and may investigate grafting techniques that can help people who have experienced serious injury.  

Serologists research fluids found in the human body, such as blood and saliva. Applied serologists often work in forensic science. For more information on forensic science, see the profile on forensic science technicians.

Toxicologists research the harmful effects of drugs, household chemicals, and other potentially poisonous substances. They seek to ensure the safety of drugs, radiation, and other treatments by investigating safe dosage limits.

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How To Become An Application Scientist

Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D., but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician.

Education

Students planning careers as medical scientists typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate students benefit from taking a broad range of classes, including life sciences, physical sciences, and math. Students also typically take courses that develop communication and writing skills, because they must learn to write grants effectively and publish research findings.

After students have completed their undergraduate studies, they typically enter Ph.D. programs. Dual-degree programs are available that pair a Ph.D. with a range of specialized medical degrees. A few degree programs that are commonly paired with Ph.D. studies are Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Whereas Ph.D. studies focus on research methods, such as project design and data interpretation, students in dual-degree programs learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.

Graduate programs emphasize both laboratory work and original research. These programs offer prospective medical scientists the opportunity to develop their experiments and, sometimes, to supervise undergraduates. Ph.D. programs culminate in a thesis that the candidate presents before a committee of professors. Students may specialize in a particular field, such as gerontology, neurology, or cancer.

Those who go to medical school spend most of the first 2 years in labs and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and medical law. They also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. They may be required to participate in residency programs, meeting the same requirements that physicians and surgeons have to fulfill.

Medical scientists often continue their education with postdoctoral work. Postdoctoral work provides additional and more independent lab experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, which is transferable to other research projects.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical scientists primarily conduct research and typically do not need licenses or certifications. However, those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or otherwise practice medicine on patients in clinical trials or a private practice need a license to practice as a physician.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions. In addition, medical scientists write grant proposals, because grants often are required to fund their research.

Critical-thinking skills. Medical scientists must use their expertise to determine the best method for solving a specific research question.

Data-analysis skills. Medical scientists use statistical techniques, so that they can properly quantify and analyze health research questions.

Decisionmaking skills. Medical scientists must determine what research questions to ask, how best to investigate the questions, and what data will best answer the questions.

Observation skills. Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or misleading results.

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Application Scientist jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Senior Scientist 4.9 years
Research Scientist 3.8 years
Lead Scientist 3.5 years
Scientist 3.4 years
Staff Scientist 3.4 years
Top Employers Before
Fellow 7.5%
Internship 4.3%
Scientist 4.3%
Top Employers After
Scientist 12.3%
Consultant 6.9%
Chemist 3.1%
Internship 2.3%

Application Scientist Demographics

Gender

Male

54.6%

Female

34.9%

Unknown

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

63.9%

Asian

24.7%

Hispanic or Latino

7.4%

Unknown

3.2%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Japanese

17.6%

French

17.6%

Spanish

17.6%

Portuguese

5.9%

Chinese

5.9%

Gujarati

5.9%

Persian

5.9%

Hindi

5.9%

Mandarin

5.9%

Italian

5.9%

Russian

5.9%
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Application Scientist Education

Schools

University of California - Davis

11.0%

Pennsylvania State University

11.0%

University of Connecticut

7.3%

University of Cincinnati

7.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

6.1%

University of California - Berkeley

4.9%

University of Rhode Island

4.9%

North Carolina State University

3.7%

University of Pennsylvania

3.7%

University of Wisconsin Extension

3.7%

University of Central Florida

3.7%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.7%

Harvard University

3.7%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.7%

Iowa State University

3.7%

Michigan State University

3.7%

Northeastern University

3.7%

University of Wyoming

3.7%
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Majors

Chemistry

26.3%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

11.1%

Biology

10.1%

Physics

8.3%

Chemical Engineering

5.1%

Microbiology

4.1%

Biomedical Engineering

3.7%

Materials Science And Engineering

3.7%

Pharmacology

3.2%

Business

3.2%

Biostatistics

2.8%

Biotechnology

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.3%

Geography

2.3%

Food Science

2.3%

Management

1.8%

Physiology And Anatomy

1.8%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

1.8%

Project Management

1.8%

Electrical Engineering

1.8%
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Degrees

Doctorate

40.7%

Masters

24.2%

Bachelors

24.2%

Other

7.0%

Certificate

3.2%

Associate

0.7%
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Real Application Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Applications Scientist Openeye Scientific Software, Inc. Santa Fe, NM Sep 30, 2016 $130,594
Application Scientist Agilent Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jun 12, 2015 $110,000
Sample Prep Application Scientist Gatan, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jun 13, 2016 $109,762 -
$110,000
Nonwovens Applications Scientist Eastman Chemical Company Kingsport, TN Jul 10, 2016 $107,500 -
$117,500
Applications Scientist Nanometrics Inc. Hillsboro, OR Oct 01, 2014 $104,403
Application Scientist Optiscan Biomedical Corporation Hayward, CA Jun 03, 2015 $104,350
Polymer Applications Scientist Eastman Chemical Co. Kingsport, TN Aug 30, 2015 $104,000
Applications Scientist Nanometrics, Inc. Hillsboro, OR Jan 26, 2016 $103,043
Applications Scientist Openeye Scientific Software, Inc. Santa Fe, NM Sep 30, 2013 $102,410
Applications Scientist Bruker Biospin Corp. Billerica, MA Jul 02, 2015 $101,200
Applications Scientist Nanometrics Inc. Hillsboro, OR Oct 01, 2014 $100,286
Application Scientist Bruker Daltonics Inc. Fremont, CA Oct 13, 2014 $100,000
Applications Scientist Hysitron, Inc. Berkeley, CA Jan 07, 2016 $100,000
Application Scientist Engineer G-Way Microwave South Hackensack, NJ Sep 22, 2015 $88,500 -
$98,500
Applications Scientist Rudolph Technologies, Inc. Budd Lake, NJ Nov 01, 2014 $88,000
Application Scientist BGI Americas Corporation Cambridge, MA Jun 10, 2015 $86,400
Applications Scientist Nanometrics, Inc. Chandler, AZ Nov 08, 2016 $85,966 -
$90,000
Application Scientist Bayspec, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 18, 2015 $85,467
Application Scientist Nanometrics, Inc. Albany, NY Sep 13, 2014 $85,000
Applications Scientist E.A. Fischione Instruments, Inc. Export, PA Nov 15, 2014 $84,649
Applications Support Scientist II-Thermophysical Properties Ta Instruments-Waters LLC New Castle, DE Nov 19, 2015 $84,115
Applications Scientist-X-Ray Diffraction Bruker AXS Inc. Fremont, CA Mar 16, 2015 $75,962
Application Scientist Optiscan Biomedical Corporation Hayward, CA Feb 03, 2015 $75,000 -
$100,000
Application Scientist Specialist Brown University Providence, RI Mar 15, 2013 $75,000
Applications Scientist Precisive LLC Woburn, MA Sep 12, 2013 $75,000
Applications Scientist Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. Hopkinton, MA Sep 05, 2014 $73,840 -
$77,000
Applications Scientist Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $73,784
Application Scientist Service Engineer NT-MDT America, Inc. Tempe, AZ Dec 27, 2014 $73,510

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Top Skills for An Application Scientist

TechnicalSupportRNewProductDevelopmentProceduresAnalyticalInstrumentationDataCollectionSpectroscopyDataAnalysisApplicationsDevelopmentCustomerSupportTradeShowsDNAHplcSamplePreparationCustomerTrainingTrainingMaterialsNewApplicationsCustomerSitesBiotechCompaniesFDA

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Top Application Scientist Skills

  1. Technical Support
  2. R
  3. New Product Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist customers with technical support of Hitachi products and software, and provide troubleshooting advice and guidance through phone/web conferencing.
  • Implemented universal database to field Technical Support issues cataloging issues by database.
  • Worked with general engineering for new product development.
  • Enhanced instrument installation and calibration procedures which resulted in increased customer satisfaction.
  • Managed Center's analytical instrumentation in support of routine analyses conducted by colleagues.

Top Application Scientist Employers

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