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A postdoctoral associate is responsible for researching to support scientific claims and theories by collecting evidence and information to answer scientific questions. Postdoctoral associates must have excellent communication skills, both oral and written, to interact with people and document investigation findings. They also utilize laboratory tools and equipment for scientific researches, conduct field investigations, and interview participants. A postdoctoral associate designs comprehensive research models to discuss results with the panel and the team efficiently and accurately.

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Postdoctoral Associate Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real postdoctoral associate resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Authore and manage IUCAC and IRB protocols to ensure compliance between institutional and federal regulatory agencies.
  • Participate in writing research grant applications including NIH and NSF.
  • Demonstrate specificity through ELISA studies.
  • Used NMR to probe molecular dynamics through spin relaxation.
  • Purify DNA from subject blood samples and organize the genome screen.
  • X-ray protein crystallographic studies on the structures of antibodies and DNA.
  • Design and build high pressure manifold for thick wall NMR tubes.
  • Supervise PhD candidates and undergraduates and collaborate with senior PhD candidates on various projects.
  • Complete mice handling training and currently using CRISPR technology to knockout genes in cell lines.
  • Train broadly in the interface between chemistry and biology and interact with scientists from diverse backgrounds.
  • Supervise a PhD student on method development project - resulting in a poster and a pending publication.
  • Write python scripts to acquire online services pricing, such as air ticket fare and online-shopping prices.
  • Experience starting up a new immunology lab including senior management and training of graduate students and technicians.
  • Cloned, characterize and define human noncoding RNA specific targets using biochemical assays as well as RNA-seq.
  • Establish knockout zebrafish lines using CRISPR technology to study role of stxbp1b and rh1-2 genes in photoreceptor development.

Postdoctoral Associate Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a Postdoctoral Associate is "should I become a Postdoctoral Associate?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, Postdoctoral Associate careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a Postdoctoral Associate by 2028 is 10,600.

A Postdoctoral Associate annual salary averages $51,787, which breaks down to $24.9 an hour. However, Postdoctoral Associates can earn anywhere from upwards of $38,000 to $69,000 a year. This means that the top-earning Postdoctoral Associates make $31,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a Postdoctoral Associate, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a Research Fellow, Research Scientist, Research Chemist, and Research And Development Scientist.

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5 Postdoctoral Associate Resume Examples

Postdoctoral Associate Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Postdoctoral Associates are proficient in PHD, Research Projects, and Data Analysis.

We break down the percentage of Postdoctoral Associates that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • PHD, 11%

    Supervised a PhD student on method development project - resulting in a poster and a pending publication.

  • Research Projects, 8%

    Participated in collaborative research projects with industry and academia partners for biophysical characterization of various drug candidates.

  • Data Analysis, 7%

    Designed experiments for incoherent scatter radars, measured radar signal returns, performed signal processing and data analysis.

  • Molecular Biology, 6%

    Trained undergraduate students and technicians on skills in molecular biology, biochemistry and behavioral tests.

  • Biomedical, 6%

    Led a research team of two design professionals to provide technical support for two physicians from biomedical engineering.

  • Python, 5%

    Discovered high efficient thermoelectric materials by data-mining the database, using Python scripts.

"PHD," "Research Projects," and "Data Analysis" aren't the only skills we found Postdoctoral Associates list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of Postdoctoral Associate responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a Postdoctoral Associate to have. According to a Postdoctoral Associate resume, "Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions" Postdoctoral Associates are able to use Communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "Trained and mentored 30+ lab members in lab techniques, conducting independent research, and communication of science. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform Postdoctoral Associate duties is the following: Observation skills. According to a Postdoctoral Associate resume, "Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health-related data." Check out this example of how Postdoctoral Associates use Observation skills: "Used Monte Carlo methods to simulate astronomical observations and to aid statistical analysis. "
  • See the full list of Postdoctoral Associate skills.

    Before becoming a Postdoctoral Associate, 37.5% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 14.0% Postdoctoral Associates went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most Postdoctoral Associates have a college degree. But about one out of every ten Postdoctoral Associates didn't attend college at all.

    Those Postdoctoral Associates who do attend college, typically earn either Chemistry degrees or Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Postdoctoral Associates include Biology degrees or Physics degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a Postdoctoral Associate. We've found that most Postdoctoral Associate resumes include experience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Baylor College of Medicine, and New York University. Of recent, Massachusetts Institute of Technology had 138 positions open for Postdoctoral Associates. Meanwhile, there are 76 job openings at Baylor College of Medicine and 69 at New York University.

    Since salary is important to some Postdoctoral Associates, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Argonne National Laboratory. If you were to take a closer look at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, you'd find that the average Postdoctoral Associate salary is $85,215. Then at Sandia National Laboratories, Postdoctoral Associates receive an average salary of $84,482, while the salary at Argonne National Laboratory is $81,550.

    View more details on Postdoctoral Associate salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire Postdoctoral Associates from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include University of California Press, NIH, and University of Florida.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious postdoctoral associates are:

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    What Research Fellows Do

    A research fellow is an academic researcher who conducts research and analysis of comprehensive literature, data, and results and provides literature reviews. He/She supervises research assistants and recruits study participants to interview them for a particular study. To become a research fellow, a candidate should have a doctorate in a relevant discipline and publish peer-reviewed papers. Also, a research fellow can be an independent investigator or be supervised by a principal investigator.

    We looked at the average Postdoctoral Associate annual salary and compared it with the average of a Research Fellow. Generally speaking, Research Fellows receive $937 higher pay than Postdoctoral Associates per year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between Postdoctoral Associates and Research Fellows are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like PHD, Research Projects, and Data Analysis.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A Postdoctoral Associate responsibility is more likely to require skills like "Biomedical," "Heart," "MIT," and "High Throughput." Whereas a Research Fellow requires skills like "Post-Doctoral," "RNA," "Public Health," and "Animal Models." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Research Fellows receive the highest salaries in the Professional industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $55,701. But Postdoctoral Associates are paid more in the Technology industry with an average salary of $58,937.

    On average, Research Fellows reach similar levels of education than Postdoctoral Associates. Research Fellows are 4.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 15.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Research Scientist?

    The job of research scientists is to design, undertake, and analyze information from experiments, trials, and laboratory-based investigations. They usually perform experiments in different areas, including medical research, pharmacology, and geoscience. They have varied duties and responsibilities that include planning and carrying out experiments, conducting fieldwork, and overseeing junior staff members like the technicians. They are typically working for a government laboratory, an environmental agency, and other organizations. Many of these scientists also work in teams and support staff.

    Now we're going to look at the Research Scientist profession. On average, Research Scientists earn a $32,338 higher salary than Postdoctoral Associates a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Postdoctoral Associates and Research Scientists both include similar skills like "PHD," "Research Projects," and "Data Analysis" on their resumes.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, Postdoctoral Associate responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "Biomedical," "Independent Research," "Immunology," and "Heart." Meanwhile, a Research Scientist might be skilled in areas such as "Procedures," "Tensorflow," "Analytical Methods," and "Laboratory Equipment." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    On average, Research Scientists earn a higher salary than Postdoctoral Associates. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, Research Scientists earn the most pay in the Technology industry with an average salary of $120,899. Whereas, Postdoctoral Associates have higher paychecks in the Technology industry where they earn an average of $58,937.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, Research Scientists tend to reach higher levels of education than Postdoctoral Associates. In fact, they're 5.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 15.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Research Chemist Compares

    A research chemist specializes in conducting studies and experiments to develop new products. Their duties primarily focus on conducting research and assessments, gathering and analyzing chemical samples, developing ideas, conducting tests to study chemical reactions, maintaining records of all procedures, and utilizing previous studies. Their research findings can be used to create new medicines, enhance existing products, and lead to innovations. When it comes to employment, a research chemist may work for pharmaceutical companies, private laboratories, government agencies, and learning institutions.

    The third profession we take a look at is Research Chemist. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than Postdoctoral Associates. In fact, they make a $27,212 higher salary per year.

    Using Postdoctoral Associates and Research Chemists resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "Research Projects," "Data Analysis," and "Chemistry," but the other skills required are very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from Postdoctoral Associate resumes include skills like "PHD," "Molecular Biology," "Biomedical," and "Python," whereas a Research Chemist might be skilled in "Analytical Methods," "Laboratory Equipment," "Polymer," and "Procedures. "

    Research Chemists make a very good living in the Energy industry with an average annual salary of $104,045. Whereas Postdoctoral Associates are paid the highest salary in the Technology industry with the average being $58,937.

    Research Chemists typically study at similar levels compared with Postdoctoral Associates. For example, they're 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 36.6% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Research And Development Scientist

    A research and development scientist specializes in conducting scientific studies and experiments to develop new products and technologies. They usually work at laboratories where they are in charge of conducting research and assessments, coming up with new ideas, performing tests, streamlining product requirements and guidelines, collaborating with fellow experts, utilizing previous studies and advanced software, and maintaining records of all procedures. Additionally, as a research and development scientist, it is essential to conduct reviews and assessments to ensure products adhere to safety standards and regulations.

    Research And Development Scientists tend to earn a higher pay than Postdoctoral Associates by about $36,174 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, Postdoctoral Associates and Research And Development Scientists both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "Research Projects," "Data Analysis," and "Python. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "PHD," "Molecular Biology," "Biomedical," and "Independent Research" are skills that have shown up on Postdoctoral Associates resumes. Additionally, Research And Development Scientist uses skills like Analytical Methods, Raw Materials, Technical Support, and C # on their resumes.

    The average resume of Research And Development Scientists showed that they earn similar levels of education to Postdoctoral Associates. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 2.9% more. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 37.6%.