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Become A Postdoctoral Research Scientist

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Working As A Postdoctoral Research Scientist

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

  • $52,057

    Average Salary

What Does A Postdoctoral Research Scientist Do

A Postdoctoral Research Scientist undertakes and analyzes information about investigations, experiments, and trials from a controlled laboratory. They work in almost every area of science.

How To Become A Postdoctoral Research 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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Postdoctoral Research Scientist jobs

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Real Postdoctoral Research Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Postdoctoral Scientist JHU Applied Physics Laboratory Laurel, MD Oct 24, 2016 $90,000
Postdoctoral Scientist JHU Applied Physics Laboratory Laurel, MD Aug 15, 2016 $90,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Jan 07, 2016 $80,184
Postdoctoral Scientist-Climate Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. New York, NY Oct 17, 2016 $76,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $72,000
Postdoctoral Scientist The Lubrizol Corporation Cleveland, OH Sep 14, 2016 $71,718
Postdoctoral Research Scientist AAT Bioquest, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 22, 2015 $70,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $70,000
Postdoctoral Scientist Biogen, Inc. Cambridge, MA Jun 08, 2016 $68,000 -
$71,000
Postdoctoral Scientist The Lubrizol Corporation Cleveland, OH Sep 11, 2015 $65,770
Postdoctoral Research Scientist NMC, Inc. Los Alamos, NM Aug 22, 2016 $65,219
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Oct 01, 2016 $65,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Aug 17, 2015 $65,000
Postdoctoral Researcher-Hvpe Material Scientist The Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC Golden, CO Jul 03, 2016 $54,746 -
$80,433
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $54,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Jan 10, 2015 $54,000
Postdoctoral Scientist Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2015 $53,893
Postdoctoral Scientist Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles, CA Apr 01, 2015 $53,893
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $53,602
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Jan 02, 2016 $53,500
Postdoctoral Research Scientist University of Rochester Rochester, NY Jan 09, 2016 $53,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University Irvington, NY Aug 04, 2015 $48,899
Postdoctoral Scientist Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole, MA Jul 01, 2015 $48,525
Diagnostic Development Postdoctoral Research Scientist Novilytic, LLC West Lafayette, IN Sep 22, 2016 $48,100
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Jan 12, 2016 $48,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Columbia University New York, NY Dec 01, 2016 $48,000
Postdoctoral Research Scientist W.M. Rice University Houston, TX Sep 01, 2016 $48,000

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Top Skills for A Postdoctoral Research Scientist

CellCultureProteinPurificationLaboratoryLabPersonnelTechniquesGeneExpressionChemistryDNAInfectiousDiseasesResearchProjectsSynthesisAdvisorDataAnalysisHplcRt-PcrRNAElisaMouseModelCellLinesMassSpectrometry

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Top Postdoctoral Research Scientist Skills

  1. Cell Culture
  2. Protein Purification
  3. Laboratory
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Optimized cell culture conditions for optimal cell growth in tissue culture plates and microfluidic devices.
  • Established lab protein purification protocol and trained lab members.
  • Reported findings at laboratory and departmental meetings
  • Provided laboratory instructions mentoring lab personnel, teaching undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Designed small molecular inhibitors of cell surface protein using techniques, such as, computer-aided 3D-modeling.

Top Postdoctoral Research Scientist Employers

Postdoctoral Research Scientist Videos

TEDxWaterloo - Miriah Meyer - Information Visualization for Scientific Discovery

7 Habits of Successful Early Career Researchers - jobs.ac.uk Careers Advice

Careers in Medical Writing

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