FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become A Research And Development Scientist

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Research And Development Scientist

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

  • $78,006

    Average Salary

What Does A Research And Development 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.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Research And Development 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.

Show More

Show Less

Research And Development Scientist jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Research And Development Scientist Career Paths

Research And Development Scientist
Product Manager Senior Product Manager
Director Of Product Development
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Principal Scientist Research And Development Manager Project Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Manager Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Associate Director Program Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Product Developer Product Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Instructor Account Manager Product Manager
Product Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Quality Control Inspector Quality Control Manager
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Developer Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Associate Scientist Clinical Research Associate
Senior Clinical Research Associate
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Analyst Scientist Product Developer
Senior Manager, Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Instructor Lecturer Research Associate
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Principal Scientist Associate Director Lecturer
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Director Of Product Development
Vice President Product Development
12 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Show More

Average Length of Employment
Senior Scientist 4.9 years
Chemist Scientist 4.4 years
Research Scientist 3.8 years
Research Chemist 3.7 years
Lead Scientist 3.5 years
Scientist 3.4 years
Staff Scientist 3.4 years
Research Associate 2.6 years
Junior Scientist 2.4 years
Contract Scientist 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.9%
Scientist 6.9%
Chemist 4.3%
Fellow 3.7%
Researcher 2.4%
Consultant 2.4%
Top Employers After
Scientist 8.3%
Consultant 6.1%
Manager 4.3%
Internship 3.9%
Supervisor 3.3%
Director 3.1%

Research And Development Scientist Demographics

Gender

Male

56.9%

Female

35.9%

Unknown

7.2%
Ethnicity

White

66.4%

Asian

19.9%

Hispanic or Latino

9.0%

Unknown

3.8%

Black or African American

0.9%
Show More
Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.9%

French

11.6%

Mandarin

9.4%

Chinese

9.4%

German

7.2%

Hindi

4.4%

Russian

3.9%

Arabic

3.9%

Cantonese

3.3%

Carrier

2.8%

Italian

2.2%

Gujarati

1.7%

Portuguese

1.7%

Japanese

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Irish

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Sami

0.6%
Show More

Research And Development Scientist Education

Schools

Northeastern University

8.5%

Brigham Young University

6.8%

Purdue University

6.5%

Pennsylvania State University

6.2%

University of Southern California

5.9%

Drexel University

5.5%

Michigan State University

4.9%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.9%

University of Florida

4.9%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

University of California - San Diego

4.6%

Iowa State University

4.6%

Johns Hopkins University

4.6%

University of California - Irvine

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.9%

University of Connecticut

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%

San Jose State University

3.6%

University of California - Davis

3.6%
Show More
Majors

Chemistry

22.7%

Biology

9.6%

Business

9.4%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

8.2%

Pharmacy

5.8%

Mechanical Engineering

5.1%

Electrical Engineering

5.0%

Chemical Engineering

5.0%

Food Science

4.8%

Computer Science

4.6%

Microbiology

2.7%

Biomedical Engineering

2.7%

Biotechnology

2.1%

Physics

2.0%

Materials Science And Engineering

2.0%

Management

2.0%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Accounting

1.6%

Marketing

1.4%

Psychology

1.3%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

33.4%

Masters

25.6%

Doctorate

20.5%

Other

12.2%

Associate

4.2%

Certificate

3.5%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
Show More
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Research And Development Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Research & Development (Biotechnology) Nygard, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $180,000
Director, R&D Technology/Food Scientist Continental Mills Inc. Tukwila, WA Mar 09, 2015 $140,000 -
$165,000
Research Scientist Early Stage Development Hospira, Inc. Lake Forest, IL Mar 27, 2015 $134,000 -
$163,000
R&D Research and Innovation Scientist Neutraderm, Inc. CA Jun 24, 2016 $126,402
R&D Scientist Engineer (LWR Fuel Expert) Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC Idaho Falls, ID Jul 29, 2016 $125,000
Research & Development (Biotechnology) Nygard, Inc. New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $120,000
Research & Development Scientist ABH Nature's Product Farmingdale, NY Apr 01, 2015 $120,000
Research and Development Scientist and Engineer The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Stanford, CA Jun 27, 2016 $117,500
Research and Development Scientist Hexion, Inc. Stafford, TX Dec 20, 2015 $112,262
Research Scientist-Molecular Biology and Cell Line Development Eli Lilly and Company Indianapolis, IN Jul 09, 2016 $112,001
Scientist III R&D Honeywell International Inc. Redmond, WA May 09, 2016 $108,000
Scientist II, Research and Development Xerox Business Services, LLC Webster, NY Nov 05, 2016 $108,000
Scientist II, Research and Development Xerox Business Services, LLC Webster, NY May 11, 2016 $108,000
R&D Scientist Wyatt Technology Corporation Goleta, CA Jul 09, 2016 $89,814
Research Scientist, Crystal R&D Sunedison Semiconductor, LLC Saint Peters, MO Sep 16, 2016 $89,609
Scientist I-Nuclease R&D Bluebird Bio, Inc. Cambridge, MA Sep 23, 2015 $89,523 -
$100,000
R&D Scientist The Dow Chemical Company Midland, MI Jan 09, 2016 $88,152 -
$132,235
R&D Scientist Anderson Development Company Adrian, MI Jul 11, 2016 $88,010
Research and Development Scientist Fiber-Line Management, Inc. Hatfield, PA Dec 14, 2015 $88,000
Research and Development Scientist Utopiacompression Corporation Los Angeles, CA Sep 16, 2015 $88,000
Research and Development Senior Scientist Frito-Lay, Inc. Plano, TX Jul 31, 2015 $85,000
Scientist IV-Research and Development The Coca-Cola Company Atlanta, GA Oct 17, 2016 $76,300 -
$120,900
Research Scientist II, Analytical Development IGI Laboratories, Inc. Buena, NJ Sep 21, 2015 $75,192
Research and Development Food Scientist General Mills, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Aug 03, 2015 $75,109 -
$85,000
R&D Scientist II General Mills, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Sep 02, 2015 $75,109 -
$85,000
Research and Development Scientist & Engineer 1 The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University Stanford, CA Feb 11, 2015 $75,000
R & D Delivery Scientist II Glanbia Nutritionals, Inc. Twin Falls, ID Apr 09, 2016 $75,000
R&D Scientist (Materials Scientist) Materials Development, Inc. Evanston, IL Aug 30, 2016 $75,000
Research & Development Scientist Granules Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Chantilly, VA Apr 02, 2016 $75,000

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

Show More

Top Skills for A Research And Development Scientist

NewProductDevelopmentMethodDevelopmentRLaboratoryEquipmentLabTestProceduresAnalyticalMethodsStabilityStudiesRawMaterialsSafetyHplcFDARegulatoryCellCultureUv/VisQCGMPGCTestMethodsElisa

Show More

Top Research And Development Scientist Skills

  1. New Product Development
  2. Method Development
  3. R
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted formulation work in the laboratory relating to new product development and product enhancements.
  • Promoted to Supervisor from Senior Method Development Chemist after 1 year.
  • Assisted clients, which included numerous Fortune 500 companies, with Y2K readiness programs.
  • Coordinated all union trades for testing and laboratory equipment fabrication for the entire electronics laboratory.
  • Developed partnership and collaborative research projects with leading academic research groups.

Top Research And Development Scientist Employers

Show More

Research And Development Scientist Videos

Day in the Life: Mechanical Engineer

Science and Technology developments in India - some highlights

USANA Research & Development Video | USANA Video

×