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.

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Research Fellow Responsibilities

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

  • Collaborate with software engineers to automate identification of 15N- and 13C- labele LC-MS features.
  • Process and manage GIS databases to contribute towards research in human transportation behavior.
  • Manage investigator initiate and cooperative group correlative studies to identify biomarkers to ascertain tumor burden and clinical outcomes in lymphoma.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data through statistical software SAS and SPSS.
  • Conduct sampling, PCR, data analysis and oral presentations of the work
  • Implement python and C++ codes for numerical computation of transport properties in models and materials.
  • Perform molecular biology experiments, DNA and RNA purification and biochemical assays.
  • Use windows and Linux platforms.
  • Analyze 3-D flight kinematics using MATLAB.
  • Used python scripting language to optimize workflow.
  • Prepare and submit funding proposals to DARPA and NSF.
  • Utilize CRISPR technology to introduce MED12 mutations to human primary myometrial cells.
  • Purify the carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes and analyze the f soluble carbohydrates by HPLC, TLC.
  • Secure approval for animal work (IACUC) and use of control materials (IRB).
  • Compare quantitative PCR and digital droplet PCR; find that relative expression levels with both techniques are comparable.

Research Fellow Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a research fellow is "should I become a research fellow?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, research fellow 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 research fellow by 2028 is 10,600.

On average, the research fellow annual salary is $53,823 per year, which translates to $25.88 an hour. Generally speaking, research fellows earn anywhere from $39,000 to $72,000 a year, which means that the top-earning research fellows make $31,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a research fellow. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a postdoctoral associate, staff scientist, scientist, and postdoctoral research associate.

Research Fellow Jobs You Might Like

12 Research Fellow Resume Examples

Research Fellow Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 10% of Research Fellows are proficient in Patients, Research Projects, and Data Analysis.

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

  • Patients, 10%

    Developed psychological screening process for breast clinic patients to identify patients in distress and provide subsequent consultation and ongoing treatment.

  • Research Projects, 6%

    Supported time-sensitive scholarly research by authoring research projects, conducting literature reviews, collecting and analyzing data, and preparing manuscripts.

  • Data Analysis, 5%

    Developed automated data analysis routines, based on anti-correlative measurement strategies to differentiate instrument systematic error from physical mirror surface attributes.

  • Cell Culture, 5%

    Managed laboratory cell culture operations, including training lab personnel, writing protocols, and performing necessary troubleshooting and maintenance tasks.

  • Immunology, 4%

    Coordinated interdisciplinary research between the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the College of Science and Technology.

  • CRISPR, 4%

    Utilized CRISPR technology to generate MED12 exon 2 deletion mutations in colon cancer cells.

Most research fellows list "patients," "research projects," and "data analysis" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important research fellow responsibilities here:

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a research fellow to have. According to a research fellow resume, "communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions" research fellows are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "created templates for research procedures, purchase orders, data collection, and communication. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform research fellow duties is the following: observation skills. According to a research fellow resume, "medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health-related data." Check out this example of how research fellows use observation skills: "translated clinical observations into developmental research and new approaches for novel immunotherapy vaccines and cancer therapeutics. "
  • See the full list of research fellow skills.

    We've found that 47.3% of research fellows have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 18.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming a research fellow. While it's true that most research fellows have a college degree, it's generally impossible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every ten research fellows did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The research fellows who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied chemistry and biology, while a small population of research fellows studied biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology and psychology.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a research fellow. We've found that most research fellow resumes include experience from Emory Healthcare, Emory University, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Of recent, Emory Healthcare had 133 positions open for research fellows. Meanwhile, there are 106 job openings at Emory University and 73 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, research fellows tend to earn the biggest salaries at McKinsey & Company Inc, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and IBM. Take McKinsey & Company Inc for example. The median research fellow salary is $76,751. At Competitive Enterprise Institute, research fellows earn an average of $76,252, while the average at IBM is $75,577. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on research fellow salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at National Institutes of Health, University of Washington, and University of California Press. These three companies have hired a significant number of research fellows from these institutions.

    The industries that research fellows fulfill the most roles in are the non profits and education industries. But the highest research fellow annual salary is in the non profits industry, averaging $57,261. In the health care industry they make $52,481 and average about $51,579 in the education industry. In conclusion, research fellows who work in the non profits industry earn a 10.5% higher salary than research fellows in the government industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious research fellows are:

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    What Postdoctoral Associates Do

    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.

    In this section, we compare the average research fellow annual salary with that of a postdoctoral associate. Typically, postdoctoral associates earn a $527 higher salary than research fellows earn annually.

    Even though research fellows and postdoctoral associates have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require patients, research projects, and data analysis in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a research fellow responsibilities require skills like "rna," "public health," "past work," and "animal models." Meanwhile a typical postdoctoral associate has skills in areas such as "tip," "biomedical," "mit," and "rna-seq." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Postdoctoral associates tend to make the most money in the education industry by averaging a salary of $53,445. In contrast, research fellows make the biggest average salary of $57,261 in the non profits industry.

    Postdoctoral associates tend to reach similar levels of education than research fellows. In fact, postdoctoral associates are 4.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 15.4% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Staff Scientist?

    The primary role of a Staff Scientist is to develop and manage scientific research projects with minimal supervision. They are also responsible for the technical and budgetary aspects of scientific research projects.

    Next up, we have the staff scientist profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a research fellow annual salary. In fact, staff scientists salary difference is $40,118 higher than the salary of research fellows per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Research fellows and staff scientists both include similar skills like "research projects," "data analysis," and "cell culture" on their resumes.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that research fellow responsibilities requires skills like "patients," "immunology," "cell biology," and "python." But a staff scientist might use skills, such as, "molecular biology," "project management," "product development," and "pcr."

    Staff scientists may earn a higher salary than research fellows, but staff scientists earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $102,260. On the other side of things, research fellows receive higher paychecks in the non profits industry where they earn an average of $57,261.

    On the topic of education, staff scientists earn lower levels of education than research fellows. In general, they're 5.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 15.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Scientists In The Next 3-5 Years?

    Janet Gray Ph.D.

    Professor and Department Chair, The College of New Jersey

    WGSS graduates enter every employment sector, so technological trends for our graduates will follow various sectors' directions. Among the most common careers for WGSS graduates are law, social work, and education. The capacity to work remotely and do so effectively--may depend more on having access to sound technology and good training, and devising more effective ways to use the tools available, than on any new technology becoming available.Show more

    How a Scientist Compares

    A scientist is responsible for researching and analyzing the nature and complexities of the physical world to identify discoveries that would improve people's lives and ignite scientific knowledge for society. Scientists' duties differ in their different areas of expertise, but all of them must have a broad comprehension of scientific disciplines and methods to support their experiments and investigations. They collect the sample for their research, record findings, create research proposals, and release publications. A scientist must know how to utilize laboratory equipment to support the study and drive results efficiently and accurately.

    Let's now take a look at the scientist profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than research fellows with a $43,521 difference per year.

    By looking over several research fellows and scientists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "patients," "research projects," and "data analysis." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a research fellow is likely to be skilled in "immunology," "cell biology," "python," and "nih," while a typical scientist is skilled in "molecular biology," "java," "product development," and "laboratory equipment."

    Interestingly enough, scientists earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $134,486. As mentioned previously, research fellows highest annual salary comes from the non profits industry with an average salary of $57,261.

    Scientists are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to research fellows. Additionally, they're 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 15.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Postdoctoral Research Associate

    A postdoctoral research associate is responsible for assisting the educational institution's research department, writing research reports, analyzing research methods, and collecting information and related studies to support the research claims. Postdoctoral research associates must have excellent communication skills, both oral and written, reporting research updates to the research head, performing adjustments as needed, and gaining more expertise on the subject by brainstorming and discussing strategic procedures for the study. They may also conduct field investigation or coordinate with other institutions for additional reference, depending on the research's scope and limitation.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than research fellows. On average, postdoctoral research associates earn a difference of $1,038 lower per year.

    While both research fellows and postdoctoral research associates complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like patients, research projects, and data analysis, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "immunology," "rna," "public health," and "past work," which might show up on a research fellow resume. Whereas postdoctoral research associate might include skills like "post-doctoral," "doe," "visualization," and "rna-seq."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The professional industry tends to pay more for postdoctoral research associates with an average of $69,999. While the highest research fellow annual salary comes from the non profits industry.

    Postdoctoral research associates reach similar levels of education when compared to research fellows. The difference is that they're 2.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 15.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.