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Become A Research Staff Member

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Working As A Research Staff Member

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $111,360

    Average Salary

What Does A Research Staff Member Do

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Duties

Natural sciences managers typically do the following:

  • Work with top executives to develop goals and strategies for researchers and developers
  • Budget resources for projects and programs by determining staffing, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate scientists, technicians, and other staff members
  • Review staff members’ methodology and the accuracy of their research results
  • Ensure that laboratories are stocked with equipment and supplies
  • Monitor the progress of projects, review research performed, and draft operational reports
  • Provide technical assistance to scientists, technicians, and support staff
  • Establish and follow administrative procedures, policies, and standards
  • Communicate project proposals, research findings, and the status of projects to clients and top management

Natural sciences managers direct scientific research activities and direct and coordinate product development projects and production activities. The duties of natural sciences managers vary with the field of science (for example, biology or chemistry) or the industry they work in. Research projects may be aimed at improving manufacturing processes, advancing basic scientific knowledge, or developing new products.

Some natural sciences managers are former scientists and, after becoming managers, may continue to conduct their own research as well as oversee the work of others. These managers are sometimes called working managers and usually have smaller staffs, allowing them to do research in addition to carrying out their administrative duties.

Managers who are responsible for larger staffs may not have time to contribute to research and may spend all their time performing administrative duties.

Laboratory managers need to ensure that laboratories are fully supplied so that scientists can run their tests and experiments. Some specialize in the management of laboratory animals.

During all stages of a project, natural sciences managers coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They work with higher levels of management; with financial, production, and marketing specialists; and with suppliers of equipment and materials.

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How To Become A Research Staff Member

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education

Natural sciences managers typically begin their careers as scientists; therefore, most have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a closely related field, such as engineering. Scientific and technical knowledge is essential for managers because they must be able to understand the work of their subordinates and provide technical assistance when needed. 

Natural sciences managers who are interested in acquiring postsecondary education in management should be able to find master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in a natural science that incorporate business management courses. A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy. Those interested in acquiring general management skills may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Some natural sciences managers will have studied psychology or some other management-related field to enter this occupation.

Sciences managers must continually upgrade their knowledge because of the rapid growth of scientific developments.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. While employed as scientists, they typically are given more responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Eventually, they may lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects before being promoted to an administrative position.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not typically required to become a natural sciences manager, many relevant certifications are available. These certifications range from those related to specific scientific areas of study or practice, such as laboratory animal management, to general management topics, such as project management, and are useful to natural sciences managers regardless of the organization being managed.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences, such as scientists, policymakers, and the public. Both written and oral communication are important.

Critical-thinking skills. Natural sciences managers must carefully evaluate the work of others. They must determine if their staff’s methods and results are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Natural sciences managers lead research teams and therefore need to work well with others in order to reach common goals. Managers routinely deal with conflict, which they must be able to turn into positive outcomes for their organization.

Leadership skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to organize, direct, and motivate others. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their workers and create an environment in which the workers can succeed.

Problem-solving skills. Natural sciences managers use scientific observation and analysis to find solutions to complex technical questions.

Time-management skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to do multiple administrative, supervisory, and technical tasks while ensuring that projects remain on schedule.

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Research Staff Member jobs

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Research Staff Member Demographics

Gender

Male

58.5%

Female

26.7%

Unknown

14.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.6%

Asian

28.7%

Hispanic or Latino

7.0%

Unknown

3.8%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.2%

Chinese

9.5%

German

7.1%

French

7.1%

Russian

7.1%

Korean

7.1%

Italian

7.1%

Mandarin

4.8%

Irish

2.4%

Samoan

2.4%

Filipino

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Greek

2.4%

Dari

2.4%

Carrier

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%
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Research Staff Member Education

Schools

Boston University

6.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

6.7%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

6.7%

Columbia University

5.8%

Northeastern University

5.8%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5.8%

Carnegie Mellon University

5.8%

University of Texas at Austin

5.8%

Brown University

4.8%

University of California - San Diego

4.8%

Stanford University

4.8%

University of Southern California

4.8%

George Washington University

4.8%

University of California - Irvine

4.8%

West Virginia University

3.8%

University of Washington

3.8%

University of California - Berkeley

3.8%

State University of New York Stony Brook

3.8%

Northwestern University

3.8%

Syracuse University

2.9%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

16.3%

Physics

12.0%

Computer Science

11.6%

Computer Engineering

9.4%

Mechanical Engineering

8.6%

Chemistry

6.0%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

3.9%

Business

3.4%

Geology

3.0%

Biology

2.6%

Political Science

2.6%

Neuroscience

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

International Relations

2.6%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.1%

Experimental Psychology

2.1%

Environmental Science

2.1%

Economics

2.1%

Materials Science And Engineering

2.1%

Civil Engineering

2.1%
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Degrees

Doctorate

39.4%

Masters

31.1%

Bachelors

16.9%

Other

10.3%

Certificate

1.7%

Associate

0.7%
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Real Research Staff Member Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Research Staff East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN Jan 04, 2016 $360,000
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Austin, TX Jul 27, 2015 $168,180
Member of Research Staff (Internal Title: Software Engineer) Palo Alto Research Center, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 15, 2015 $165,000
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Jul 14, 2016 $165,000
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Jan 06, 2016 $157,976 -
$251,309
Staff Applied Researcher Linkedin Corporation San Francisco, CA Oct 05, 2016 $156,500 -
$290,600
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation San Jose, CA Jun 22, 2016 $155,152
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 25, 2016 $155,152
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY May 08, 2016 $155,000
Member of Research Staff (Research Computer Scientist) Palo Alto Research Center, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 29, 2016 $153,039
Member of Research Staff Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jun 23, 2016 $151,709
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Jul 01, 2015 $150,000
Staff Vulnerability Researcher Fireeye, Inc. Milpitas, CA Aug 28, 2016 $130,000
Staff Vulnerability Researcher Fireeye, Inc. Milpitas, CA Sep 08, 2015 $130,000
Member of Research Staff Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 28, 2016 $130,000
Senior Member Research Staff Philips Electronics North America Corporation Cambridge, MA Jan 18, 2016 $130,000
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Aug 17, 2015 $129,355 -
$249,365
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Jul 15, 2015 $128,772
Principal Member Research Staff Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories Cambridge, MA Apr 09, 2016 $128,577
Research Staff Member IBM Corporation San Jose, CA Nov 16, 2015 $117,187 -
$244,170
Postdoctoral Research Staff Member Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC Livermore, CA Jan 09, 2016 $116,400
Member of Research Staff Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 30, 2015 $116,220
Member of Research Staff Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 30, 2015 $116,001
Member of Research Staff Fujitsu Laboratories of Amercia Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 28, 2015 $115,806
Member of Research Staff (Microsystem Medical Device Scientist) Palo Alto Research Center Inc. (Parc) Palo Alto, CA Oct 26, 2015 $115,350 -
$140,000

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Top Skills for A Research Staff Member

LabMembersLaboratoryRAlgorithmResearchProjectResearchStaffAnalyticalArchitectureDataAnalysisStrategyC/C++WebSoftwareDevelopmentUndergraduatePhysicsPolicyAdvisorPythonLinuxResearchFindings

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Top Research Staff Member Skills

  1. Lab Members
  2. Laboratory
  3. R
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed the hardware that will control complex laser scan heads, motion control and safety systems for the laser laboratory.
  • Core physics calculations were performed using the core physics codes, MCNP4C, COMBINE and VENTURE.
  • Design and analysis of sensor network deployment algorithms.
  • Planned and executed [ ] research projects investigating pollution in Lake Tahoe and clogging of permeable pavements.
  • Communicated and coordinated content with coordinating producers, producers, research staff, digital media group and on-air personalities.

Top Research Staff Member Employers

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