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Become A Scientist Senior, Research And Development

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Working As A Scientist Senior, Research And Development

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

  • $92,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Scientist Senior, Research And Development 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.

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How To Become A Scientist Senior, Research And Development

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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Average Length of Employment
Senior Scientist 4.9 years
Lead Scientist 3.7 years
Scientist 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Scientist Senior, Research And Development
Scientist 8.1%
Chemist 3.7%
Internship 2.2%
Top Careers After Scientist Senior, Research And Development
Consultant 8.7%
Scientist 5.5%
Director 4.5%
Manager 3.9%

Do you work as a Scientist Senior, Research And Development?

Average Yearly Salary
$92,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$64,000
Min 10%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$133,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Apple
Highest Paying City
Hayward, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Scientist Senior, Research And Development make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Scientist Senior, Research And Development in the United States is $92,681 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $64,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $133,000.

Real Scientist Senior, Research And Development Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior R&D Scientist Gener8 Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2014 $127,000 -
$150,000
SR. R&D Scientist Synaptics, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 02, 2015 $125,000
Senior R & D Scientist Bridgelux, Inc. Livermore, CA Nov 17, 2012 $115,000
Senior Scientist, Research and Development Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 07, 2016 $111,700 -
$207,500
Senior R&D Scientist 24M Technologies, Inc. Cambridge, MA Oct 01, 2010 $110,000 -
$140,000
Engineer/Senior Scientist Research & Development I UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Oct 03, 2014 $108,600
Senior Scientist Pharma, R&D Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ridgefield, CT Aug 20, 2011 $106,500
Senior Scientist, Chemical Development, Process Research Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Danbury, CT Jul 26, 2016 $102,000 -
$130,400
Senior Research and Development Scientist Utopiacompression Corporation Los Angeles, CA Nov 14, 2014 $100,000
Senior Research and Development Scientist MJ Biologics, Inc. Mankato, MN Jan 09, 2016 $100,000
Senior Scientist, Pharma R&D Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ridgefield, CT Aug 26, 2011 $97,263
Senior R&D Scientist SEEO, Inc. Hayward, CA Dec 15, 2011 $97,011 -
$105,000
SR. Scientist-Research & Development GDB International, Inc. Nashville, IL Dec 09, 2016 $96,320
Senior R&D Scientist Evonik Corporation Piscataway, NJ Dec 05, 2014 $93,764
Senior R&D Scientist UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Feb 09, 2016 $92,900 -
$139,200
SR. Research Scientist, R&D Cyberonics, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 21, 2014 $92,000 -
$110,000
SR. Scientist, Research and Development Riconpharma LLC Denville, NJ Jan 10, 2014 $91,000
SR. Scientist, Pharmaceutical & Analytical R&D Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation East Hanover, NJ Dec 01, 2011 $90,522
Senior Scientist R&D Pall Corporation Pensacola, FL Oct 09, 2016 $90,000
Senior R&D Scientist Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Redwood City, CA Jan 10, 2011 $90,000
Senior R&D Scientist Monarch PCM, LLC Fort Worth, TX Nov 30, 2015 $90,000
Senior R&D Scientist UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL Sep 02, 2014 $85,467
Senior Research and Development Scientist Pall Corporation Port Washington, NY Aug 01, 2013 $85,000
SR. Research & Development Scientist Bioconnect Systems, Inc. Ambler, PA Feb 01, 2014 $84,341
Scientist SR R&D, Bioanalytical CSL Behring L.L.C. Bradley, IL Oct 09, 2016 $84,000
Senior Research & Development Poultry Scientist Pacific Vet Group USA Fayetteville, AR Sep 02, 2016 $84,000
SR. Scientist, R&D Bausch + LOMB Incorporated Saint Louis, MO Sep 14, 2010 $82,720 -
$92,720

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Top Skills for A Scientist Senior, Research And Development

  1. Analytical Methods
  2. New Product Development
  3. Laboratory Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design and author protocols for and perform the validation of developed analytical methods against phase appropriate criteria.
  • Worked closely with Technical Sales and Marketing teams to modify existing products or new product development according to customer needs.
  • Drafted protocols and reviewed executed protocols for the qualification of all AR&D laboratory equipment.
  • Provided invaluable method and process troubleshooting support to production, analytical R&D, and QC.
  • Assisted an assay development team charged with expanding the company's product portfolio of diagnostic products into new markets.

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Top 10 Best States for Scientist Seniors, Research And Development

  1. New Jersey
  2. Connecticut
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Maryland
  5. California
  6. Delaware
  7. North Carolina
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Arizona
  10. Rhode Island
  • (519 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)
  • (619 jobs)
  • (445 jobs)
  • (3,030 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (512 jobs)
  • (1,552 jobs)
  • (331 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)

Scientist Senior, Research And Development Demographics

Gender

Male

55.1%

Female

27.2%

Unknown

17.6%
Ethnicity

White

45.5%

Asian

30.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.4%

Black or African American

8.2%

Unknown

5.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

German

17.4%

Chinese

13.0%

Spanish

13.0%

Japanese

8.7%

French

8.7%

Hindi

8.7%

Mandarin

8.7%

Gujarati

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Welsh

4.3%

Korean

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%
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Scientist Senior, Research And Development Education

Schools

Purdue University

8.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

7.1%

University of California - Berkeley

7.1%

Colorado State University

7.1%

University of California - San Diego

6.1%

Pennsylvania State University

6.1%

University of Wisconsin Extension

5.1%

Brandeis University

5.1%

Iowa State University

5.1%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

5.1%

Montclair State University

5.1%

Central State University

4.0%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.0%

University of Wisconsin - Madison

4.0%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.0%

University of Texas at Austin

4.0%

University of Rochester

4.0%

University of Florida

3.0%

University of the Sciences

3.0%

Miami University

3.0%
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Majors

Chemistry

39.0%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

11.5%

Biology

9.5%

Pharmacy

5.4%

Business

4.4%

Chemical Engineering

4.1%

Microbiology

3.6%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

2.3%

Materials Science And Engineering

2.3%

Biomedical Engineering

2.1%

Pharmacology

1.8%

Biotechnology

1.8%

Physics

1.8%

Food Science

1.8%

Computer Science

1.5%

Plastics Engineering

1.5%

Mechanical Engineering

1.5%

Electrical Engineering

1.5%

Genetics

1.3%

Neuroscience

1.3%
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Degrees

Doctorate

49.1%

Masters

25.5%

Bachelors

17.2%

Other

6.0%

Certificate

1.7%

Associate

0.4%

Diploma

0.2%
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