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Become A Senior Research Investigator

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Working As A Senior Research Investigator

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

  • $120,160

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Research Investigator 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 Senior Research Investigator

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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Senior Research Investigator Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Research Scientist 3.8 years
Research Associate 2.6 years
Research Fellow 2.3 years
Research Leader 2.1 years
Research Assistant 1.7 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 9.8%
Volunteer 6.5%
Fellow 6.5%
Scientist 3.0%
Assistant 1.6%
Top Employers After
Volunteer 8.8%
Internship 7.4%
Scientist 4.9%
Consultant 2.8%
Tutor 2.8%

Do you work as a Senior Research Investigator?

Senior Research Investigator Demographics

Gender

Male

50.1%

Female

43.3%

Unknown

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Asian

16.1%

Hispanic or Latino

10.5%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

4.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.6%

Chinese

6.8%

Hindi

6.8%

Italian

6.8%

Portuguese

4.5%

German

4.5%

French

4.5%

Mandarin

4.5%

Urdu

2.3%

Nepali

2.3%

Romanian

2.3%

Bislama

2.3%

Zhuang

2.3%

Filipino

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Tagalog

2.3%

Polish

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%
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Senior Research Investigator Education

Schools

University of California - Los Angeles

7.4%

Stanford University

7.4%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

7.4%

University of Pennsylvania

6.2%

Case Western Reserve University

6.2%

Temple University

4.9%

University of California - San Diego

4.9%

Harvard University

4.9%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.9%

University of Vermont

4.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.9%

James Madison University

4.9%

University of Arizona

4.9%

University of Connecticut

3.7%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.7%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.7%

Brigham Young University

3.7%

Colgate University

3.7%
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Majors

Chemistry

23.2%

Biology

14.1%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

9.3%

Psychology

8.7%

Pharmacy

6.8%

Geology

4.5%

Microbiology

3.5%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Chemical Engineering

3.5%

Physics

3.5%

Environmental Science

2.9%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.3%

Neuroscience

2.3%

Biomedical Engineering

1.9%

Economics

1.6%

Counseling Psychology

1.6%

Pharmacology

1.6%

Physiology And Anatomy

1.3%

Business

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.3%

Doctorate

24.8%

Masters

18.6%

Other

7.8%

Certificate

1.1%

Associate

0.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Research Investigator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Research Investigator I-Chemistry Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Inc. Cambridge, MA Oct 01, 2009 $183,205
Senior Research Investigator I Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Princeton, NJ Jul 15, 2015 $145,000
Interim Senior Investigator, Research Informatics Northshore University Healthsystem Evanston, IL Dec 01, 2011 $125,008
Senior Research Investigator II Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Wallingford, CT Apr 04, 2011 $125,000
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Lawrenceville, NJ Sep 21, 2009 $122,000
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Lawrenceville, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $120,808
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Apr 01, 2010 $120,000
Senior Research Investigator II Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Jul 09, 2010 $119,975
Senior Research Investigator II Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Sep 17, 2013 $119,690
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Lawrenceville, NJ Sep 06, 2011 $114,705
Senior Research Investigator II Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Oct 01, 2012 $114,000
Senior Research Investigator I Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Wallingford, CT Oct 29, 2011 $113,322
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Pennington, NJ Jan 15, 2010 $113,108
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Nov 23, 2009 $104,550
Senior Research Investigator Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. Malvern, PA Oct 01, 2009 $102,240
Senior Research Investigator I Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Pennington, NJ Mar 01, 2010 $102,000
Senior Research Investigator I Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Jan 20, 2015 $102,000
Senior Research Investigator Bristol-Myers Squibb Company New Brunswick, NJ Nov 20, 2009 $101,716
Senior Research Investigator I Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Lawrenceville, NJ Dec 10, 2015 $100,500 -
$117,000
Senior Research Investigator Bristol Myers Squibb Company Princeton, NJ Dec 22, 2016 $100,000 -
$130,000
Senior Research Investigator Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA May 17, 2010 $65,874
Senior Research Investigator, Hiv/Aids Program The Population Council, Inc. New York, NY May 01, 2012 $65,530 -
$98,300
Senior Research Investigator Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Sep 13, 2015 $65,000
Research Investigator Senior Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA May 31, 2014 $65,000
Senior Research Investigator Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Jul 01, 2013 $62,883
Senior Research Investigator Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Apr 01, 2011 $62,814
Senior Research Investigator Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Sep 21, 2009 $62,789

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Top Skills for A Senior Research Investigator

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  1. Market Research
  2. Drug Discovery
  3. Cell Culture
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prosecuted drug discovery programs within department while collaborating with numerous and varied sections and teams.
  • Developed automated systems for the performance of ELISAs, Sample Preparation, Cell Culture and Cell Based Assays.
  • Influenced better drug design by identifying metabolic hot spots for early discovery candidates and collaboration with discovery chemistry.
  • Developed microbiology procedure and techniques specific for proprietary art, trained individuals for application of in-house assays.
  • Developed a data-mining tool used to comprehensively determine unknown chemical transformations behind library synthesis.

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