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Become A Senior Staff Scientist

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Working As A Senior Staff Scientist

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

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Staff Scientist Do

A Senior Staff Scientist is responsible for supervising projects and activities of a company. They manage the technical, budgetary, and scheduling aspects of scientific research projects.

How To Become A Senior Staff 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.


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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Senior Staff Scientist jobs

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Real Senior Staff Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Staff Scientist Harvard University Boston, MA Jul 16, 2012 $150,000
Senior Staff Scientist Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tarrytown, NY Jun 10, 2015 $137,000 -
Senior Staff Scientist Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Tarrytown, NY Oct 11, 2013 $128,700
Senior Staff Scientist Bayer Healthcare LLC Sunnyvale, CA Oct 15, 2009 $125,000 -
SR. Staff Scientist Sas Institute, Inc. Cary, NC Jul 01, 2013 $124,007
Senior Staff Scientist Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tarrytown, NY Jan 08, 2015 $120,000 -
Scientist, SR. Staff Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Hoffman Estates, IL Oct 11, 2015 $115,507
Senior Staff Scientist-Research Bioinformatics Core Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tarrytown, NY Dec 10, 2016 $113,000 -
Senior Staff Scientist Advenira Enterprises Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Feb 28, 2015 $110,000
Senior Staff Scientist The Henry M. Jackson Foundation Rockville, MD Mar 01, 2011 $105,400
Senior Staff Scientist Ashland Inc. Wilmington, DE Jun 10, 2015 $105,206 -
SR. Staff Scientist Ashland Inc. Wilmington, DE Oct 24, 2016 $104,728
Senior Staff Scientist The Scripps Research Institute San Diego, CA Oct 01, 2013 $98,987
Senior Electromagnetic Methods Staff Scientist Geometrics, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 01, 2012 $95,000
Senior Staff Scientist Centrillion Biosciences, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 01, 2012 $94,500
Senior Staff Scientist Centrillion Biosciences Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 01, 2012 $94,500
Senior Staff Scientist Ashland Inc. Wilmington, DE Jun 28, 2014 $91,187
Senior Staff Scientist Ashland Inc. Lexington, KY Sep 01, 2013 $88,000 -
Senior Staff Scientist Aqualon Company Wilmington, DE Jun 27, 2011 $87,942
Senior Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Development Incyte Corporation Wilmington, DE Aug 17, 2016 $78,000
Senior Staff Scientist Hysitron, Inc. Eden Prairie, MN Sep 18, 2015 $77,834
Senior Staff Scientist Nanosurface Technologies, LLC Maple Grove, MN Oct 20, 2010 $77,043 -
Senior Staff Scientist The Scripps Research Institute San Diego, CA Sep 01, 2014 $76,794
Senior Staff Scientist I Riverside Technology, Inc. MD Sep 01, 2009 $75,005
SR. Staff Scientist AER, Inc. Lexington, MA Aug 09, 2011 $75,000 -

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Top Skills for A Senior Staff Scientist


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Top Senior Staff Scientist Skills

  1. Laboratory
  2. Method Development
  3. Analytical Methods
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured GMP compliance and efficiency in all aspects of laboratory operations.
  • Route selection and method development for the Development Candidate for cognition/metabolism.
  • Develop and implement bioanalytical methods for small molecules in various biological matrices.
  • Managed laboratories responsible for the development, optimization and characterization of cell lines used for the production of recombinant proteins.
  • Extracted and analyzed drug concentrations in matrix and tissue.

Top Senior Staff Scientist Employers

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