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Working As A Staff Associate Of Research

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

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Staff Associate Of Research 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 Staff Associate Of Research

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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Staff Associate Of Research Career Paths

Staff Associate Of Research
Scientist Senior Scientist
Principal Scientist
12 Yearsyrs
Scientist Consultant Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Scientist Senior Research Associate
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Doctoral Fellow Research Fellow Staff Scientist
Senior Staff Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Doctoral Fellow Research Scientist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Doctoral Fellow Senior Scientist Research And Development Manager
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Team Leader Group Leader
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Analyst Senior Data Analyst-
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Registered Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Research Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Research Associate Research And Development Scientist
Scientist Senior, Research And Development
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Research Associate Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Trial Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Chemist Research Scientist Assistant Professor
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Chemist Research Scientist
Scientist, Project Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Chemist Biologist Biological Scientist
Senior Scientist, Biology
9 Yearsyrs
Physician Assistant Clinical Coordinator Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Physician Assistant Assistant Professor Senior Research Associate
Study Director
7 Yearsyrs
Physician Assistant Research Fellow Staff Scientist
Senior Associate Scientist
7 Yearsyrs
Researcher Lecturer Postdoctoral Research Associate
Lead Scientist
7 Yearsyrs
Researcher Research Fellow Senior Research Fellow
Scientific Director
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Research Biologist 4.1 years
Research Associate 2.6 years
Research Fellow 2.4 years
Research Assistant 1.6 years
Research Trainee 0.8 years
Research Volunteer 0.8 years
Top Careers Before Staff Associate Of Research
Internship 8.9%
Researcher 3.8%
Volunteer 3.3%
Scientist 1.9%
Instructor 1.8%
Top Careers After Staff Associate Of Research
Internship 5.8%
Scientist 5.5%
Consultant 4.7%
Manager 2.5%
Volunteer 2.5%

Do you work as a Staff Associate Of Research?

Average Yearly Salary
$52,000
Show Salaries
$43,000
Min 10%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$64,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Xerox
Highest Paying City
Baltimore, MD
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Staff Associate Of Research make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Staff Associate Of Research in the United States is $52,872 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $64,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Staff Associate Of Research Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Scientific Research Staff Children's Hospital Pediatric Associates Jan 07, 2016 $150,000
Associate Scientific Research Staff Children's Hospital Pediatric Associates Jan 04, 2016 $110,000
Instructional Research Staff University of Utah Jun 15, 2015 $100,800
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Mar 28, 2016 $100,000
Staff Research Associate Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Aug 03, 2015 $99,600
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Jul 01, 2015 $91,500
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Jan 06, 2016 $85,728
Staff Research Associate/Chemist Siluria Technologies Inc. Sep 15, 2015 $83,800
Staff Research Associate/Chemist Siluria Technologies Inc. Sep 15, 2015 $82,000
Staff Research Associate IV University of California, San Diego Jan 09, 2016 $80,772
Staff Research Associate Illumina, Inc. May 01, 2015 $76,336 -
$96,336
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Jul 01, 2015 $75,000
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Feb 28, 2016 $60,000
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles May 23, 2015 $59,784
Staff Research Associate III University of California, San Diego May 19, 2016 $59,052
Staff Research Associate III University of California, San Diego Jan 08, 2015 $57,336
Staff Research Associate III University of California, San Diego Aug 01, 2015 $57,336
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Jan 04, 2016 $56,796
Staff Research Associate II University of California, Berkeley Mar 16, 2015 $56,328
Staff Research Associate III University of California, San Diego Jan 02, 2016 $52,446
Research Staff University of Houston System Aug 01, 2015 $52,175
Staff Research Associate Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at H-UCLA Dec 21, 2015 $52,010
Staff Research Associate III University of California, San Diego Nov 01, 2015 $51,948
Staff Research Associate University of California, Davis Sep 01, 2015 $51,925
Staff Research Associate University of California, Los Angeles Jan 01, 2015 $51,444
Staff Research Associate University of California, Berkeley Jan 11, 2015 $51,444
Staff Research Associate III University of California, San Diego Oct 01, 2016 $51,420

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Top Skills for A Staff Associate Of Research

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Cell Culture
  3. Technical Expertise
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained lab equipment to keep machines in top working condition, monitored lab inventory, and ordered new consumables when necessary.
  • Performed sub-cloning, small rodent surgery, cell culture, various protein and DNA assays.
  • Provide geologic technical expertise in the collection and analysis of deep ocean core samples.
  • Performed PCR, protein purification, and ligation/transformation of bacteria.
  • Provide organization, management, and technical support in the Virology and immunology unit for several research projects of non-human primates.

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Top 10 Best States for Staff Associate Of Research

  1. New Jersey
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Maryland
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware
  6. Virginia
  7. North Carolina
  8. Alaska
  9. California
  10. Massachusetts
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  • (26 jobs)
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  • (33 jobs)
  • (2,168 jobs)
  • (1,050 jobs)

Staff Associate Of Research Demographics

Gender

Female

44.5%

Male

44.1%

Unknown

11.4%
Ethnicity

White

38.8%

Asian

30.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.4%

Black or African American

6.7%

Unknown

5.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.7%

Chinese

12.2%

French

10.8%

Mandarin

8.6%

German

6.5%

Korean

5.0%

Japanese

5.0%

Vietnamese

3.6%

Russian

3.6%

Cantonese

3.6%

Hindi

2.2%

Italian

1.4%

Telugu

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Igbo

0.7%

Lithuanian

0.7%

Armenian

0.7%

Marathi

0.7%

Hausa

0.7%

Filipino

0.7%
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Staff Associate Of Research Education

Schools

University of California - Los Angeles

16.8%

University of California - San Diego

14.4%

University of California - Davis

12.3%

University of California - Berkeley

11.1%

University of California - Irvine

5.7%

San Francisco State University

4.8%

Columbia University

4.5%

University of San Francisco

4.2%

Harvard University

3.0%

San Diego State University

3.0%

California State University - Los Angeles

2.7%

University of California - Santa Barbara

2.7%

University of California - San Francisco

2.4%

San Jose State University

2.1%

University of California - Santa Cruz

2.1%

University of California - Riverside

2.1%

University of Southern California

1.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

1.5%

Johns Hopkins University

1.5%

California State University - Dominguez Hills

1.5%
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Majors

Biology

15.7%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

12.5%

Chemistry

8.1%

Psychology

6.3%

Public Health

5.6%

Nursing

5.0%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

4.4%

Physiology And Anatomy

4.2%

Clinical Psychology

4.0%

Microbiology

3.8%

Biomedical Engineering

3.8%

Computer Science

3.5%

Pharmacy

3.3%

Neuroscience

3.3%

Business

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.1%

Genetics

2.7%

Biotechnology

2.7%

Physics

2.5%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.3%
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Degrees

Masters

37.2%

Bachelors

33.6%

Doctorate

21.5%

Certificate

4.5%

Associate

2.3%

License

0.4%

Diploma

0.4%

High School Diploma

0.1%
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Updated May 18, 2020