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Become A Study Director

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Working As A Study Director

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

  • $94,383

    Average Salary

What Does A Study Director 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 Study Director

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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Study Director Demographics

Gender

Male

53.0%

Female

43.7%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Asian

11.8%

Black or African American

11.6%

Unknown

3.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.8%

French

14.9%

Chinese

10.4%

German

6.0%

Japanese

6.0%

Russian

6.0%

Mandarin

6.0%

Greek

4.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Filipino

1.5%

Turkish

1.5%

Dutch

1.5%

Gujarati

1.5%

Persian

1.5%

Armenian

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Hindi

1.5%
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Study Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

6.8%

Michigan State University

6.8%

Pennsylvania State University

5.8%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

4.9%

North Carolina State University

4.9%

Temple University

4.9%

University of Utah

4.9%

Purdue University

4.9%

Walden University

4.9%

University of Delaware

4.9%

University of Connecticut

3.9%

Illinois State University

3.9%

University of Cincinnati

3.9%

University of New Hampshire

3.9%

University of California - Berkeley

3.9%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.9%

Saint Louis University-

3.9%

Grand Canyon University

3.9%

George Washington University

3.9%
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Majors

Biology

13.6%

Business

13.3%

Chemistry

8.4%

Pharmacology

6.9%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

6.6%

English

5.4%

Education

5.1%

Marketing

4.8%

Microbiology

4.5%

Pharmacy

3.3%

Elementary Education

3.3%

Educational Leadership

3.3%

Cell Biology And Anatomical Science

3.0%

Music

3.0%

Sociology

3.0%

Physiology And Anatomy

2.7%

Psychology

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.4%

Law

2.4%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.1%
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Degrees

Masters

34.5%

Doctorate

24.5%

Bachelors

24.4%

Other

10.6%

Certificate

3.2%

Associate

2.2%

Diploma

0.7%
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Real Study Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director-North Region Strategic Studies Denbury Onshore, LLC Plano, TX Jul 30, 2015 $265,000
Director, Real Estate Studies University of Washington Seattle, WA Jan 09, 2016 $240,000
Director-North Region Strategic Studies Denbury Onshore, LLC Plano, TX Mar 24, 2014 $214,510 -
$275,000
Bioanalytical Study Director Northwest Clinical Research Center Inc. Bellevue, WA Sep 13, 2013 $166,960 -
$313,050
Study Director III Newmont International Services Limited Greenwood Village, CO Apr 17, 2014 $149,300 -
$261,500
Director of Secondary Studies Lycee Francais de New York New York, NY Oct 06, 2014 $128,700
Center for The Study of Ethics In The Professions Director Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL Aug 12, 2015 $122,100
Director, Spinal Cord Injury Preclinical Studies U Winifred Masterson Burke Medical Research White Plains, NY Mar 08, 2010 $120,000
Clinical Study Director Smithhanleyconsultinggroupllc, A Div. of Inventiv Bridgewater, NJ May 10, 2010 $107,460 -
$62
Clinical Study Director Smith Hanley Consulting Group Wayne, NJ Dec 07, 2010 $104,350
SR. Opkd Study Director Alcon Research, Ltd. Fort Worth, TX Sep 11, 2014 $103,700
Senior Study Director Westat Rockville, MD Aug 19, 2016 $98,300
Senior Study Director Westat Rockville, MD Nov 20, 2015 $95,500
Study Director II Covance Laboratories Inc. Madison, WI Apr 18, 2011 $91,936 -
$105,000
Director of Pre-Columbian Studies Trustees for Harvard University Washington, DC Jul 01, 2015 $89,814 -
$144,618
Study Director II Covance Laboratories Inc. Madison, WI Aug 16, 2011 $89,398 -
$105,000
Associate Study Director The Jackson Laboratory Sacramento, CA Apr 24, 2010 $88,176
Director of Pre-Columbian Studies Trustees for Harvard University Washington, DC Jul 01, 2012 $84,490 -
$144,618
Director of Byzantine Studies Trustees for Harvard University Washington, DC Jul 01, 2012 $84,490 -
$144,618
Study Director II, Safety Pharmocology Covance Laboratories Inc. Madison, WI Feb 18, 2011 $82,077 -
$97,076
Associate Study Director The Jackson Laboratory Sacramento, CA Nov 15, 2009 $81,120
Study Director-Developmental & Reproductive Toxi Covance Laboratories Inc. Greenfield, IN Oct 01, 2011 $68,411 -
$88,000
Senior Study Director Ipsos-Insight, LLC New York, NY Feb 11, 2013 $66,844
Director of Anatomical Studies Carolina Biological Supply Company Burlington, NC Oct 01, 2010 $66,350
Director-Clinical Studies Academy of Diabetes Thyroid and Endocrine, Pa El Paso, TX Sep 16, 2013 $64,000
Director, Study Abroad Troy University Troy, AL Jan 01, 2010 $63,600
Director of Modern Greek Studies University of Illinois Urbana, IL Aug 16, 2015 $62,500

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Top Skills for A Study Director

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  1. Applicable Regulatory Guidelines
  2. Procedures
  3. Laboratory Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Planned and designed non-clinical investigations, in accordance with applicable regulatory guidelines and current scientific practice.
  • Operated numerous scientific instruments for numerous scientific disciplines/experimental procedures.
  • Perform a variety of routine and non-routine laboratory procedures including direct aqueous and liquid- liquid extractions.
  • Consulted drug development scientists on data interpretation and study conclusions for FDA submission.
  • Served as Study Director, Pathologist and Clinical Laboratory Animal Veterinarian for GLP and exploratory toxicology and pharmacology studies.

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