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Job Description

A research scientist will research in different areas in life sciences, from bio-science to pharmacy and medicine, this will be to either develop new products or processes or to broaden scientific understanding.

Entry Requirements

You'll usually need at least a 2:1 degree in a relevant science subject. Most research scientists also have a postgraduate qualification like an MSc, an MSci or MBiol. Many employers prefer you to have, or be working towards, a PhD.

There are several ways to get a postgraduate qualification, including:

Research Councils and industrial companies sometimes work together to offer CASE studentships (formerly Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering). This would allow you to work towards a PhD while getting practical research experience in industry.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which gives you the opportunity to run a research project together with an industrial organisation and a university or research body.

Experience of working in a research environment could also help you find employment.

Career Path and Progression

As a scientist with research councils and institutes or in industry, you could progress to a senior research or laboratory management position.

In an academic post, once you've gained experience and published original research, you could progress to senior research fellow or professor, leading your own team.

You could demonstrate your commitment to professional development and work towards professional recognition like Chartered Scientist status.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Biochemist
  • Astronaut
  • Botanist
  • Chemist
  • Clinical scientist

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • A logical thinker
  • Good analytical skills
  • Patience and attention to detail
  • Good problem solving skills 
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Able to present complex issues to colleagues and clients effectively

Starting Salary

£14,000 to £60,000

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