How Do I Become a Research Manager?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The requirements to become a research manager may include a college degree, experience in research environments, and certification to work in lab facilities. Employers may have varying expectations as well as regulatory standards to adhere to. People with an interest in this kind of work may want to consider looking at job listings in facilities and fields of interest to learn more about the baseline requirements for specific positions. This information can help them plan to become a research manager.

Research managers oversee research in labs as well as clinical settings. This can include preliminary work on activities like identifying potential drugs as well as the management of late-stage clinical trials in preparation for applications for regulatory approval. These members of the lab team hire and fire personnel, keep track of data, provide training for staff, and perform a variety of other tasks. The job requires a high degree of organization and excellent communication skills are also important for someone who wants to become a research manager.

Some labs will accept applicants who do not have any educational experience, but usually a bachelor’s degree is required at a minimum to become a research manager. A master’s degree may be preferable for some employers. The degree can be in microbiology or a related field, and should ideally include some lab and clinical experience. With a degree, people can apply for open positions in labs to start getting experience in research.


One option is to look into assisting research managers or handling specific aspects of study design and implementation. A person who plans to become a research manager may want to consider rotating through several positions in a lab to acquire experience in different areas. People can talk to their supervisors about their plans and discuss the best way to develop skills while still effectively serving their workplaces. At the same time, it may also be necessary to apply for a license to work in the lab, depending on regional regulations.

Fully licensed college graduates with between three and seven years of experience in research may be eligible for job openings. When someone applies to become a research manager, it is a good idea to provide ample supporting letters of recommendation as well as information about publications and any other awards and credits. Those with established careers and a reputation for excellence are more likely to succeed in competitive employment. It can also help to join a professional organization for continuing education and development opportunities.



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