Research scientist jobs are wide ranging, from finding funding for a research project to writing the findings for publication in a scientific journal. Although many people may believe that research scientist jobs revolve solely around a laboratory, the jobs may also include administrative duties and management duties. This is particularly true if the scientist works with other scientists or students.
One of the hardest and most important research scientist jobs is to find ways to fund the experiment. The scientist may need to write a proposal to a university or a company, such as a pharmaceutical company, to receive funding. She may also apply for a local or national grant to receive funding for her project. Without appropriate funding, most scientific projects will not be able to move forward since running experiments can cost millions of dollars, depending on what is being explored or tested.
Setting up the laboratory is one of the research scientist jobs that requires intellectual stamina. The scientist must have an in-depth understanding over the subject matter being researched, through current studies, reading journals related to the research, and through open communication with colleagues. She must be open to what the results may conclude, so the experiments must be set up in such a way that the results are accurate and not contrived. As she learns information from her research, additional experiments and research may become necessary. As a result, before the research is concluded, several different factors may be tested.
Other research scientist jobs revolve around routine life at the laboratory. For example, solutions may need to be found, data may need to be examined, and measurements may need to be taken. Depending on the type of experiment, these things may be done weekly, daily, hourly, or even more frequently. Sometimes results may even need to be analyzed around the clock.
In many cases, the research scientist jobs may change after an experiment is complete. At that time, other scientists may want to know the results of the experiment. These results may be published through journals, written up in academic newsletters, or addressed through a press release by a company or university. This is particularly true if the results were unexpected, surprising, or if they validate a previously untested theory. Sometimes the scientist may be interviewed or asked to speak to others at a conference or even in a classroom setting.
Some research scientist jobs are not directly linked to the experiment at all. For example, a scientist may be responsible for hiring, managing, and paying other people to work with her on an experiment. These people may be other scientists, students, or even people who are hired to answer phone calls and proofread articles before they are sent to a scientific journal for publication. She also may be responsible for managing a budget for the laboratory. This budget may include the cost of supplies, equipment, and salaries for employees.