If the term ‘research scientist’ sounds quite broad, that’s because it is – indeed, research scientists are active in almost every area of science. Nonetheless, whether you are interested in a career in geosciences, meteorology, pharmacology or something different altogether, it’s helpful to know something about what life as a research scientist generally involves.

Working in a lab is more exciting than it sounds

Before we go any further – yes, life as a research scientist very much lives up to the stereotype of being based almost entirely in a laboratory, although of course, that may be music to your ears rather than something to dread!

In any case, the range of employers of research scientists is extremely diverse, encompassing the likes of government laboratories, utilities providers, environmental agencies, pharmaceuticals companies, public funded research councils and specialist research organisations and consultancies.

Much the same can be said of the many responsibilities – as a research scientist, you could find yourself taking on tasks ranging from the planning and conducting of experiments and recording and analysing data, to the carrying out of fieldwork and the presentation of results to senior or other research staff.

What other aspects of the job do you need to know about?

If you are thinking of aiming for a career as a research scientist, it’s helpful to know what personal qualities and professional qualifications will serve you best in your quest. It should go without saying that research and analytical skills are vital, but you will also need to possess excellent communication and presentation skills and an ability to teach.

As for more formal qualifications, as outlined by the National Careers Service, a 2:1 degree in a relevant science subject is usually expected for entry. In practice, you will almost certainly need a relevant postgraduate qualification as well, such as a PhD or research-based MSc, particularly for permanent roles. Experience of working in a research setting could also aid your search for such science jobs.

Your life as a research scientist, i.e, working patterns, hours and environment will depend on the kind of employer for which you are employed as a research scientist. Those working in a university research department can usually expect a 35-hour, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday working week. If you work in industry, however, there may be a greater expectation that you fit in with shift patterns, such as in the evening, at the weekend or on public holidays.

Research scientists can look forward to good progression opportunities

There’s a good level of scope for career advancement as a research scientist. While salaries start at an average of about £14,000 a year, they can go up to as much as £60,000, such as if you progress from a scientist with research councils and institutes to senior research or laboratory management positions.

Research scientists in academic roles who are more experienced and have published original research often rise to the status of senior research fellow or professor, leading their own teams.

There’s a lot to learn about what life as a research scientist is like, as well as about how we can help you to effectively compete for science jobs. Get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions today about the work that we do to assist talented graduates and professionals into rewarding science roles, or explore the National Careers Service’s guides to some of the most exciting related jobs in science and research

The CV has been said to be dying – or at least nearing its end – on more than a few occasions in the past. Just look at reports from the likes of the Daily Mail that candidates are increasingly replacing their CVs with ‘MeVies’ – footage of themselves designed to catch an employer’s eye – or statistics shared by Dr Tim Sparkes for People Management indicating that only one in 10 Millennials provided a digital CV at their last interview

Nor is it a surprise that people might come to such conclusions. After all, we are seemingly living in a more ‘connected’ world than ever. Why do you still need such an outdated or cumbersome thing as a CV, when you can simply text or email a prospective employer, perhaps directing them towards your LinkedIn profile? 

Well, for one thing, many potential employers will still end an online conversation with you by asking you to send them your CV. As much as they might appreciate you telling them everything about yourself that makes you such a great candidate for their vacancy or company, they still usually like to have something simple and concise to glance back at – and nothing fulfils that role quite as well as a CV.

A digital profile isn’t the answer to everything

There are a few other reasons why online profiles and portfolios haven’t completely replaced the CV as yet. For example, while you could theoretically alter your LinkedIn profile to target only the latest vacancy for which you happen to be applying, it would be quite a hassle to have to do so every single time you contacted a company about a role.

A CV, by contrast, can be tweaked and tailored so that at any one time, you can have several alternate versions from which to choose, depending on the latest employer or sector that you are targeting. You can emphasise certain skills and experiences while de-emphasising others, and the prospective employer will still see that same information and layout whenever they look back at it.

By contrast, you can’t control exactly who, and from exactly what industry, is looking over your LinkedIn or other online profile at any one time. That’s not to suggest that your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have its own invaluable role, not least as it is capable of containing information that you might not be able to fit onto a two-page CV.

However, a polished CV remains a crucial part of your armoury when you come to market yourself to employers. This is why, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we furnish our candidates with all of the advice they need to refine and tailor their CV for science jobs.

CVs remain a key part of your wider branding package

It’s impossible to say exactly what will happen to the CV in the years to come – many theories have been proposed about its likely fate, and many new and ongoing trends cited.

What is clear, though, is that right now, the CV continues to play a crucial role in candidates’ dealings with science recruitment agencies and employers. It’s a portable and easy-to-refer-to part of your wider branding package that should also include the likes of online profiles and portfolios and cover letters.

Whether you are looking for a job in biotechnology, pharmacology, the environment or any of a wide range of science sectors, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we will help you to make your own CV as relevant and impactful as possible. Simply contact our team today to learn more


Hyper Recruitment Solutions are delighted to announce that Managing Director, Ricky Martin has been elected as the Chair of the REC's Life Sciences CommitteeThe REC’s flagship Life Sciences sector group provides specialist support and advice to recruitment agencies working in a range of areas including pharmaceuticals, scientific research, biochemistry and biomedical technology.

After previously joining the committee as the Vice Chair, Ricky aims to further support the standards and professional in recruitment across the sciences. Moving forwards he aims to ensure there are more frequent communications on key topics surrounding the Life Sciences Sector to help further improve the standards across recruitment in this sector. 

The UK life Sciences sector generates a turnover of over £56 billion, is one of the strongest and most productive life sciences sectors in the world and employs over 160,000 people. It is therefore essential that we have a dedicated and specialist recruitment sector to support it. 

“Science saves lives! I intend to lead the committee, members and all life sciences recruiters in the UK, to ensure we do our best to support this. I look forward to working with you all. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, should you ever need my support” Ricky Martin

About the REC

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for UK recruitment businesses. Established since 1930, representing 82% of the recruitment market place by value, the REC support their members by helping businesses find the people they need, while improving the standards and reputation of the recruitment industry. The REC lead the way in defining better recruitment standards and practice – this is imperative to building a world class jobs market. The REC work with recruiters that can make a real difference.

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