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

Bending or outright breaking the truth on your CV can be very tempting – after all, the science jobs market is intensely competitive - but is it possible to lie on your CV?

It isn't uncommon for people to lie on their CV, with some 38% of Britons having done it at least once, according to data referenced by Metro.

However, the truth is you really can't lie on your CV, and that bending the truth on your CV isn't really a good idea. Here are just some of the reasons why you should think again about lying on your CV:

The truth is often easy to find

We are in the Internet age, and it has never been easier for employers to do their own research into the various claims you make on your CV.

It may be easy to think that a ‘little white lie’ here or there will be glossed over. However, all that it takes for your credibility to be ruined is an employer discovering a mismatch between what your CV states and what is on your LinkedIn profile or elsewhere online.

As the saying goes, nothing ever completely disappears from the Internet, and traces of your employment history may be left online to trip you up in your career ambitions.

You might be ‘found out’ on the job 

Even if you secure the role with the help of a lie about something you claimed to be proficient in, the likelihood is that at some point, you will need to back up that claim.

This can lead to an incredibly awkward situation as you unsuccessfully attempt to ‘fake’ skills or experience that you don’t have, potentially ending in humiliation as you are forced to admit to the lie.

Avoiding the lie in the first place is an infinitely better idea. If there is a certain skill or qualification that you wish you had, it’s better to work towards this and mention it on your CV, than to be anything less than absolutely truthful.

It could ruin your reputation

A reputation for integrity and honesty can be so hard to earn, and so easily lost. What’s more, the adverse impact can extend well beyond you being unable to secure a specific job.

Your reputation, after all, is hugely important when you are seeking any job, and if employers have any reason to question your ethics and integrity, they may wonder what else you may lie about on the job, which could imperil their entire company’s reputation.

News of your deceitfulness can quickly spread online and between different companies in your sector – so don’t take the risk.

You could lose your job

If there’s anything worse than not getting your dream job, it is surely getting that job, only to lose it because of a lie you told.

Employers don’t take lying lightly, and you could very easily find yourself back in the dole queue if any lie of yours is discovered. In the most severe cases – such as if the job legally required you to have a particular qualification that you lied about having – you could even face legal action.

Yes, many very successful people have lied on their CVs – ranging from former Yahoo chief executive Scott Thompson to media tycoon David Geffen – but that doesn’t mean you should follow their examples, especially when – as The Telegraph explains – their misdeeds so often ended badly.

Don’t put yourself in the awkward position of having something to hide – instead, tell the truth on your CV for the ultimate peace of mind. Remember that here at leading science recruitment agency Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we can advise you on how to construct a winning CV that won’t leave you feeling the need to be untruthful in the first place. 

The pharmaceutical sector is one of the principal ones that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, with many employment experts in this field among our staff.

There’s also no question that the industry is a diverse, complex and potentially highly rewarding one for new recruits, with even starter pharmacologists typically earning between £25,000 and £28,000 a year, according to the National Careers Service.

But what do you need to know if you are to break into the sector for the first time?

First of all, make sure you have the right skills

There is a wide range of skills that will require in order to succeed in the pharmaceutical industry. These include strong IT skills, encompassing data retrieval and analysis, as well as good communication skills for giving presentations and writing papers and reports.

You will also need to be able to solve problems and come up with creative solutions in experiments, work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams and organise yourself and manage your time well. Leadership potential is another key requirement.

What qualifications are necessary?

Although it isn’t unheard-of for school leavers to secure pharmaceutical jobs – according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) – this is not common and further career progress would depend on the possession of higher qualifications.

To stand the best chance of securing your first pharmaceutical role, you are likely to need a degree in pharmacology, although entry may be possible with a degree in another scientific subject such as biochemistry, neuroscience, microbiology or physiology.

For employment at the major pharmaceutical companies that receive an especially high level of interest from candidates, a relevant postgraduate qualification such as a pharmacology MSc or PhD may be essential, or at least highly advantageous.

What is the role of work experience?

Work experience can be invaluable for enabling you to see what life in the pharmaceutical industry is really like, as well as to talk to those already in the sector and start making useful contacts. The presence of work experience on your CV will also show to employers that you have a genuine interest in working in the sector.

Finding a relevant placement can be extremely difficult if you are under 16, but not impossible, with some pharmaceutical firms happy to provide local students with experience in an office.

If you are 16-18, you may be able to secure a one-week or two-week work experience placement during school holidays. However, such opportunities are rarely advertised, so you will almost certainly need to get in touch with companies directly.

When you are considering university courses, it is strongly advisable to choose a course that offers a ‘year in industry’ – also sometimes referred to as a sandwich or industrial placement year. If such a placement year is not possible, it’s a good idea to aim to obtain work experience during the long summer holidays.

How can Hyper Recruitment Solutions help?

When you are looking to secure that all-important first role in pharmacology, the assistance of the right science recruitment agency can be invaluable. Hyper Recruitment Solutions has long been that agency for a wide range of individuals seeking science jobs, with a high level of expertise in relation to the pharmaceutical sector.

Talk to our experts today about how we can serve you with our broad range of services geared towards the needs of candidates. 

Lord Alan Sugar and Ricky Martin are expanding their scientific recruitment company Hyper Recruitment Solution (HRS). They are looking to develop the next generation of highly specialised and professional recruitment consultants. To do so HRS are inviting recent graduates from a number of scientific disciplines to get in touch to be considered for a job in their business.

The successful applicants will be working alongside Ricky Martin who is a Biochemist / Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry / Qualified Recruiter and who has extensive experience in science recruitment. This will provide a graduate with an ideal opportunity to learn from somebody who knows this space very well. Not to mention someone who has himself been through a very extensive and thorough recruitment / interview process with Lord Sugar to secure investment to set up HRS.

HRS are not looking for generalist recruiters to work in a specialised field as they are looking to provide a truly consultative service. This is why the decision has been made to provide time, resource and expertise to invest in to bringing along highly professional and knowledgeable recruiters.

As assessment day will be held at the head office of HRS (Amshold House) where selected graduates will be asked to participate in a range of exercises to access their potential.

After becoming the winner of the Apprentice it looks like Ricky Martin himself is now looking for his own apprentices.

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