Research Consultants Job Description

A Research Consultant is a professional who provides expert advice and support to researchers, helping them to design and carry out their studies. The role of a Research Consultant is to ensure that the research is conducted in an efficient and effective manner, using the latest methods and technologies.

What does Research Consultant do?

Research Consultants work with researchers from a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. They help researchers to design studies that are specific to their needs and goals and provide advice on the best methods and technologies to use. Research Consultants also work with research teams to develop proposals for funding and help to manage research projects once they have been approved.

What are the job duties?

Some Research Consultants are employed to assist specific projects or research teams, while others work independently with a broad range of researchers across various organizations. Research Consultants typically design and develop experiments, monitor the progress of studies, and analyze data. They also help in the preparation of reports and presentations for conferences and seminars, as well as publishing articles in scientific journals and advising clients on future study directions.

Research Consultants help researchers to:

  • Define the objectives of their research:

What do they want to find out and how will they know when they have succeeded

  • Choose the most appropriate methods and technologies for their research:

Considering factors such as the time available, the resources available, and the nature of the research question.

  • Monitor the progress of their research:

Check that experiments are proceeding as planned, deal with any problems that may arise, and make changes where necessary.

  • Analyze data:

Extracting meaning from results and reporting these in a clear and concise manner.

  • Prepare reports and presentations:

Summarise findings for different audiences, including fellow researchers, funding bodies, and the general public.

  • Advice on future study directions:

Helping researchers to determine what further research is needed to answer their questions fully.

  • Publish articles in scientific journals:

Drawing on their knowledge and experience of current research to present new ideas or findings.

Requirements:

At least an undergraduate degree in science, maths, or engineering.

It is important for Research Consultants to be able to understand and explain complex scientific concepts.

The role of a Research Consultant typically requires a good understanding of current research methods, technologies, and trends; the ability to identify ways in which new developments can help with the research task; an awareness of how different disciplines interact; and an ability to communicate information clearly and concisely.

Skills:

  • An interest in learning about new techniques/ tools for experimental design that can improve efficiency /success rate of experiments - Thorough knowledge on how experiments should be designed - Ability to handle multi tasks - Analytical thinking skills
  • Strong written & verbal communication skills - Excellent interpersonal skills   - Aptitude to learn and understand complex concepts - Motivation and persistence - Ability to prioritize tasks
  • Attention to detail.

What qualifications do you need to become a Research Consultant?

There is no one specific qualification that is needed to become a Research Consultant, but most employers will require a degree in a scientific or technical subject. Relevant experience is also important, and many Research Consultants have worked in research laboratories or have a PhD in a specific field.

Some Research Consultants may also have qualifications in project management or business administration, which can be useful for managing research projects. They must also be able to effectively communicate scientific information to a non-scientific audience.

What skills and qualities do you need to become a Research Consultant?

A Research Consultant must be able to understand and explain complex scientific concepts, as well as have an interest in learning about new techniques/tools for experimental design that can improve efficiency. Thorough knowledge of how experiments should be designed, awareness of how different disciplines interact, and an ability to communicate information clearly and concisely are also needed. It is important for Research Consultants to have good interpersonal skills, motivation, and persistence. They must also be able to prioritize tasks efficiently.

What Should I Major in to Become a Research Consultant?

The most common degree major for a Research Consultant is in a scientific or technical subject. Relevant experience in the form of work experience, weekends volunteering at a lab, or a PhD can also be extremely valuable in this position.

What Classes Will Help Me Become a Research Consultant?

There are no specific classes that will help you to become a Research Consultant, but if you want to work in this field it is important to show an interest in the subject at school. Taking extra science and maths classes or participating in projects can help improve your chances of getting a job as a Research Consultant.

What Career Path Can I Take after My Degree?

After studying science at university, graduates can take jobs as research assistants who conduct experiments under the direction of senior staff scientists. Graduates may also get jobs as junior chemists, biologists, and physicists working in industrial and commercial companies with an interest in developing new drugs for diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS.     

Graduates with an MSc in Applied Science can go on to work in different industries including:

  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Environmental Protection
  • Food Technology research

Graduates with a PhD can go on to work in various industries, including:

  • University Research Laboratories and Academia.
  • Government Agencies and Regulatory Bodies.

What Career Paths Are There for Someone With a Doctorate?

If you have a doctorate (PhD), then your career opportunities are wide open! Depending upon the area of science you studied at PhD level, there are many job titles available such as: postdoctoral research scientist; government adviser; pharmaceutical industry researcher; environmental protection specialist; food technology researcher; academic teacher, and lecturer--to name but a few! Having acquired such valuable skills during your PhD studies (skills that include designing experiments, analyzing data, and compiling reports), you can either take a job immediately after your PhD or return to university for further study. There are career paths open to those with doctorates from all of the sciences, including the following:

  • University Lecturer
  • Government Policy Advisor
  • Medical Researcher/Scientist
  • Environmental Protection Specialist

What Career Paths Are There for Someone With an MSc?

Graduates with an MSc in Applied Science can go on to work in different industries including the pharmaceutical industry; environmental protection; food technology research. For example, graduates could become pharmaceutical industry researchers; government advisers; environmental protection specialists; food technologists. There are several career paths that one can take once they have completed their MSc in Applied Science, which include:

  • Civil Service/Public Policy
  • University Researcher and Lecturer
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Research Scientist
  • Government Policy Advisor

What Age Is the Right Time to Start a Career as a Research Consultant?

There is no set 'right' time to start a career as a researcher consultant. The majority of research consultants work for private companies who require them to have PhDs, usually from either the sciences or business administration, but there are certain rare exceptions to this rule. As long as you have experience working in laboratories and you have an excellent depth of knowledge gained through your degree course, then opportunities will open up for you.

Why work as a researcher?

A career in research offers great job satisfaction, opportunities for travel and development of skills knowledge, the chance of making a positive contribution to society, flexible working hours, and a high salary.

Working conditions: Most Research Consultants work regular office hours in well-equipped laboratories with opportunities for travel and development of skills knowledge, making a positive contribution to society, flexible working hours, and high salary.

What does a Research Consultant study?

Research Consultants typically require a relevant degree, such as biology, chemistry, engineering, or physics. They may also have postgraduate qualifications equivalent to an MSc or PhD. Many Research Consultants are experienced researchers who have taken up this role following a career in academia or industry, but others enter the profession without any prior experience in research. Some employers require applicants for junior positions to send in some form of the academic writing sample, while other employers may provide training opportunities for inexperienced candidates.

What type of person is best suited for this type of work?

The job requires a broad range of skills and a good knowledge base, with most Research Consultants holding at least a Bachelor's degree in a scientific or technical area. They must be proficient in applying their knowledge to new situations and have strong problem-solving abilities.

Research Consultant roles are available from entry-level to management. All Research Consultants need an advanced educational background in research methods and processes, as well as the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with clients. In some cases, it may be necessary for them to meet regulatory requirements such as ISO, GMP, and GLP standards.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day can vary, but most Research Consultants spend their time:

  • Planning and conducting experiments
  • Writing reports and presenting findings to clients
  • Reviewing scientific literature and preparing proposals
  • Liaising with other professionals in the field, such as laboratory technicians and manufacturers' representatives

Salary:

Research consultants' salaries vary considerably depending on the sector they work in and their level of experience. A junior researcher can expect to earn between £20,000 and £25,000 while a senior researcher's salary will typically start at around £30,000 and rise to more than £40,000 for managers and directors. Some companies offer additional benefits such as company cars, pension schemes, and private medical insurance.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Research Consultants are employed by private companies, but may also work for the public sector. Other careers in similar fields include:

  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher
  • Business Analyst
  • Research and Development Technician
  • Research and Development Scientist

What Is the Career Outlook for This Occupation? 

The career outlook for Research Consultants is very positive. The increasing demand for research and development services, coupled with the ever-growing complexity of scientific research, ensures that there will be a continued need for skilled professionals in this field.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Success?

There is no formal training required to become a Research Consultant; however, competition for jobs can be tough and academic qualifications in relevant fields such as chemistry, biochemistry, and biology usually improve your chances of employment. Strong problem-solving abilities and excellent communication skills in written and oral form are important for this position.

What Are Some of The New Challenges and Opportunities?

The trend today is for research to become more globalized, with opportunities abroad. In addition, the development of electronic systems has led to a greater demand for Research Consultants in fields such as software development and IT consulting.

Interesting facts about this profession:

  • Research Consultants are employed by private companies, but may also work for the public sector.
  • The increasing demand for research and development services, coupled with the ever-growing complexity of scientific research, ensures that there will be a continued need for skilled professionals in this field.
  • The trend today is for research to become more globalized, with opportunities abroad.
  • The development of electronic systems has led to a greater demand for Research Consultants in fields such as software development and IT consulting.
  • In the UK, the market for research and development services is growing at a rate of about 10% per year
  • The number of Research Consultants employed in the United States is estimated to be around 125,000
  • As many as 60% of all Research Consultants work on a contract basis
  • Many Research Consultants are either scientists or former scientists who have chosen to work outside of the research laboratory
  • Large companies often have their own in-house team of Research Consultants, but others form part of a pool that is shared by several different businesses.
  • A junior researcher can expect to earn between £20,000 and £25,000 while a senior researcher's salary will typically start at around £30,000 and rise to more than £40,000 for managers and directors.
  • Many companies offer additional benefits such as company cars, pension schemes, and private medical insurance.

If you are looking for an interesting and challenging job with great prospects, then a career as a Research Consultant may be just what you are looking for. With a good salary, excellent working conditions and opportunities for travel, this could be the perfect choice for you. So why not consider it? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.