Research Fellow

A Research Fellow is a position at a university, scientific laboratory or government agency, usually for academic staff or faculty members. A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator. Research fellows are responsible for both strengthening and expanding existing research programs. They might work with academic board members and external stakeholders to review existing research pertinent to an organization's mission and identify quality opportunities. They create and present original research ideas and engage in collaborative meetings with other research groups.


Medical research is often performed by researchfellows, and they may also be involved in clinical trials and studies of everything from new surgical techniques to different approaches to psychotherapy. A research fellow can also work in the lab and in the field in an assortment of environments.

In contrast to a research assistant or research officer, the position of research fellow normally requires a doctoral degree, or equivalent work for instance in industry. Some research fellows undertake postdoctoral research or have some moderate teaching responsibilities. Other fellowships accept those with master's degrees. Any research fellow should have a strong research background, including an understanding of experimental and analytical research.