Research Scientist


Research Scientists use scientific methods of investigation, testing theoretical models by designing and conducting experiments and analysing results, to expand understanding of different phenomena, either for its own sake or to develop new technologies, processes or products for commercial or other purposes.

Sectors and industries

Research Scientists work in Research & Development departments of governments, educational instutionals, universities, and private research departments.. They may also work alongside Research Engineers in engineering/industrial research.


Biological Research Scientist

Biological Research Scientists study plant and animal living systems, including at the microscopic level.

Biomedical Research Scientist

Biomedical Research Scientists investigate human health and disease at molecular, cellular and systems levels. They may further specialise in human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and drug action analysis, bioinformatics, human genetics, genetic engineering, immunology, bacteriology, virology, and cell biochemistry.

Biotechnology Research Scientist

Biotechnology Research Scientists study biomedical and genetic processes of living organisms for human usage. Their research typically contributes to agricultural or medical advancement (e.g. genetically modifying crops, developing new vaccines).

Chemistry Research Scientist

Chemistry Research Scientists study the chemical and physical properties of substances to determine their composition. They use this knowledge to aid development of new substances, products and scientific knowledge.

Computer Research Scientist

Computer Research Scientists study programming languages, and systematically develop algorithms and systems for the mechanical production, distribution, and storage of information and knowledge.

Earth Sciences Research Scientist

Earth Sciences Research Scientists blend physical geography and geology to understand Earth and the processes that have shaped its landscapes and environment. Their studies may involve areas such as oceanography, climatology, soil science and chemistry.

Earth Systems Research Scientist

Earth Systems Research Scientists blend physical geography, geology, oceanography, and climatology and soil science to acquire a quantitative understanding of how earth systems work. They focus on how Earth systems evolve and the environmental and human development impacts upon them.


Linguists study human language systems, focusing on the structure, acquisition and uses of language. Their research complements that of disciplines such as education, psychology, languages, media and communications, computer science and IT, science and law.

Marine Scientist

Marine Scientists study marine and estuarine environments. They focus on oceans and their inhabitants, the classification and description of marine organisms, and human impacts on the marine environment.

Photonics Research Scientist

Photonics Research Scientists utilise their knowledge of mathematics, physics and electrical engineering to study and develop technologies that utilise light in the transmission and storage of information.


Physicists employ classical and modern physics principles in their study of quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, optics, nuclear and atomic physics, and special relativity.

Psychology Research Scientist

Psychology Research Scientists study human behaviour and its causes. They investigate the structure and function of brain cells, the behaviour of people in social groups, the nature/nurture debate, and other issues continuing and expanding.

Personal Qualities

Research Scientists require an inquiring mind, aptitude for problem-solving, a logical, methodical approach and creative thinking ability. Skill in mathematics is usually important, as is a capacity for independent work and well developed communication skills to enable collaboration with others.

Entry Requirements

Research Scientists typically have postgraduate qualifications in a specialised field. Those without postgraduate qualifications may work in research and development roles in industry, but usually a PhD or Masters is preferred.