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Biological-Research Scientist


Biological and Research Scientists are involved in a variety of health related fields. They study reproduction, diseases, drugs, microorganisms, the environment, growth and development, and other aspects of living organisms in an effort to prolong life and prevent illness. Some of these scientists study illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and genetic diseases in order to understand their causes and prevent them from occurring. Others, however, perform research to determine the effect of food, drugs, nutrients, hormones, and other substances on the tissues and processes of living things.


Some specialties in this field include: Geneticist-study characteristics and inherited traits of humans and animals; Epidemiologist-study causes and spread of diseases among populations and ways to prevent or control diseases; Microbiologist-study bacteria and other microscopic organisms in order to prevent diseases; Immunologists-study ways in which humans and other organisms resist illnesses; Pharmacologist-analyzes the effects of drugs on human and animal tissue.


Research scientists must be highly proficient in mathematics and science and must also be skilled in a laboratory setting. These professionals usually have an advanced degree and often supervise a small staff of laboratory assistants and technicians. Patient interaction is usually very low but this job requires a high level of motivation and self-discipline.

Work Environment:


The majority of biological and research scientists work in a laboratory setting. They may be employed by pharmaceutical companies, chemical plants, research facilities, hospitals, government facilities, biomedical industries, or colleges & universities.

High School Preparation:


High school students interested in becoming a research scientist should concentrate on courses in biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, English, literature, physical education, computer skills, sociology, and health occupations/medical professions education.

College Requirements:


Individuals interested in a career in biological and research science must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty. Individuals with this level of education can only work in non-research positions. Anyone interested in conducting research must obtain a master’s degree and in most cases a doctoral degree is required to conduct advanced research. Only individuals with a Ph.D. can teach at the university level or advance to administrative positions.


Students interested in research science should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:


The career outlook for biological and research scientists is going to be excellent over the next decade with an expected growth of 10% - 20% in the job market. Doctoral degree holders will command the highest salary, but will face considerable competition for basic research positions as the federal government tightens its budget in many areas of medical research. Individuals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree will find excellent opportunities in non-research areas such as marketing, sales, and research management. Research scientists are also less likely to lose their jobs during recession than those in many other occupations because many are employed on long-term research projects.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range



Professional Organizations:


American Institute of Biological Sciences

1444 I St., NW,

Suite 200

Washington, DC 20005

Phone: (202) 628-1500

Fax: (202) 628-1509


American Physiology Society

9650 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, MD


Phone: (301) 634-7164


American College of Epidemiology

1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102

Raleigh, NC 27607

Phone: (919) 861-5573

Fax: (919) 787-4916




American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

9650 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, MD


Phone: (301) 634-7145
Fax: (301) 634-7126

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