Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Research Scientist


Research Scientists study diseases, drugs, microorganisms, the environment, and other areas related to human health in an effort to prolong life by helping to prevent and cure illnesses. They conduct research to determine the action of foods, drugs, hormones, nutrients, and other substances on the tissues and processes of living things. They often develop new vaccines and treatments to combat disease, as well as develop new tests to detect diseases and other abnormalities that affect human health.


Research scientists may specialize in a variety of different areas such as anatomy, bacteriology, biochemistry, biophysics, biostatistics, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology, physics, or virology.


Research scientists may work alone or as part of a team that may include several laboratory assistants. They are sometimes called upon to develop and build new laboratory instruments, space vehicles, or underwater equipment that will assist them in their research. They usually conclude their research by writing detailed reports and scientific papers that are submitted to professional journals for publication. Individuals interested in this profession should have a high aptitude for math and science, as well as have a high level of motivation and an inquisitive mind.

Work Environment:


The majority of research scientists work in a laboratory setting. They are usually employed by hospitals, the government, colleges and universities, and commercial laboratories. Even though they work with chemicals, plants, animals, and microorganisms that can cause disease and illness, the work is usually not dangerous if safety procedures are followed.

High School Preparation:


Students interested in research science should concentrate on high school courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, English, literature, computer skills, and health occupations/medical professions education.

College Requirements:


Individuals interested in becoming a research scientist must have at least a master’s degree in a scientific field. However, advanced degrees are usually required for most employment opportunities. A doctoral degree is required for anyone conducting advanced research and to advance to many management and administrative jobs.


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 research scientists is going to be excellent over the next decade with an expected growth of over 35% 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 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:


Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

9650 Rockville Pike

Bethesda, MD 20814

Phone: (301) 634-7000


National Academy of Sciences National Research Council

2101 Constitution

Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20418

Phone: (202) 334-2000



American Institute of Biological Sciences

1444 I St., NW,

Suite 200

Washington, DC 20005

Phone: (202) 628-1500

Fax: (202) 628-1509

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