What are the Different Research Careers?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2020
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The range of different research careers available to you depends greatly on the field of study and the industry. For example, a Shakespearean research career is spent reviewing written material, historical context, and human behavior. A cancer research career is focused on exploring the effectiveness of the various treatment options and reducing the mortality rate due to cancer. Scientific research, research assistant, fundraising, and research publishing are a few of the main types of careers available in research.

Scientific research includes many different research careers. The deciding factor for this career is based on the area of expertise of the researcher. For example, a chemist who wants to explore a research career will need to complete a master's or doctoral program, receive research funding, and then be prepared to publish his or her work upon completion. This type of research career is highly stressful, with a great deal of pressure to perform, along with the understanding that the results of the research will be critiqued by colleagues.

A research assistant performs support services for the primary researcher. This may include locating appropriate reference materials that support or disagree with the researcher’s primary theory. They may also be responsible for documenting the researcher's work, reviewing test data, and managing the administrative aspects of research. Many research assistants are graduate students, who are working under the guidance of the researcher and gaining valuable work experience.


A growing number of research careers are related to fundraising activities. Professional fundraising requires a strategic plan, long-term campaign management, and a high degree of personal integrity. The vast majority of research is funded by nonprofit organizations. Applying for and receiving funding is a critical aspect of the research industry, and significant resources are dedicated to achieving this goal.

All formal research must be published in a recognized research or academic journal or magazine. The academic publishing industry exists simply to serve this need. A research career at a publishing house requires the contacts, dedication, and language skills required to publish a comprehensive, reputable journal. This type of research career appeals most to people with well-honed writing and research skills. Formal training as a research librarian or in a related field is very common.

The research industry is international and has expanded significantly over the past 10 years, as more agencies become involved in supporting research. There are several major information technology solutions centered on managing multiple research projects and funding agencies. These programs are designed for use by universities and other research institutes. Within these institutions, there are different research careers available for information technology staffs who work with the research system.


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