What does a Research Biologist do?

Learn all about Research Biologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Research Biologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A research biologist is a scientist who studies living organisms in order to understand how they work and how they interact with their environment. They use their knowledge to develop new ways to improve the health of humans, animals, and plants.

Research Biologist job duties include:

  • Design and conduct experiments to study the function of genes
  • Develop new methods to study genes and their functions
  • Use computers to store and analyze data
  • Collaborate with other scientists to share data and ideas
  • Write scientific papers to communicate results
  • Teach undergraduate and graduate students
  • Supervise research assistants and technicians
  • Apply for grants to fund research projects
  • Attend scientific conferences to present results

Research Biologist Job Requirements

A research biologist studies plant, animal, and human cells to better understand how they function. In order to become a research biologist, one must earn a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field. Many research biologists also have a master’s degree or doctorate. Certification is not required, but many research biologists choose to become certified through the American Board of Biological Sciences. Experience is also not required, but many research biologists have several years of experience working in a laboratory setting.

Research Biologist Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Observational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Writing skills
  • Computer skills
  • Biological knowledge
  • Chemistry knowledge
  • Math skills

Related: Top Research Biologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Research Biologist

There is no one path to becoming a research biologist, but there are some common steps that many people take. First, it is important to get a solid foundation in the basic sciences, including biology, chemistry, and physics. Many research biologists have a bachelor's degree or higher in one of these disciplines. It is also important to develop strong research and writing skills. Many research biologists gain experience by working as interns or research assistants in laboratories while they are still in school.

After completing their education, many research biologists begin their careers working in government or private sector laboratories. They may work on projects related to human health, environmental science, or other areas of interest. In order to advance their careers, research biologists need to publish their findings in scientific journals and present their work at conferences. Some research biologists also teach at universities or colleges.

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