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Research and Development

Research and Development
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Interested in conducting groundbreaking scientific research with state-of-the-art scientific technology?

Research and Development (R & D) provides the foundation for advances in biotechnology. Biotech R & D Technicians take the first steps toward curing the world's deadliest diseases. They design state-of-the-art products and services to meet the needs of scientists in the worldwide biomedical research community. This dynamic career path offers opportunities in a variety of research fields, including DNA purification, protein expression and purification, fermentation, DNA amplification, DNA sequencing, and the development and operation of cutting edge robotic equipment.

"R & D" Job Examples

Woman Reviewing Lab Sheet

Laboratory Assistant/Technician
Laboratory Assistants, usually called Lab Assistants or Lab Techs are so key that it's difficult to imagine the work of experiments being done without them. These trained workers perform a wide variety of research laboratory tasks and experiments, from making detailed observations of the experimental process to analyzing data into information and interpreting the data. Lab Assistants and Techs may also write reports, summaries and study guides known as protocols. In addition, they often troubleshoot and calibrate lab instruments and equipment and can be experts in purchasing lab equipment and supplies.

An entry-level assistant position requires at a minimum an associate degree in science and some related experience, like an internship.

Lab Techs Confering

Research Assistants/Associates
These individuals are responsible for carrying out R & D with colleagues through detailed observations, data analysis, and interpretation of results from the experimental process. They may prepare experimental protocols, technical reports, and numerical analyses. A research associate usually concentrates on one area and becomes an expert in a single field of study. They may discover novel ideas, like inventions to be patented, and/or they may work alongside the principal scientist. The Senior Research Scientist oversees and directs their work.

An entry-level Research Assistant requires an associate degree. Many Research Assistants / Associates go on to complete a four year program and progress to a Research Associate. Senior Research Associates usually have progressed to masters and doctorate level degrees.


Senior Research Scientist
Usually found in academia or a biotech company's R&D area, a Senior Research Scientist directs research and development in a laboratory. This person focuses on a specialized area of interest, for example studying why cancer cells spread. She or he often writes up experiments, conducts research, interprets results, oversees Research Assistants and Associates, and writes scientific papers and publications. They frequently travel around the globe to present research findings at scientific meetings, where they explain and discuss research results.

This person usually has a Ph.D. in science.

Education and Training in Biotechnology

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