Molding Your Career as a Biological Scientist

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The study of living organisms and their relationships to their environment is the work of any biological scientist. They also research problems related to life processes and living organisms. The area of most favored specialization is zoology and microbiology.

Many scientists prefer to work in the research and development sector. Others may choose to conduct intense researches to gain knowledge of organisms like bacteria, viruses, and those infectious diseases that may be fatal to human beings. These researches are crucial and provide immense information about these germs, which are needed to solve human health related issues and also to protect the environment.

Being a scientist, you would normally work in various governmental and non-governmental organizations, universities, colleges where they often explore new areas and sometimes may continue to advance the knowledge on some already explored area. Independent researchers generally submit grant proposals to obtain funds so as to continue their research work. Various universities and colleges, government and private organizations or any national foundations can provide grants if they find the research proposals to carry considerable potential for further development and if funding is possible.

Those biological scientists, who work in applied fields like research and development, use their knowledge of basic research and develop various drugs, better treatments, new medical diagnosis tests; invent new machinery; develop new technology; increase crop yields; design better methods to reduce environmental pollution; and also devise better ways of using our natural resources. They have lesser freedom and autonomy as they are bound to an organization. They are expected to fill the goals of their company. Nevertheless, they can use their knowledge and explore a wider field.

A scientist of the applied field may be required to explain the research plans to people who are non-scientists and who are in a position to proscribe or accept their ideas. Hence, the monetary factor of the project should also be considered when developing their ideas. The impact of the idea on the business of the organization is also to be considered by them. Biological scientists generally work as a team; often interacting with engineers, researchers of other disciplines, or with people who have administrative powers. Some may also interact with customers or suppliers to understand their needs and manage the budget.

Usually biological scientists conducting research work in laboratories with complex instruments like electron microscopes, computers, thermal cyclers and many more complex types of equipment. Several experiments are conducted using animals and plants. Zoologists, botanists and physiologists also conduct these experiments. Sometimes, outdoor researches may also be required to be performed. To cite a few examples, a zoologist may wish to know the living style of the tigers in the forest.

The income of a scientist is pretty good. Those who are bound to an organization are given a fixed salary which is much above the average. Also independent researchers can earn money from various organizations in the form of grants, or by selling their ideas. After spending some time on research work, a biological scientist may also work in managerial or administrative positions. Their work then becomes administering and testing the drugs, or directing the activities of some onsite research work.
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