The job of a Research Scientist in the field of Mathematics

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If you can juggle with numbers, complicated theorems and have excellent quantitative skills, then this field is surely a good career option. The job of a research Mathematician is expansive and covers quite a few aspects. Their aim is to develop complex theorems, and a mathematical model to explain business trends for commercial specifications. A research mathematician can be hired in researching jobs, in either industrial or academic areas, where mathematics is applied in order to understand such issues as commercial trends or social network development. The employers include government departments, research councils and universities. Generally the research is sponsored by Government or by companies. A mathematical research scientist has the following employment opportunities:

  • Government research officer
  • University /college Lecturer
  • Open private tutorials
  • Statistician
  • Hired by finance related companies to develop business models
  • Investment Analyst
Job Responsibilities

As math is the backbone of various other scientific as well as financial fields, it is natural to collaborate with other scientists. The mathematician is expected to operate complicated mathematical software like Matlab, Mathcad etc. They are also required to attend and participate in scientific conferences at national and international levels. They need to keep themselves updated with mathematical developments as they need to write report and journals on their research activities and send it to their seniors and employers. Contributing to the academic field is the most obvious choice for a research scientist. They can give lectures at colleges, open tutorials, and also become guides for aspirant P.G or PhD students, and help them in their thesis.

Required Qualifications

Students with mathematics and physics background are surely preferred. An honors degree is inevitable to qualify for the job of a math research scientist. A post graduate student does have an upper hand and higher chance of acquiring the job, but that doesn't mean that graduates hold no chance, because they can register for a higher degree even while working. People who apply for this job should understand and use technical communication skills subjected to this field. Candidates who are looking for an affluent career as a math research scientist should have the following understanding and traits:
  • Ability to use and understand technical terms subjected to this field
  • Quick decision making
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Perseverance and patience for developing research projects
  • Creative approach to analyze and solve problems
Training provided and Experience Required

A post graduate holder is regarded as a trainer in this field. A PhD with four years' experience surely holds a good chance and can negotiate a good salary. Generally the research is funded by universities, and various workshops are organized by professional bodies like the Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical science or the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS).

The researcher must try to attend as many workshops or summits related to his field, as this is appreciated by the employer and also will enhance your resume. Postdoctoral training is becoming widely available. The modern trend is that the companies' themselves run their internal training programs. It helps if the research mathematician engages in research previously. Basically, you don't need prior experience since most of the work is done by former education.

Employment Outlook

The average salary of a research mathematician can range from $23,000 - $75,000. At very senior levels, the salary can be even higher. Big multinational companies pay well, but there can be extra working hours. These are high pressure jobs and have strict deadlines. The availability of jobs in this field is wide, ranging from universities, to corporate offices, to government organization.

Career Prospects

Like any other field, even here the researcher starts at the elementary level before climbing the success ladder. They are required to perform in a managerial role for at least ten to fifteen years after graduation. Then they manage the work of different mathematicians before becoming technical directors or project managers.

For career growth, the research scientist should follow up his PhD with a post doctoral contact with an established scientist with whom they wish to work. The funds for post doctoral fellowship can be provided by bodies like the European Union (EU). These organizations also give prestigious prizes and felicitate research activities. The awards are extremely competitive and the research is measured on the basis of quantity, quality and originality of the research papers published. The presentation or appreciation of research is also a good career achievement. Some, of the prestigious awards like the Abel prize are presented annually. The Fields Medal is another award which is given every four years to a researcher under the age of 40.

One can also venture into full time teaching jobs, lecturing at universities, or even get hired by professional companies to analyze data and develop a business model.
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