Researcher Job Description

Researchers seek out information for various purposes. Researchers may be employed in a wide range of industries and their skills may be used for different and varying projects. Some may conduct market research, financial research, medical research, scientific research, public policy research or any other type of research that requires one to investigate data from various sources like published research, internet searches, journals and newspapers.

Researchers may be hired temporarily for specific projects or they may be full-time employees for organizations requiring ongoing research services. They largely work independently gathering and interpreting data. On large projects they may work with a team of fellow researchers, but in general it is a solo operation.

 

Researcher Duties and Responsibilities 

The type of organization or projects a Researcher works for will greatly determine their duties and responsibilities. There are, however, a couple primary duties all Researchers can expect to perform. A review of current job listings identified the following main responsibilities.

Conduct Research

As evident by their title, Researchers main duty is to research. Using various methodologies and sources, Researchers must be able to obtain recent and relevant data for the employers. The way they go about this will differ depending on the industry they work for and the type of Researcher they are. Medical and scientific Researchers will often create and administer experiments to obtain data, while a market Researcher will look at sales trends and numbers. Most Researchers utilize the Internet to conduct some research, while others seek out peer-reviewed essays and articles. Researchers may interview subjects, scan databases, or locate rare texts to get the information they seek. The methods abound and most Researchers will use a variety of them throughout the course of their career.

Interpret Data

Locating information is just the first half of the Researcher’s job. Once they find the data they sought, it must still be analyzed or interpreted. Researchers spend a great deal of their time making sense of the data they have collected and finding ways to represent their finds. For some this may result in a scientific paper, for others it may take the form of a presentation for management or a report. The job will specify how a Researcher is to share the information, but all Researchers are tasked with this in some form or another.

 

Researcher Skills

Researchers must be self-driven individuals with a knack for investigative work. They must be highly detailed oriented and very well organized with the ability to communicate well in writing and verbally. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Researchers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Researcher, focus on the following.

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, including Word and Excel
  • Knowledge of research methodologies and techniques
  • Project management experience
  • Analysis experience

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your repertoire of skills and broaden your career options.

  • Previous experience in the industry applying to work in
  • Experience with database systems

 

Researcher Resources

There are more resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Researcher. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web

International Journal for Researcher Development – This journal was founded in 2008 by Cambridge University and is the first and only publication dedicated to the scholarship of Researcher development.

Research World Magazine – This magazine is offered by the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR) and offers its readers the latest information on market research strategies and practices.

Researcher Books

Mastering Online Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Effective and Efficient Search Strategies  – Author and Researcher, Maura D. Shaw provides insights into the best strategies and practices to finding information on the Internet.

The Oxford Guide to Library Research – A must have for any Researcher, this book is full of the best databases, print resources and practices for conducting research at libraries.

Industry Groups

Council of American Survey Research Organizations – CASRO was founded in 1975 and currently represents over 300 market research companies and operations. They provide workshops, conferences, legal advice, and other resources to their members.

Marketing Research Association – Established in 1957, MRA is the leading association for marketing research professionals. Their membership include members with ample educational opportunities, networking socials, and the latest news and research in the field.

American Educational Research Association – AERA was founded in 1916 and is dedicated to improving education by supporting and encouraging research and evaluation of education and educational systems.

Association of Internet Researchers – AOIR is dedicated to the advancement of the field of Internet studies. They provide free mailings, annual conferences, and information on the latest research in the field of Internet Research.

 

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