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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Research Specialist Senior

Research Specialist Senior Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Performs a combination of skilled and highly skilled procedures or analyses involving complex methods or a complex series of steps. Incumbents have responsibility for overseeing or conducting critical parts of research projects such as complex statistical analyses or laboratory procedures carried out with materials which may require constant monitoring for difficult to observe changes which often involves the assay, measurement or manipulation of very small samples whose presence is not readily detected. Incumbents may also perform the day-to-day supervision and coordination of a research group, taking charge of the execution of a research project.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is sixth in a series of seven classifications and is distinguished from the Research Specialist in that incumbents contribute original ideas to the research project, plan and design research projects, write research proposals and co-author or author papers and manuscripts for publication. Incumbents typically supervise and coordinate a research staff. Incumbents may be assigned to one of various types of research areas such as social or physical sciences or other specialized research fields. Incumbents may be required to travel to remote locations to perform research experiments and may be required to work with potentially hazardous materials such as toxic chemicals, radiation and/or disease causing organisms.

Examples of Duties:

  • Supervises, trains, evaluates and coordinates the activities of subordinates.
  • Directs, monitors and participates in research activities including data collection, evaluation and analysis for a research project.
  • Conducts complex research work and independently reviews professional literature to design appropriate research methodologies, techniques and procedures.
  • Assists faculty researchers, or may act independently, in the planning and designing of research projects, establishing priorities and recommending schedules, time tables and costs.
  • Assists faculty researchers, or may act independently, in the preparation and writing of research proposals for new funding sources.
  • Co-authors or authors research papers and manuscripts for publication and presents them at conferences and workshops.
  • Creates, fabricates, operates, maintains, repairs and trains others in the operation of research support equipment for the development of research data.
  • Coordinates and/or performs computerized data reduction and analyses including complex statistical computations; prepares and/or generates final statistical reports using a computer and independently interprets research data.
  • Performs complex statistical analyses which includes selecting appropriate analysis procedure, setting up data for analysis, judging validity and reliability of data, designing and writing programs to perform the analyses and producing written reports on the result of the analysis.
  • Performs administrative functions such as procurement of laboratory space, supplies and equipment; prioritizes and coordinates the use of laboratory space and equipment.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of supervisory practices and principles.
  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of the subject discipline.
  • Knowledge of modern research methods, data collection and analysis and skill in their application.
  • Skill in leading, coordinating and/or supervising the work of others.
  • Skill in both verbal and written communication.
  • Skill in analyzing and evaluating data.

Minimum Qualifications:

Master's degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment AND two years related research experience, which includes one year supervisory experience; OR, Bachelor's degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment AND four years related research experience, which includes one year supervisory experience; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.


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