Research Scientist Resume Example & Writing Guide

Create an effective research scientist resume using our resume example and expert writing tips. Learn what to include in each section: Summary, Skills, Work History, and Education. Discover how to highlight your top research skills and achievements. Use our advice to build a resume that impresses hiring managers and increases your chances of landing an interview.

A strong resume is very important for getting interviews and job offers as a research scientist. But it can be hard to know what to include and how to best highlight your education, skills and experience. Many research scientist resumes are too long, too technical, or fail to show the impact of your work.

This guide will teach you how to create a clear, concise and compelling research scientist resume that grabs the attention of employers. We'll explain the best format and sections to use, and show real-world examples of successful research scientist resumes. You'll also get tips on how to customize your resume for different positions and really make your accomplishments stand out.

By the end, you'll know exactly how to write a research scientist resume that effectively markets your credentials and increases your chances of landing your dream job. Let's get started!

Common Responsibilities Listed on Research Scientist Resumes

  • Conducting research and experiments to develop new products, processes, or technologies
  • Analyzing data and interpreting results to draw meaningful conclusions
  • Designing and implementing research methodologies and protocols
  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams, including engineers, product managers, and other scientists
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest scientific literature and advancements in the field
  • Presenting research findings at conferences, workshops, and internal meetings
  • Writing research papers, reports, and grant proposals to secure funding
  • Mentoring and supervising junior researchers, interns, and laboratory staff
  • Ensuring compliance with safety regulations and maintaining a safe laboratory environment
  • Participating in intellectual property activities, such as patent applications and technology transfers

How to write a Resume Summary

With the digital age upon us, sifting through piles of resumes and cover letters can be an arduous task for any recruiter. Given this, your resume's summary or objective section must create an immediate and powerful impact, effectively communicating your core competencies and driving the reader to explore further. Remember, this could be your one chance to capture the employer's attention, so it's absolutely essential to get this section right.

So, how do we go about it? Let's delve into it!

Understand the Purpose

Primarily, the summary/objective section operates as a snapshot of who you are and what you bring to the table. It succinctly elucidates your capabilities and highlights your potential value to the employer. This is where you convey your expertise, experiences, skill sets, and accomplishments in an organized and concise manner. Essentially, it's the 'elevator pitch' of your resume.

Please note, the summary tends to be perfect if you have noteworthy experience under your belt. On the other hand, an objective statement typically serves those changing careers or fresh graduates better, as it describes their career goals and the reasons behind applying for the role in question.

Tailor it to the Job

Each employer and role will have a unique set of requirements. Demonstrating your understanding of these needs and aligning your summary/objective section accordingly can significantly increase your chances of progressing within the application process. Ensure to incorporate keywords used within the job posting, as well as industry-specific terms, showcasing your acquaintance with the professional language in your area of expertise as a Research Scientist.

Highlight Achievements and Skills

Remember, this section is not for narrating your career history or replicating what's in your resume. It's your opportunity to spotlight your proudest achievements, distinct skills, or essential contributions in previous roles. Be sure to discuss these accomplishments honestly and quantifiably, considering their potential relevance to the role you're applying for.

Clarity and Brevity

'Less is More’ - that is the fundamental principle to abide by here. While presenting your qualifications or career aspirations, ensure your language is clear, focused, and easy to read. Stick to actionable and direct statements that convey your message in the simplest way.

Maintain a Professional Tone

The tone of your resume's summary/objective section should speak of you as a serious, respectful professional. Keep the language formal and refrain from using jargon or flowery words. The attempt is to make the reader take you seriously by the professionalism evident in your resume.

Bear in mind all these tips while writing the summary/objective portion of your resume. Even though you might feel the pull to explain every detail of your career, remember to scrutinise and prioritize which aspects of your professional persona should be immediately visible. After all, you want to draw the employer's attention towards your qualifications and potential, making the connection between these elements and the job at hand clearly visible. So, invest the time and effort this section deserves and upfront your best professional self!

Strong Summaries

  • Detail-oriented Research Scientist with a PhD in Biochemistry and over 5 years experience in high-level research environments. Expert at designing and developing site-directed mutants and adept in all areas of research, including data analysis, experiment design, and technical report writing.
  • Experienced Research Scientist in the field of Physics with extensive knowledge in Quantum Mechanics. Published over 10 studies, consistently known for precise, accurate, and rigorous work.
  • Pharmaceutical Research Scientist with over 10 years of experience in both academia and industry settings. Proven track record of developing innovative solutions for complex problems. Has multiple patent awards on new drug development.
  • Creative and tenacious Research Scientist with a speciality in Environmental Science. Highly experienced in climate modeling and biogeographical research. Successfully published several papers in renowned scientific journals.
  • Exceptionally organized Neuroscience Research Scientist with a passion for neural networks and cognitive function. Skilled in both lab work and field studies, guiding several graduate students and managing multi-disciplinary projects.

Why these are strong?

These examples are good because they present the individuals as highly specialized, experienced, and accomplished within their respective scientific fields. They focus on showcasing expertise, specific achievements, published works, and length and type of experience. Having such information in a resume's summary helps in determining the candidate's suitability for the job. These summaries mention relevant skills and the possession of necessary qualifications, which are key requirements in research-based roles. They also bring individuality to each candidate by mentioning specialized areas of research, thereby making the summaries more engaging for the reader.

Weak Summaries

  • I've been into science since high school and have a degree in it. I've also been in science research. Hobbies include watching sci-fi movies and reading science books.
  • A Research Scientist with extensive knowledge in the field. Have a degree and have conducted many researches.
  • I am a diligent Research Scientist with a good eye for detail. My skills include data analysis and scientific research. Seeking a career that highlights my skills and experiences.

Why these are weak?

The first example is bad due to the lack of specificity and factual information. It does not mention the field of study, the kind of researches conducted, or the accomplishments, making it quite vague and less appealing. It also unnecessarily mentions personal hobbies, which is irrelevant for a professional resume. The second example, while it mentions a 'degree' and 'many researches', it fails to specify what those are leaving the reader with no specific details. The third example mixes in personal traits (diligence, good eye for detail) along with skills (data analysis, scientific research) but fails to provide details on past experiences or achievements. Overall, these are bad practices since the summary in the resume needs to grab attention, selling you as the best choice for the job, and therefore should be factual, specific, and detail-oriented.

Showcase your Work Experience

The cornerstone of any impressive resume and potentially the stepping stone to your next career advancement, a well-detailed work experience section, is deserving of your time and attention. As a Research Scientist—a profession imbued with investigation, innovation, and continuous learning—your work experience section presents an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate your practical skills, past accomplishments and ongoing professional development.

Defining the Purpose of the Work Experience Section

In essence, the work experience portion of a resume is the platform where a professional can narrate their in-field journey. It is tailored as per the role or roles they've filled, each listed role elucidating specific responsibilities and attained milestones. For Research Scientists, the work experience tells a tale of professional endeavors, experiments undertaken, and their contributions to the scientific world.

If done appropriately, this concise summary of professional milestones not only underscores applicable skills but also testifies to a trajectory of growth and progress, affirming the candidate's potential for future endeavors.

Expert Tip

Quantify your achievements and impact in each role using specific metrics, percentages, and dollar amounts to provide concrete evidence of your value and make your work experience section stand out to potential employers.

What to Include in the Work Experience Section

As a Research Scientist, your resume should ideally spotlight:

  • Roles and Responsibilities: In reverse chronological order, list down the roles you've held, highlighting your responsibilities in each. Do this using active verbs and straightforward language.

  • Results and Achievements: Tangible achievements provide concrete testimony to your skills and abilities, effectively answering the all-important question, "What value do you bring?"

  • Techniques and Tools: Mention technical skills you have mastered or instruments you have used during your work. It exhibits your readiness to take on practical tasks.

  • Project Involvement: Research Scientists frequently work in a project-centric atmosphere. Enumerate the projects you were a part of or led and describe your contributions therein.

  • External Collaborations, Grants and Publications: These provide evidence of your ability to work in team-based environments, compete for scarce resources or communicate effectively with wide audiences.

Remember, less is more when it comes to conveying your professional history. It's all about relevance and focus; what you exclude can be as important as what you include.

Tips to Improve Your Work Experience Section

Precision and clarity are essential when presenting the work experience. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use Action Words and Quantify Results: Starting your descriptions with action verbs like 'administered,' 'conducted,' 'developed', 'supervised', or 'accomplished' keeps the reader engaged and provides a clear picture of your responsibilities. Additionally, wherever possible, quantify your achievements—a 20% increase in efficiency, perhaps, or securing a six-figure grant.

  2. Tailor to the Job Description: Consciously align the information in your work experience with the needs and expectations outlined in the job description. This increases the chances for your resume to pass both a quick scan and a closer reading.

  3. Prioritize readability: Avoid industry jargon and use simple language. Break longer lists into bullet points to ensure readability.

  4. Proofread: While this applies to the entire resume, it is especially pertinent to the work experience section, where typographical errors can potentially misrepresent your professional trajectory or achievements.

In sum, your work experience section holds significant weight in your resume. Approach it thoughtfully, keenly highlight your past roles, proudly present your achievements, and tell a riveting tale of your professional journey as a Research Scientist, maintaining precision, relevance, and readability throughout.

Strong Experiences

  • Successfully published ten research papers in top-tier scientific journals, enhancing the credibility and reputation of the institution
  • Participated in collaborative research with a team of 5 scientists, leading to groundbreaking findings in geneticoma
  • Conducted extensive research and experiments on cellular biology, resulting in a significant understanding of cell mechanics
  • Managed the lab budget effectively, reducing costs by 20% while maintaining quality of research
  • Initiated and implemented new research methodology that increased lab efficiency by 30%
  • Spearheaded a project investigating climate change impacts on marine biodiversity which won the 'Best Environmental Project' award at the national level

Why these are strong?

These examples all indicate specific, achievable outcomes that the scientist has achieved in their role. They detail the tasks undertaken and the impact of the work, showing that the scientist is not only a good researcher, but also a good team member and project leader. This is good practice as it provides a comprehensive overview of the scientist's capabilities and achievements.

Weak Experiences

  • Researched stuff
  • Did experiments
  • Played with chemicals a lot
  • Used a microscope often
  • Attended meetings
  • Worked in a lab
  • Read scientific articles

Why these are weak?

These examples are vague and fail to provide any context or detail about what specific responsibilities the job entailed or what skills were used or developed. They do not give an employer a clear idea of what the candidate's strengths, competibilities, or achievements are. 'Researched stuff' and 'Did experiments' do not specify what problems were addressed or what discoveries or improvements were made. 'Played with chemicals a lot' and 'Used microscope often' sound unprofessional and do not instil confidence about the candidate's technical skills or safety practices. 'Attended meetings' does not tell what role the candidate played in the meetings, what topics they contributed to, or how they influenced outcomes. 'Worked in a lab' is too general and does not distinguish the candidate from any other scientist. 'Read scientific articles' does not demonstrate active contribution to scientific progress or deep understanding of specific topics. Therefore, these bullet points would be a bad practice.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

Putting together a well-rounded Research Scientist resume requires a mix of hard and soft skills. These two skill types can determine whether or not you get called in for an interview. You need keywords related to these skills in your resume to rank high in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

The Importance of Hard and Soft Skills in Your Resume

Hard skills are the technical abilities you need to perform your job. In the case of a Research Scientist, these can be things like knowledge in biochemistry, data analysis, or experimental design. These skills are highly valuable as they show your capability to do the job.

On the other hand, soft skills are the personal attributes that allow you to interact effectively with other people. Examples of these might be teamwork, communication, or adaptability. These are important because while you may have all the technical skills, employers also want to know that you can fit well within their team and culture.

The Connection between Keywords, ATS and Skills

Keywords play a critical role in today's job search process. They are the words or phrases that employers use to search for potential candidates in an applicant tracking system (ATS), a software that companies use to sort and manage resumes.

If your resume doesn't have these keywords, your application may be overlooked. This could happen even if you have all the required hard and soft skills, simply because the ATS might not recognize them. Keywords usually match the specific hard and soft skills required for the job.

In summary, including both hard and soft skills in your resume creates a comprehensive profile of your abilities as a Research Scientist. To ensure your resume isn't missed by the ATS, it's essential to include keywords that match these skills.

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Data Analysis
  • Statistical Software
  • Laboratory Techniques
  • Experiment Design
  • Scientific Writing
  • Technical Report Writing
  • Data Visualization
  • Computer Science
  • Programming
  • Qualitative & Quantitative Research
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Python
  • R
  • SQL
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Statistical Modeling
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Soft Skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Attention to Detail
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Organization
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Patience
  • Independence
  • Decision Making
  • Integrity
  • Resilience
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Empathy
  • Top Action Verbs

    Use action verbs to highlight achievements and responsibilities on your resume.

  • Analyzed
  • Developed
  • Evaluated
  • Designed
  • Explored
  • Managed
  • Implemented
  • Identified
  • Presented
  • Conducted
  • Innovated
  • Collaborated
  • Interpreted
  • Published
  • Documented
  • Integrated
  • Optimized
  • Calculated
  • Verified
  • Synthesized
  • Coordinated
  • Communicated
  • Organized
  • Instructed
  • Investigated
  • Researched
  • Tested
  • Measured
  • Proved
  • Solved
  • Compared
  • Validated
  • Utilized
  • Computed
  • Discovered
  • Theorized
  • Modeled
  • Quantified
  • Evaluated
  • Improved
  • Education

    Adding your education and certificates to your resume is a vital step that showcases your qualifications. To do this, create a specific section titled 'Education' or 'Credentials'. Here, list each degree or certificate along with the institution, completion date, and any honors received. For a Research Scientist, this often includes a Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D. in a science-related field and specific certifications relevant to your specialism. Ensure these details align with the type of role you're applying for. This positioning is key to enhancing your credibility with potential employers.

    Resume FAQs for Research Scientists


    What is the ideal format and length for a research scientist resume?


    A research scientist resume should typically be 1-2 pages long, depending on your level of experience. Use a clear, professional font and a reverse-chronological format, highlighting your most recent and relevant experience first. Ensure that your resume is well-organized and easy to read.


    What are the most important sections to include in a research scientist resume?


    The most critical sections for a research scientist resume include a summary or objective statement, research experience, publications, grants and awards, technical skills, and professional affiliations. Focus on showcasing your research accomplishments, scientific expertise, and relevant skills.


    How can I effectively highlight my research experience on my resume?


    When describing your research experience, use bullet points to concisely outline your roles, responsibilities, and achievements. Quantify your results whenever possible, such as the number of publications, grants secured, or projects completed. Use action verbs to describe your contributions and emphasize the impact of your work.


    Should I include a list of my publications on my research scientist resume?


    Yes, including a list of your publications is crucial for a research scientist resume. Select the most relevant and impactful publications, and format them using a standard citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago). If you have numerous publications, consider creating a separate section for them or providing a link to your full publication list.


    How can I tailor my research scientist resume for a specific job application?


    To tailor your resume, carefully review the job description and identify the key skills, experience, and qualifications the employer is seeking. Highlight the most relevant aspects of your background that match these requirements, and use similar language and keywords from the job description throughout your resume. Additionally, consider including a targeted objective statement that aligns with the specific position and organization.

    Research Scientist Resume Example

    A research scientist plans and conducts complex experiments, analyzes results, and uses findings to develop new products, materials, or processes. They collaborate with cross-functional teams, write technical reports, and stay current with the latest innovations in their field. When crafting your resume, highlight your educational qualifications, specialized technical skills, and research experience. Quantify achievements like publications, patents, or funding secured. Emphasize your scientific expertise through tailored accomplishment statements. Use clear yet engaging language to make your unique value proposition shine.

    Ana Garcia
    (645) 938-0153
    Research Scientist

    Driven and accomplished Research Scientist with a proven track record of delivering groundbreaking insights and solutions across various domains. Passionate about leveraging cutting-edge technologies and data-driven approaches to tackle complex research challenges. Adept at collaborating with cross-functional teams and translating findings into actionable strategies that drive innovation and business growth.

    Work Experience
    Senior Research Scientist
    01/2020 - Present
    • Led a team of 5 researchers in developing novel drug discovery methods, resulting in the identification of 3 promising lead compounds currently in pre-clinical trials.
    • Designed and implemented a machine learning pipeline that improved the accuracy of disease prediction models by 25%, accelerating the drug development process.
    • Collaborated with cross-functional teams to establish best practices for data management and analysis, enhancing research efficiency and reproducibility.
    • Presented findings at international conferences and published 4 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals, garnering over 100 citations.
    • Mentored junior researchers and fostered a culture of continuous learning and innovation within the team.
    Research Scientist
    06/2017 - 12/2019
    • Conducted independent research on neurological disorders, focusing on the identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
    • Developed and optimized assays for high-throughput screening of small molecule libraries, leading to the discovery of 2 new compounds with neuroprotective properties.
    • Collaborated with bioinformatics teams to integrate multi-omics data and generate predictive models for disease progression and treatment response.
    • Contributed to the preparation of grant proposals and secured $500K in funding for research projects.
    • Supervised and mentored undergraduate interns, providing guidance on experimental design and data analysis.
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    09/2015 - 05/2017
    Harvard University
    • Conducted postdoctoral research in the field of systems biology, investigating the regulatory networks underlying cellular differentiation and reprogramming.
    • Developed a novel single-cell sequencing protocol that improved the resolution and throughput of gene expression analysis, enabling the identification of rare cell populations.
    • Collaborated with computational biologists to develop algorithms for data integration and network inference, resulting in the discovery of key transcriptional regulators.
    • Presented findings at departmental seminars and national conferences, and published 2 first-author papers in top-tier journals.
    • Mentored graduate students and served on thesis committees, providing guidance on research projects and career development.
  • Molecular biology
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Data analysis
  • Machine learning
  • Statistical modeling
  • Experimental design
  • Assay development
  • High-throughput screening
  • Scientific writing
  • Grant writing
  • Project management
  • Team leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Education
    Ph.D. in Molecular Biology
    09/2010 - 08/2015
    Stanford University, Stanford, CA
    B.S. in Biology
    09/2006 - 06/2010
    University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA