eg. science/medical research positions
whats it really?
Research at a university, in industry or a mix of both?
ok looks like i answered it by finding the definition of research:
e·search (rĭ-sûrch', rē'sûrch') pronunciation
1. Scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry. See synonyms at inquiry.
2. Close, careful study.
v., -searched, -search·ing, -search·es.
To engage in or perform research.
1. To study (something) thoroughly so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner: researching the effects of acid rain.
2. To do research for: research a magazine article.
woot thanks cya
Research (and development) i.e. R&D involve study of some system or some aspect of Nature in order to understand it.
In pure science, it's simply to understand Nature and the Universe, e.g. study of astronomy or cosmology in order to understand how the universe and its components work, or how it come into existence, or study the study of particle physics in order to better understand the universe at the smallest/tiniest level.
In applied science, one does research in hopes of developing/perfecting a product or process (i.e. humanity manipulates Nature) to accomplish some desired goal, such as a solution to a problem, or profiding a benefit to humanity, or simply obtaining profit, prestige, or a combination thereof.
Part of research is reading books and journals, which provide the background for the area in which one is doing research. Journals usually describe the theoretical or experimental (laboratory or field) work which has been already performed. Then one can use the results for one's own theoretical or experimental work. This is a method by which any scientist/engineer may contribute to state-of-the-art.
My official job title is "Research Scientist I" and I work in medicinal chemistry. This is basically what I do all day everyday.
Take A+B and react to get C. Test C via LC/MS. If C is present, isolate it via column chromatography. Take cleaned up C and get NMR and verify that it is desired product. Submit C for animal testing. Repeat.
Do they ever throw a D or E or a Q at you?
That'd be "Research Scientist II"
As to the original question, was that really all you were looking for, a dictionary definition of research?
One's perspective of research is likely to depend on what type of lab you work in, what sort of work environment (a lab at a university vs. a lab at a company), and what your role in the lab is.
What gravenewworld described is a lot of what technicians (also called research assistants, research scientists, etc.) do. They pretty much get good at a few techniques and just do that all day every day for everyone who needs that task done, and it's often a tedious job, which is why people hire them to do it. Definitely a necessary part of research though...a lot of it IS tedious.
On the other hand, if you're the principal investigator in a lab (or lab head, or professor), your role is less at the bench, and more of an intellectual contribution...you're the one who has to come up with the new ideas, and plan all the experiments, which is a lot more fun (or at least I think so). The "trainees" in a lab (grad students, post-docs, junior scientists) have a more intermediate role. They both have to learn to develop new ideas, which is done with a lot of help and guidance from the PI, and to do a lot of the tedious benchwork so they learn the techniques well enough to understand their appropriate applications and how they work and to oversee technicians doing that work (though it often starts out that the technicians are overseeing their work).
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