What is a Researcher?
Animal scientists as researchers play a significant role in the advancement of:
- biomedical technologies
- disease control
- animal production
- both human and animal health
Being a researcher can mean a lot of different things. There are many different areas of expertise in the animal research world:
- breeding and reproduction
- health maintenance
- disease control
- efficient housing and management
- food processing
As a researcher you could work with laboratory animals in a research facility looking at the effects of various vaccines and drugs, or testing feeds and supplements for a feed company. Some researchers study animal behavior in hopes to find more efficient ways to manage captive animals. Some animal researchers work with transgenic animals making significant advances in the realm of human health.
Being an animal researcher can mean many different things. It is important to realize the range of the choices available to you.
How do I become a Researcher?
To become an animal researcher you will need to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, animal science or a related field. Researchers must be strong in the sciences. No matter what area of specialization you decide to work in, it is necessary to gain a general knowledge base of the core sciences, such as biology and chemistry.
Additionally, a general understanding of statistics is crucial – you must be able to understand and analyze the results of your research. Students interested in becoming researchers should have writing and communication skills so that they can publish their findings and educate the community about what they have discovered. You can become a research associate with a bachelor’s degree.
With more schooling comes more opportunities. Many researchers go on to obtain a master or doctoral degree in their area of interest. By earning a graduate degree you become more specialized in your area thus expanding the research that you can become involved in.
Often times research projects are group collaborations that bring together individuals from different backgrounds. This serves to create a research team that brings together different areas of expertise, analytic capabilities and approaches to the research problem.
Where can I find information about Researchers?
Often times notices regarding employment opportunities in the research field are sent to specific departments at most universities and colleges. Your department may have a bulletin board that highlights job openings and internships that are available in the research field. Looking at the various departments in universities across the country can help you identify opportunities to further your education in your particular area of interest.
Professors are often looking for research assistants or prospective doctoral candidates. Contact researchers in your field of interest and begin to make connections as it may help you find a job when you have finished with your undergraduate education.
If you are interested in working for the government the United States Department of Agriculture has a website that you can navigate through to find job openings in a subdivision that you find interesting.
You can search the American Society of Animal Science for potential job openings.
Will I enjoy being a Researcher?