The Perks of Being a Research Scientist

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Are you thinking about a career in research? Have you got questions you want answered? Get real advice from real researchers here.

While research can be a tough slog, there are actually a lot of upsides that maybe don’t get the attention that they deserve. While you may spend countless hours in the lab facing bad result after bad result, or have your manuscript rejected more times than you’d like to admit, the perks of being a research scientist can often outweigh these negatives.

If you are considering a career in research, don’t be put off by the negative things that people say. Instead, consider this list of awesome perks of being a research scientist.

Travel Opportunities

Easily the best perk of being a research scientist is the opportunity to travel. Science requires dissemination of your research, which means you will be attending conferences, project meetings and workshops all around the globe. The best part of this is that your project will be funded in a way that allows for travel costs to be taken care of. Fancy visiting the Swiss Alps? Just find a conference in that location that you can present your research at and away you go!

Flexibility

No one likes the 9-5 grind. As a scientific researcher, you will find far more flexibility in your job than with a routine office job. Science often requires strange hours (I have actually gone into the lab at 2am for an hour to collect the media from a culture before!), including weekends. However, this is offset by the fact that you can compensate by having some of your weekdays free. Who wouldn’t want that?

Networking

Working in science requires a huge focus on networking. Every single person you come into contact with throughout your career is an opportunity. You will find a point in your career where you want to further your knowledge, so having a network of contacts available to you means that you can pursue leads that can help you to get to where you want to be.

Socialization

Despite what you may think, scientists like to party. Given how frustrating and stressful the job can be, you will find that scientists can be a very social bunch. From conference dinners to cheery after work drinks, there are many opportunities to let loose and get to know your coworkers. So if the long hours are getting you down, just know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel come the weekend.

If you have been thinking about a career in scientific research, you have undoubtedly had negative advice from those already working in the field. However, by focusing on the perks, you will see that there are many aspects to this career that can help keep the balance.