Science Research

Meet Your Industry Advisor

Rachel Melton Stockdale, Industry Advisor

While many have a desire to be a part of cutting edge research, some often worry that research will consist only of isolating, individualized work in a dark lab. The reality is a significant amount of teamwork and interaction is involved in conducting research.

Researchers may work in a variety of lab settings. Most in this industry work in offices or laboratories, and the location and hours of work vary greatly depending on the requirements of each project. Experiments may run at odd hours, require constant observation, or depend on external conditions such as the weather. In some fields, research or testing must be done in harsh environments to ensure the usefulness of the final product. 

How to Get Started

6 steps to get you started in science research

  1. Pick a major in the College of Science or School of Integrative Studies related to the area of research you are most interested in.
  2. Take classes that have laboratory components so you can learn how to set up, operate, and maintain laboratory equipment, and also be able to conduct experiments while following necessary safety protocols.
  3. Keep track of all the tools and procedures you have used and list them on your resume under a “Technical Skills” section.
  4. Seek out research experiences with professors through programs like the Students as Scholars Program (OSCAR) or at one of Mason's Research Centers.
  5. Learn as much about grant writing as possible, which is how most research is funded.
  6. Get involved in science focused student organizations


Skills needed for a career in science research

  • Analytical
  • Creativity
  • Initiative
  • Accountability
  • Quality Operations
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work on a team as well as independently

Degrees and Certifications

Degrees and Certifications

A bachelor's degree in biology qualifies one for laboratory technician or research assistant positions. A higher degree is necessary in order to progress to a career in research.


Research, get experience, and get connected to contacts in science research

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Professional Associations

*Note: These are just a sampling, more applicable professional associations can be found through the Affiliates page for the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

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