Research Specialist Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose of Classification:
Performs a wide variety of standard laboratory and/or field
experimental procedures and/or surveys and excavations at the full
operational level of skill in one field of specialty or performs a
limited variety of non-standard laboratory and/or field experimental
procedures and/or surveys and excavations.
fifth in a series of seven classifications and is distinguished from
the Research Technician in that incumbents modify and adapt standard
procedures to meet the needs of the project, analyze data instead of
performing the preliminary analysis, assist with writing papers and
manuscripts for publication and may lead and coordinate the work of
a staff. Incumbents may be assigned to one of various types of areas
such as physical sciences or other specialized fields. Incumbents
may be required to travel to remote locations to perform research
experiments coordinate site surveys and excavations and may be
required to work with potentially hazardous materials such as toxic
chemicals, radiation and/or disease causing organisms.
Examples of Duties:
- Performs skilled procedures, tests and analyses requiring
the delicate manipulation and/or fine adjustments to equipment
in response to activity of the sample or specimen being used.
- Analyzes data and writes research progress reports including
summarizing test results of participating investigators and
assists in the preparation and writing of papers for
publication; assists in writing reports on one or more aspects
for large archaeological projects.
- Performs administrative functions such as assisting in
projecting budgets and procuring laboratory space, supplies and
- Coordinates and/or conducts library and computer searches
for research or archaeological data, some of which may include
specialized archival research; modifies, adapts or varies
standard procedures to meet the needs of the project and
improves tests that are unsatisfactory.
- Assists in the design and implementation of statistical
techniques and computer data systems including establishing
coding formats for future scientific research data collection.
- Assists in judging the validity of data obtained from
experimental procedures and recommends additional tests and/or
- Generates computerized statistical data for analytical
purposes using a variety of scientific software packages;
interprets data for research or archaeological projects.
- Creates and manages databases for studies which includes
setting up database and associated data entry programs and
retrieving data from database for purposes of analyses or data
- Designs and modifies questionnaires or other data collection
or sampling instruments or data summarization methods,
procedures or reporting formats.
- Operates and maintains laboratory and experimental equipment
such as microtomes, microscopes, electron microscopes,
spectrophotometers, centrifuges, analytical balances,
- spectrometers and vacuum and optical coating systems;
performs repairs and makes arrangements for repairs to be
performed; assists in the design and fabrication of research
- Performs complex necropsies and surgical procedures on
- Assists in the development of written operating procedures
and performs quality control checks to ensure procedures are
- May supervise, train, evaulate, and coordinate the
activities of subordinates.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Knowledge of the principles and techniques of the subject
- Knowledge of modern research methods, data collection and
analysis and skill in their application.
- Skill in both verbal and written communication.
- Skill in analyzing and evaluating data.
- Skill in report writing.
Bachelor's degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment
AND two years related research or archaeological experience; OR, Six
years research or archaeological experience appropriate to the area
of assignment; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or
education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have
Next: Research/Laboratory Aide Job Description