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What is industry research? What can I do?

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What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby Josh S. » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:36 pm

What I mean is, I know how academics works, but I can't say I know what really goes on in industry work. Forgive my total ignorance. I'm looking for a basic comparison between what an industry researcher would be responsible for verses a PI. I'm aware of the breadth of the question as there are multiple positions within industry. Feel free to contrast as many or as few of the positions typically available as you wish.

Right now I'm working on my masters degree in comparative endocrinology. So far I've mastered Immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization. I'll probably also do some work isolating a G protein coupled receptor and putting it in bacteria to characterize receptor-ligand interactions. I'd like to know what I can do with such a degree in different areas of industry, and what I could not do without a PhD. I read the FAQ's but was not satisfied with the specificity of the answers provided.

Thanks in advance.
-Josh
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Re: What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby PG » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:49 am

This is as you say a very wide question and I will only pick one industry position and compare it with being a PI.

Industry project lead vs academic PI

Both are responsible for a small team of scientists consisting of a mixture of postdocs and technicians (PI might have a PhD student as well).

Both have a budget they need to follow

Both applies for resources from someone else (PI - academic grants,, project lead - from RnD management). Resources in industry changes faster and often more resources are available if the project is immportant. On the other hand resources can go away faster as well if something more important comes up.

Both presents data at congresses and meetings. PI also presents within the department and submits papers etc. Project lead presents within the commpany, writes reports, material for patent applications, registrations etc. In some companies you are also expected to publish papers.

Both are expected to work as much as is needed to deliver the results.

Goals for the academic project are determined by the PI while goals for the project lead are determined by someone else. Actual planning of the project is similar.

Industry project should result in a product while the academic project usually aims at publishing a paper.
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Re: What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby Josh S. » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:07 pm

Thanks for your time and insight.
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Re: What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:55 am

Josh S. wrote:Thanks for your time and insight.



Josh,

It took forever to assemble our FAQ. Just wondering, how did you find it deficient?

Dave Jensen, Moderator
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Re: What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby Josh S. » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:27 pm

Dave,

I didn't mean to detract anything from your FAQ's, they were helpful but I just wanted to mention that I had looked them over so people wouldn't just refer me to them.

I guess what I was left wondering was how the work is broken down in industry research as opposed to academics: PI's -> post docs -> Ph.D. students -> MS students -> Undergrad. I've no Idea how industry is setup, or what degrees will land you what responsibilities and so on.

Also, FAQ's cannot possibly be tailored for every person, which is why I asked what kinds of things I could do with a masters in comparative endocrinology and the skills I've acquired thus far.

In a nutshell I was looking for more specific insights.

-Josh
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Re: What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby PG » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:59 pm

The problem is that industry has a lot more different options and a lot of branches also within the same company.

Basic research structure is similar although a higher number of people are more advanced since you usually have a higher proportion of people who already did their postdoc.

Names are different within different companies but in short

1. project leader
2. senior scientist
3. scientist
4. various technical positions

As for degrees again different companies have different policies. The company I work for have people with all sorts of degrees in all of these positions. In industry in general the majority of 1 and 2 have PhDs, 3 is mixed and the majority of 4 has a university degree but not a PhD.
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Re: What is industry research? What can I do?

Postby Dave Jensen » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:42 am

Josh S. wrote:Dave,

I didn't mean to detract anything from your FAQ's, they were helpful but I just wanted to mention that I had looked them over so people wouldn't just refer me to them.

I guess what I was left wondering was how the work is broken down in industry research as opposed to academics: PI's -> post docs -> Ph.D. students -> MS students -> Undergrad. I've no Idea how industry is setup, or what degrees will land you what responsibilities and so on.

Also, FAQ's cannot possibly be tailored for every person, which is why I asked what kinds of things I could do with a masters in comparative endocrinology and the skills I've acquired thus far.

In a nutshell I was looking for more specific insights.

-Josh


Hi Josh,

Actually, because of your comment we started discussing how to make better user of the FAQ's and how they should not be named the same thing as the "site FAQ" which talks about how to use the software. Thank you!

Dave
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