Scientific Research

Look below for relevant events and throughout this page for resources to help you learn about and land a position in this field. You can also subscribe to this community’s newsletter for job/internship updates, employer events, and more.

Want personalized advice to figure out your next steps? Hao can help! 

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Upcoming Events

Jobs & Internships on Handshake

Here’s a preview of just a few positions currently available on Handshake. Note that the date shown is not the application due date, but is the date the position was posted!

Explore Career Paths

You may be working in a lab, individually or part of a team. You might be out in the field or in an office setting utilizing analytical and critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills. Your work could span any number of paths that include positions in: scientific research & development; biotechnology; bioinformatics;  research related to behavioral sciences, biological, chemical, physics, pharmaceutical, environmental, or patents;  forensic science, and scientific consulting.

Visit BioHealth Industry to learn more about career options

Looking for more? Check out more resources to explore.

You may be working in a lab, individually or as a part of a team. You might be out in the field or in an office setting utilizing analytical, critical thinking, and complex problem solving skills. Your work could span any number of paths that include positions in: scientific research & development; biotechnology; bioinformatics; research related to behavioral sciences, biological, chemical, physics, pharmaceutical, environmental, or patents; forensic science, and scientific consulting.








Scientific Research & Development

“Quality assurance can be defined as “part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.” The confidence provided by quality assurance is twofold—internally to management and externally to customers, government agencies, regulators, certifiers, and third parties. An alternate definition is “all the planned and systematic activities implemented within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality.”

“Quality control can be defined as “part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements.” While quality assurance relates to how a process is performed or how a product is made, quality control is more the inspection aspect of quality management. An alternate definition is “the operational techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality.”








Quality Assurance & Quality Control

“Science and medical writers translate technical medical and scientific information so it can be disseminated to the general public and professionals in the field. Science and medical writers research, interpret, write, and edit scientific and medical information. Their work often appears in books, technical studies and reports, magazine and trade journal articles, newspapers, company newsletters, and on websites, and may be used for radio and television broadcasts. Science and medical writers may also be known as science and medical authors or medical and science communicators.” – Vault








Science & Medical Writers

Pharmacists are medication experts who enhance patient care and promote wellness. They ensure medicines and doses are correct, prevent harmful drug interactions, counsel patients on the safe and appropriate use of their medications, and prepare and dispense prescriptions. As a pharmacist, you will have unique and specialized expertise about the composition of medicines, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties, as well as their manufacture and use. You may prepare personalized medications, participate in patient rounds at the hospital, reduce the spread of infections, conduct research or clinical trials for a biopharmaceutical company, or focus on a specific patient population or disease state (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, asthma, HIV, and pain management).








Pharmacy Careers

Scientific Research FAQs

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What specific skills and experiences should a resume include for Scientific Research?

A simple, well-organized resume is a great place to start. Generally, staying away from extra graphics and the free templates online will help you to rework and add to your resume as you continue to gain experience, allowing you to adapt content over time. See SuccessWorks’ Undergraduate Research Guide (see pg. 7-8 for specific tips)

Employers and graduate programs are very interested in learning about:

  • Your undergraduate research experience from campus labs, summer research programs, and internships. 
  • Don’t have specific research experience outside of class? Discuss project work from relevant courses. 
  • Describe your involvement and outcomes from these assignments to impress your audience about the lab skills and knowledge you’ve developed. 
  • You can also add a Relevant Coursework section underneath the Education section. 

You may need to write a few different versions of your resume, including one “Comprehensive Resume” that has all of your past work written out and can easily be cut down and re-ordered based on the type of position in which you are applying, in order to highlight different types of experiences. 

More tips:

  • Use related headings, based on the opportunity that interests you. 
  • Use keywords and phrases from position descriptions as they relate to your experience to make sure your resume is noticed. 
  • Resumes go through an applicant tracking system when submitted online and scan for these keywords.

Ready to get started on your resume? Check out the SuccessWorks resume page and SuccessWorks’ Undergraduate Research Guide (see pg. 7-8 for specific tips), and set up an appointment with a Peer Advisor or Graduate Intern for feedback on your draft!

Where can I find jobs and internships in this career area?

It depends on the type of jobs and internships that interest you! The community newsletter highlights relevant opportunities as they’re posted, and the Undergraduate Research Guide provides you with resources and tips to find campus labs, internships, fellowships and post grad resources. See the More Resources to Explore section of the career community page to find relevant job boards, staffing agencies, and professional associations.   

Handshake is also a good site to check out, because it has information about career fairs and employer events as well as job and internship postings.. And of course, there’s where you’ll find regularly posted student research assistant positions and local opportunities around Madison.  

Larger job boards (LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdor etc.) are always an option, too. While they can be overwhelming they do give you suggestions in the job search window of other titles to search. This can be helpful in creating a keyword list to help narrow your search. For the time being, I recommend you start with more focused search resources like the ones included above. 

Do all positions in a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company start out working in a research lab?

Not all positions. You may find that while you enjoy research, you would rather be in a different work environment. Perhaps you would like to have more contact with people, but are unsure how your scientific knowledge would still be valued? Check out positions related to client services, technical writer, business analyst, and biotechnology sales to name a few. All different skill sets and personality types are needed, in addition to having a scientific background.

Do I need to go to graduate school first to get a full-time job working in research?

No! There are multiple paths to working in a research setting without a master’s degree or Ph.D. Starting out, if you already have extensive research experience as an undergraduate, you may find opportunities to continue on as a research assistant, depending on lab funding. Or, universities may have entry-level research assistant positions to apply to, especially within a school of medicine/health sciences. 

Clinical research coordinator/lab manager roles are also another possibility to use coordinating and organizational skills to assist in the research process and help run the logistics of a lab, especially one with human participants.  

Within industry, there are plenty of opportunities to start out as a lab technician, an associate research scientist role, or quality control or quality assurance specialist related roles, for example.

Is my science major a waste if I don’t use my research skills and knowledge in a career?

The truth is you develop several transferable skills like problem solving, analysis, critical thinking etc. No matter what type of science you major in, having a scientific background can compliment a related career in communications, business development, regulatory affairs, consulting, policy, informatics, and much more.

When should I make an advising appointment with Hao?

Just getting started with your resume or cover letter? 

The Resume and Cover Letters page has all you need to put together a solid draft! 

Then, our Peer Advisors and Graduate Career Advisors can help you get your application materials ready to submit at an Express Advising Appointment!

Looking to gain research experience outside of class and want to join a lab or find an internship?

Our graduate career advisors can answer your questions, guide you to the right resources and get you started with this process. 

If you have in-depth questions about figuring out when and if graduate school is right for you,  how you can use your science and research background both in and outside the lab for post graduation employment, weighing your career options in research in academia vs. industry, and what other career options you could pursue with your skill set, then make an appointment to meet with Hao Yuan, the Career & Internship Specialist for Scientific Research & Development.

Hao and other Career and Internship Specialists can help you with mock interviews, honing your application strategy, negotiating a job offer, and discussing the transition from college to career or graduate school. Make an appointment with Hao here.

Graduate School

If I want to work in scientific research, do I need to go to graduate school or receive further training or certification? If yes, what is the right program(s) for me? Does it make sense to do a Ph.D. or a professional master’s program? Talk to your career & internship specialist, your academic advisor, and faculty members to learn more and to find out about different programs, here are a few resources to get you started:

The Top PhD Resource on the WebScience Magazine listingGradschools.comMS in Biotechnology, UW-Madison SMPH

Check-out Hello PhD Podcast to learn more about managing graduate school and tips for navigating post-graduation career steps.

For our complete guide, view our non-credit Canvas module – Graduate School & Gap Year.

More Resources to Explore

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Build Your Experience & Skills

Search for Internships, Volunteer, Part-time/Full-time jobs.

Explore position requirements and qualifications to find out what skills and experiences you need for jobs of interest.

Handshake: Find opportunities specifically for UW students and recent grads.

Indeed Research: A job search site listing positions at the local and national level.

LinkedIn: part-time and full-time opportunities local and international. Non-profit jobs and internships.

Glassdoor: Search by job title or company. Find jobs in the State of Wisconsin.

BioFoward Wisconsin: See Resources and Career Center.

BioSpace: Search for jobs, news, career advice and other related resources.

c&en Jobs: jobs board for American Chemical Society.

Zintellect: Government and private sector internships, jobs, fellowships and scholarships.

Kelly Science & Clinical – a staffing agency dedicated to scientific & clinical talent for North America

ApexAerotekSpherion – search by location and seek job search help from staffing agencies.

University Research Park Company Profiles – search individual company sites for jobs.

How do I find research opportunities on campus & beyond?

SuccessWorks Undergraduate Research Guide – Navigating research on campus, resumes, fellowships, etc.

Research Opportunities – Wisconsin Discovery Portal

Research Opportunities – Undergraduate Research Scholars

Research Opportunities – Additional Opportunities

Types of Undergraduate Research

Finding a Mentor – WISCIENCE BioCommons

Campus Resources

Types of Undergraduate Research – learn the different ways to get experience.

UW-Madison Undergraduate Research Programs – campus introduction.

UW-Madison Student Job Center – search for Science-Tech-Eng-Math positions.

International Internship Program – do research and go aboard.

Wisconsin Discovery Portal – search for specific faculty across campus.

Waisman Center – human development, developmental disabilities, neurodegenerative diseases.

National Science Foundation – Research Experiences for Undergraduates. (REU)

Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) – search departments across UW-Madison.

Technical & Professional Development Skills

Promega Student Resource Center

For when your PI asks you to try something new. Or your mentee is having trouble figuring it out. Or you’re just trying to get a job. The Student Resource Center is exactly what you’re looking for. Explore Promega’s collection of resources related to common cellular and molecular biology techniques, as well as our guide to navigating the early stages of your career.

Professional Groups & Orgs