Scientific Research.

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Scientific research is the practice of making an observation, developing a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, and drawing conclusions. The people leading scientific research are called Principal Investigators, and are employed by colleges and universities, government agencies, hospitals, research institutions, corporations, and nonprofits. You can support research projects as an assistant or technician with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you want to lead research, you generally need a Doctorate degree.

Salary Info

Salary varies widely depending on role, education level, and location. Here is a sample of 2016 median salaries from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor:

  • Agricultural/Food Scientist: $62,920
  • Atmospheric Scientist: $92,460
  • Biochemist/Biophysicist (advanced degree): $82,180
  • Chemist/Materials Scientist: $75,420
  • Epidemiologist (advanced degree): $70,820
  • Geoscientist: $89,780
  • Hydrologist: $80,480
  • Medical Scientist (advanced degree): $80,530
  • Microbiologist: $66,850
  • Physicist/Astronomer (advanced degree): $114,870
  • Zoologist/Wildlife Biologist: $60,520

Organizations and Alumni

There are countless organizations conducting research in every sector. Here are a few examples:


If you are interested in scientific research, try it out! Bowdoin faculty hire students to work both during the school year and during the summer on research projects. You are also strongly encouraged to pursue your own research project with a faculty mentor. Read more about research at Bowdoin and funding for research here.

There are also opportunities to do research off-campus. Research Experiences for Undergraduates, or REUs, are highly competitive, fully funded, summer research experiences. REUs are great practice for graduate school. Read more below:

Professional Associations

Below are academic associations and societies that have useful information for students. Most have career or employment pages on which you can search for jobs.

Earth and Oceanographic Sciences

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