Researcher – How to become a Researcher

Who is a Researcher



A Researcher is a person who engages in the systematic investigation of a specific topic, issue, or problem, using various methods and techniques to collect and analyze data.

What do Researchers Do

The specific activities that researchers engage in can vary depending on their field of expertise, the nature of their research question, and the available resources. However, some common activities that researchers may engage in include:

Developing research questions

Researchers typically start by developing research questions that are relevant and important to their field of study. They may review existing literature, analyze data, or observe phenomena to identify gaps in knowledge or areas where further research is needed.

Designing research studies

Once research questions have been identified, researchers design research studies that are appropriate for answering those questions. This may involve selecting research methods, determining sample sizes, developing data collection instruments, and creating a research plan.

Collecting data

Researchers collect data using a variety of methods, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation, and experimentation. They may also use existing data sets or sources of data to conduct their research.

Analyzing data

Once data has been collected, researchers analyze it using statistical or qualitative methods to identify patterns, relationships, and trends. They may use specialized software or tools to assist with data analysis.

Interpreting results

Researchers interpret the results of their data analysis to draw conclusions about their research questions. They may use graphs, charts, or other visual aids to communicate their findings.

Communicating results

Finally, researchers communicate the results of their research to various audiences, including academic peers, policymakers, and the general public. This may involve writing academic papers, giving presentations at conferences, or communicating findings through media outlets.

Types of Researchers

Here are 6 common types of researchers:

Basic Researchers

Basic researchers aim to expand knowledge and understanding of a particular field without any immediate practical application. They may use experimental methods, observational studies, or theoretical models to explore fundamental concepts and principles.

Applied Researchers

Applied researchers focus on solving practical problems or developing new technologies. They may work in fields such as engineering, medicine, or business, and use research findings to improve products, services, or processes.

Clinical Researchers

Clinical researchers conduct studies to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases or medical conditions. They may work in hospitals, research institutes, or pharmaceutical companies, and use human subjects to test new treatments or interventions.

Social Researchers

Social researchers study human behavior and social structures, often using methods such as surveys, interviews, and observation. They may work in fields such as sociology, psychology, or anthropology, and investigate topics such as social inequality, family dynamics, or cultural norms.

Policy Researchers

Policy researchers study the impact of government policies on various aspects of society, such as education, health care, or the environment. They may work for think tanks, advocacy groups, or government agencies, and use research findings to inform policy decisions.

Market Researchers

Market researchers study consumer behavior and preferences to help companies develop and market products and services. They may use methods such as surveys, focus groups, or data analysis to understand consumer trends and preferences.

Overall, the type of researcher will depend on the area of study, research methods, and the purpose of the research. Researchers often work collaboratively with other researchers and professionals in their field, and their work may lead to significant advances and breakthroughs in their respective fields.

What Skills Must a Researcher Have

Here are some of the key skills that a researcher must have:

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively, identify patterns and relationships, and draw valid conclusions. Researchers must be able to evaluate and interpret data accurately, identify flaws or gaps in their research, and adjust their methods accordingly.


Research often involves unforeseen challenges, and researchers must be able to identify and solve problems as they arise. This requires creativity, flexibility, and the ability to think outside the box.


Clear communication is essential in research, and researchers must be able to convey complex ideas and findings to a wide range of audiences. They must be able to write clearly and concisely, present their research in public forums, and communicate effectively with colleagues, stakeholders, and research participants.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is a crucial aspect of research, and researchers must be skilled in using appropriate methods for collecting and analyzing data. This may include statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, and data visualization techniques.

Time Management

Research projects often have tight deadlines, and researchers must be able to manage their time effectively to ensure that they meet those deadlines. This requires planning, prioritizing tasks, and managing resources efficiently.

Attention to Detail

Research often involves collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, and researchers must be able to pay close attention to detail to ensure accuracy and completeness in their work.


Research projects can evolve over time, and researchers must be able to adapt to changes in research design, data collection methods, or research questions.


Researchers must be able to work effectively with others, including colleagues, research participants, and stakeholders, to achieve research goals. This requires strong interpersonal skills, the ability to build relationships, and effective teamwork.

Where Researchers Work

Researchers work in a wide range of settings, depending on their field of study and research interests. Some common places where researchers work include:

Academic institutions

Many researchers work in universities and other academic institutions, where they conduct research in a wide range of fields. They may be employed as professors, research fellows, or postdoctoral researchers.

Government agencies

Researchers may work for government agencies at the local, state, or federal level. They may conduct research on a range of topics, including public health, environmental issues, or social policy.

Non-profit organizations

Non-profit organizations often employ researchers to conduct research on issues related to their mission. This may include research on poverty, education, or health care.

Private industry

Researchers may work in private industry, conducting research on a range of topics related to the company’s products or services. This may include research on consumer behavior, market trends, or new technologies.

Hospitals and healthcare organizations

Researchers may work in hospitals and other healthcare organizations, conducting research on a range of medical topics. This may include research on new treatments, patient outcomes, or healthcare policy.

Independent research organizations

Some researchers work for independent research organizations that conduct research on behalf of government agencies, non-profit organizations, or private industry.

How to become a Researcher

Becoming a researcher requires a combination of education, experience, and skills. Here are some steps you can take to become a researcher:

Choose a field of study

Decide on the field of study you are interested in, and identify the specific area of research that interests you the most. You may need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field before pursuing graduate-level research.

Earn a graduate degree

To become a researcher, you will typically need to earn a graduate degree, such as a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. This may involve completing coursework, conducting original research, and writing a thesis or dissertation.

Gain research experience

Seek out opportunities to gain research experience, such as internships, fellowships, or research assistantships. This will allow you to gain hands-on experience with research methods and techniques, and build a track record of research accomplishments.

Develop research skills

Develop skills in research methods, data analysis, and critical thinking. This may involve taking courses, attending workshops, or working with a mentor to develop your skills.

Publish research

Publish your research in academic journals or present your findings at conferences. This will help you build a reputation as a researcher and establish your expertise in your field.


Attend conferences, join professional organizations, and network with other researchers in your field. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest research trends and connect with other researchers who share your interests.

Overall, becoming a researcher requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for your field of study. By pursuing education, gaining experience, and developing research skills, you can become a successful researcher and make a meaningful contribution to your field of study.


The following table is an overall summary of the article.

ResearcherTypesWork AreaSkillsEducational BackgroundData Collection MethodsData Analysis Methods
Basic ResearcherFundamentalAcademicAnalytical, critical thinking, creativityMaster’s or Ph.D. in a related fieldExperimentation, surveys, observations, literature reviewStatistical analysis, data modeling, qualitative analysis
Applied ResearcherPracticalIndustry or governmentProblem-solving, collaboration, data analysisBachelor’s or Master’s in a related fieldSurveys, interviews, case studies, experimentsStatistical analysis, data visualization, content analysis
Clinical ResearcherMedicalHospitals or research institutesAttention to detail, ethics, data collectionMedical degree or Master’s in a related fieldClinical trials, case studies, observational studiesStatistical analysis, data modeling, qualitative analysis
Social ResearcherHuman behaviorAcademic or non-profitInterviewing, observation, survey designBachelor’s or Master’s in a related fieldSurveys, interviews, focus groups, case studies, content analysisStatistical analysis, content analysis, qualitative analysis
Policy ResearcherGovernment policiesThink tanks or government agenciesPolicy analysis, communication, writingBachelor’s or Master’s in a related fieldLiterature review, surveys, case studiesStatistical analysis, policy analysis, content analysis
Market ResearcherConsumer behaviorMarketing or research firmsData analysis, survey design, communicationBachelor’s or Master’s in a related fieldSurveys, focus groups, experimentsStatistical analysis, data modeling, data visualization

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer