Research Biostatistician

Research Biostatistician Careers

Different industry sectors are experiencing greater or lesser impact form current economic situations.  Even business fields that are able to maintain, are not always able to grow new jobs.  One of the few areas that is still seeing increase and growth is healthcare, and public health jobs in particular are on the rise.

Public concerns over access and treatment help to fuel employment not only for healthcare service providers, but also for researchers who help develop better interventions.  The position of research biostatistician is just one job in this area that offers good pay and great potential for advancement.

What Is A Research Biostatistician?

Research biostatisticians gather data and oversee clinical trials for the development of new treatment interventions.  This position includes ensuring that legal and ethical as well as scientific protocols are followed, but is also concerned with the proper and accurate gathering, recording, and evaluating of data.  Research biostatisticians will also prepare results that outline the information, findings, and implications of these trials and present them as possible consideration for new treatment modalities.

As a research biostatistician, you would be expected to perform the following tasks:

  •   Create  plan for statistical analysis for the trial program
  •   Observe protocols for gathering data
  •   Enforce legal and ethical consideration in trial programs
  •   Develop standards for more accurate data collection procedures.
  •   Analyze and report findings for future research.
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Other skills that can aid you as a research biostatistician will include:

  •   Analytical thinking:  You will need to be able to evaluate the validity of both protocols and data.
  •   Motivation:  Many parts of this job will require that you work independently and are able to set your own schedule for achieving goals and staying on task.
  •   Management skills:  When you are working with other colleagues, you will need to be able to teach and delegate, as well as hold others accountable in their duties.
  •   Communication:  You will also need to be able to present your findings clearly and concisely in both verbal and written formats.

Nature Of The Work

Research biostatisticians may work in labs, hospitals, universities, or other research facilities.  Certain trials may be performed under isolated environments, which would require you to spend much of your time on site.  Other trails may be conducted as outreach or outpatient programs.  In these cases, you would be gathering data from subjects when they come to the office or facility to check in on progress.

You would also be spending a lot of time in an office environment.  Research biostatisticians are responsible for logging data into computer programs and analyzing results within different parameters of change.  Your reports would include a comprehensive overview of protocols and methods as well as the evaluation of the meaning of these results.

Education And Training

Research biostatisticians will generally hold at least a Master’s degree, although some positions may also require a doctorate.  This educational course should include subjects such as math, chemistry, biology, and engineering.  The two years Master program should be focused on research techniques and data analysis, as this will help to prepare you for the job force.

Experience in this field is favorable to better job opportunities.  Most applicants will complete practical work during their graduate program, but some people will also choose to undertake on to two year internships.  This can also help in gaining better computer proficiency and learning new systems for data entry and analysis.

This line of work offers a good financial incentive, with starting salaries as high as $40,000 per year.  The median pay for a research biostatistician is around $75,000, but this can vary not only with experience and education level, but also with employers.  Academic employers tend to be slightly lower, and a position with the federal or state government will offer higher wages.  However, the possibilities for advancement are fairly even with any employer.

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The need for research biostatisticians is steadily growing as the work that you will perform helps to create better treatment and service opportunities in the field of public health.  It is projected that as much as a 27% increase in job availability will occur over the next ten years, and this is with employers at all levels.  For candidates who are looking to advance, this presents ample opportunity, while entry level positions will also become available at an expected 7,000 opening.  For people who are interested in having a positive impact on public health, with a career that offer good financial incentives and stability, then the job of research biostatistician could be ideal.  

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