What does a Principal Scientist do?

Research scientists are responsible for the investigation of deficits within scientific knowledge. They devise, formulate, and execute investigative protocols and disseminate their insights through the publishing of findings in authoritative publications and documents. They are responsible for securing sufficient and pertinent funding to supplement finances, and they conduct in-house research and presentations; they spearhead data collection and interpretation and work as co-chairs for joint research undertakings.

Research scientists conduct laboratory-based experiments and trials and work in many fields including medicine, political science, computer science, and environmental science. They plan and conduct experiments that become topics of research papers and reports. They collect samples and carry out other types of field research and monitor their experiments by recording and analyzing the data. They demonstrate their procedures and remain current on new developments in scientific research. Research scientists will need a master’s degree in their field of research and to have been previously published in authoritative outlets.

EducationGraduate Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Principal Scientist Salaries

Average Base Pay

£56,494 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: £56K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Principal Scientist Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Scientist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Principal Research Scientist
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Principal Scientist Insights

Read what Principal Scientist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Safe Engineering Services & technologiesSafe Engineering Services & technologies
Research Scientist
14 Oct 2021

“Consistent and good sized raises offered so I can focus on the work and that work is rewarded.”

Assistant Scientist
16 Apr 2021

“The people I work with everyday are great and make what I'm doing better.”

Eurofins ScientificEurofins Scientific
13 Feb 2021

“Some of the people are really good and amazing to work with and they are the only thing that really makes it manageable.”

National Physical LaboratoryNational Physical Laboratory
Higher Research Scientist
6 Jul 2019

“e.g 9 day fortnight flexible working; Some GL's implement it and others don't.”

Randox LaboratoriesRandox Laboratories
23 Aug 2020

“It was impossible to have any sort of life outside randox because of these ridiculous hours and poor organisation.”

Defence Science and Technology LaboratoryDefence Science and Technology Laboratory
13 Feb 2020

“The salary is not the best so bear that in mind if that's your driver”

The Clorox CompanyThe Clorox Company
24 Sep 2020

“If you have a PhD there is a very decent chance your manager will not.”

Iowa State UniversityIowa State University
Research Scientist
30 Sep 2021

“Not much job growth unless one looks for another job elsewhere on campus or outside.”

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Principal Scientist Interviews

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