In a world where everyone is becoming increasingly mobile, scientific research must be written and delivered to the public in ways that they can understand. Given the effects of man-made environmental destruction becoming even more rampant with each passing year, there is also a higher need to recruit research assistants that share the same passion and dedication to work.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses – also known as STEM – are needed more than ever in addressing real world concerns. Regardless of the cause, there are ways that we can fit an inbound marketing scheme into the marketing, promotion, and human resource departments of our industry. Those in the industry should respond accordingly to the changing wants and needs of the public today, as there is now an increasing interest and demand for the development of the sciences.
For years, people have used science to glean answers to questions that have plagued the world for years. The scientific method is taught in almost every institution of higher learning as a means to test anything and everything, and has been developed for use in not just the life sciences. Engineering, mathematics, and social sciences have benefited from the kind of work that has been growing amongst the learned community, and the only bane to this cause is that the need to communicate this work effectively to the masses can still be seen as lacking.
In order to ensure that your experience is free from any unsavoury tangles, create an inbound marketing checklist of all the things you want and expect in your own work, research team, and the quality of your work moving forward. You can adapt and modify this list to suit your needs, but the essentials of it remain the same. Work with what is best for the work output that you produce, potential or otherwise, to get the best out of your current resources. Here are some categories that you might consider establishing or revising in order to improve upon one’s research and scientific output.
Research Staff and Interns
Any aspiring life scientist has started out as a research assistant or associate to an older, more experienced professor. Depending on the field and scope of your intended research, you could be confined to a laboratory or out in the world exploring the jungles of the Amazon. Those who are keen to pursue a career in the sciences should start out with earning a degree at a reputable university or college that specialises in the kind of work you fancy. Your marks will also matter; a 2:1 honours degree is usually the standard for acceptance in master’s programs in the UK, so you best work hard to get the kind of output you want. After your master’s degree, you may enrol in a PhD course.
The academic qualifications, however, are only part of it. Say that you have the marks, but as a student you were unable to get any of your research papers published in journals or were never cited in another’s work as having been substantial in their progress. Make a name for yourself in the time that it takes to earn your degree, to get a place in a research team or to eventually lead your own a much easier process.
On the hiring end, be sure to look at these qualities carefully and assess the talent pool that you have gathered. Which ones are hard workers? Which ones can be trained properly? Who are adaptable and flexible to the schedules that any scientific work demands? These are the people who deal with your experiments, write your reports, and handle the cases on a day-to-day basis.
Although reading microscopic slides and writing reports can be tedious for some, those who are exceptionally keen will show enthusiasm for their work regardless of how small the talk. Offer them competitive salaries, allow them certain days-off and bonuses, and facilitate training them in a capacity that fits the kind of work that you want. There are research grants and items that can be utilised for this, but it also depends on the kind of patronage you get. Treat them well and it will reflect in your work. Retain a firm yet fair hand in dealing with your research staff and you will go far – micromanaging them will not do. There are bound to be a few hiccups when just starting on the job, so be prepared to keep yourself on the lookout for these things. Any team is only as strong as the person leading them, so be helpful and accommodating as well.
One of the first things you should settle once starting in the life science industry is the amount of people that your research team or workplace can handle. How many positions need to be filled in? How much work output is expected from them? These should be hammered out in your research proposal and plans before you even start out with the work at hand. Only then you can plan accordingly to the size of your team: the number of staffers that you hire, the work that should be done, the budget that needs to be complied with, and more.
Each and every research team has a certain number of requirements, whether in supplies, accommodations, or work parameters. Make sure your staff is on call to receive these requests and respond accordingly. One should be on the lookout for those who mooch or freeload on your supplies. If the amount of requests is suspect, your staff should know to report it to those in charge so that the situation can be dealt with in a respectful and agreeable manner. While you want to keep your team together, as you are all working towards reaching the same goal, any excessive or abusive treatment of your supplies and facilities should be well accounted for. While the importance of any life scientist, in regards to their work, is that they can proceed without intrusion, there is still a need to keep one’s benefactors informed of their situation.
Apart from a good in-house staff, one should also invest in hiring human resource and public relations people that can help bring attention to the work or cause that it champions. Human resource staffers take care of the payroll, attendance, and overall well-being of the staff. They also conduct the orientation and training in regards to the company policy on attendance, tardiness, leaves of absence, and other personal concerns. Treating them well will result in them being better able to train your service staff well, which will only mean good things for your research team.
Public relations staff are responsible for handling the marketing and promotion of your benefactors, your current research, and the developments that are needed to bring the work forward. Identify the strengths of your team and the credibility of your hypothesis in regards to your study; include examples that can be easily seen in the real world, or is relatable from a communicative perspective? Your key strengths will be the basis for which any and all marketing campaigns will be conducted. Your PR staff are also responsible for mapping out promotional activities for your work, or else to get sponsors and benefactors to help fund your research. A good PR person on your staff will make sure that these opportunities will be maximised to their full potential.
Logistics and Service Time
The particularly tricky part is conducting your research, whether it is an experiment that requires a series of observances over time or within a controlled environment. With a staff that has such a varying degree of responsibilities, the key to efficient and quality service is to learn how to communicate. Staff should know when and where they should deliver any key information, negative or positive, and through which channels. Micromanaging a staff that is as varied as this leads to burnout, so establishing a culture of trust and understanding between departments makes running the team smooth and as free from conflict as possible. If possible, have written reports handed in consistently in regards to employee performance, progress within the project, and suggestions in order to improve.
When things do happen to go wrong, establish a code to determine the level of the complaint. Certain codes should be assigned for damage to property, contamination of the control group, natural disasters, and any and all emergency situations that require special attention. Simulating emergency situations such as earthquakes and floods should be determined by location – is the area you occupy naturally prone to these disasters? As such, have these measures in place and ingrain them in your staff. Establish the shifting schedules, and assign which staff reports at this certain time. Have written reports and evaluations ready at least once a month, to be filed by the human resource department in order to track performance and bonuses based on merit.
Apart from customer service and communication, it may also do well to train certain members of your staff in first aid. Situations that deal with the health and safety of your clients will arise as long as they stay within your area of responsibility, and it wouldn’t hurt to know that there is someone on call when there happens to be a medical emergency.
In any scientific study, destruction to property can sometimes be unavoidable. In regards to equipment or machinery, in these cases, insist on replacements and extra charges according to the degree of damage. Is there insurance or company policy that pays for this? Will it be liable to the research team? If the damage is done to electrical appliances or furniture, then the cost will be higher. Prepare yourself for any situation that may arise.
One of the fastest ways to bring attention to your research team’s work and causes is by establishing an online presence. These include your very own website, blog, and resources for learning more about your research team’s work. This is one way to increase your audience reach outside of the scientific community, and to the general public. Partnering with government and non-government organizations that promote these issues can even help to source and allocate funds for your work. These include online and real-time fund raising activities, awareness campaigns, seminars, and establishing an inbound marketing methodology to attract key informants to donate or to champion your cause.
On your website or blog, upload images and videos of your current experiments and research. Tailor-fit the message to make it appeal to the common public, and emphasise the need to promote the research and the impact it may have on the public. This allows your audience to visualise your work and how they can help, and help attract sponsors and benefactors in the long run. Create written and visual content that appeals to them and emphasizes the strengths of your research. Extremely scientific terms and technical jargon can confuse the public, so be prepared to communicate in less complicated terms to get people to sympathize and want to help. Blogging can be an extremely effective marketing tool to increase your potential, as it lends a human touch to your otherwise digital presence. If budget is permissible, you can even establish your own content marketing division to keep your website updated and responsive.
Social media is also a powerful tool to increase your online visibility. Creating a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page should be your standard, and your content division team can help establish content that is up to date and related to your studies and related stories. Social media also helps you keep abreast of your potential customers’ sentiments and suggestions, allowing for an interactive experience that allows you to improve on your studies and engage with fellow scientists that are conducting similar experiments. Responding in a prompt and diligent manner is key; this allows you to create a rapport with your public and creating a positive interaction that will work in your favour.
Allowing your audience the ease of facility in regards to making your services accessible online is a must nowadays, as everyone is interconnected and word of mouth has become even more prized in regards to building an online marketing reputation. The research team should be able to market and present their research well, to package work together in order to make sure that your message is clear and concise across both your outbound and inbound marketing methodology.
Life Scientist: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook, study.com
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