ASSISTANT RESEARCH SCIENTIST, GRADE 14
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 1, GRADE 18
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 2, GRADE 22
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 3, GRADE 25
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 4, GRADE 27
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 5, GRADE 31
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 6, GRADE 35
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 7, GRADE 38
RESEARCH SCIENTIST 8, GRADE 38
New York State Department of Civil Service
The format of this standard has been modified to accommodate the unique character of the classes in this series.
Research Scientists perform basic research involving the formulation, conduct, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of scientific investigations of phenomena or problems with applications in specialized subject matter fields in the medical, biological and behavioral sciences. Such work typically results in publishable contributions to the scientific field under study.
For the purposes of this standard, research is defined and characterized as follows:
Research is the systematic, critical, intensive investigation of a subject directed toward the identification and development of new or more complete knowledge, or to the restructuring of existing knowledge for application to or solution of complex problems.
- Research is characterized by the systematic, controlled and empirical investigation of theoretical or pragmatic issues involving the collection and analysis of field or laboratory data.
- The research process involves problem exploration, definition and formulation; planning in terms of the approach and sequence of steps; execution of the experiments or studies including the collection and processing of data; interpretation of findings involving the classification, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of the data; and reporting of findings.
- The research design or sequence of designs selected and applied to a given situation, along with the qualifications, skill and contributions of the investigator has a direct and major impact on the level of difficulty and productivity of the research work performed.
- The conduct of research requires the exercise of judgment and close adherence to the experimental design and to analytical procedures, variations in which may materially affect the nature of the end product.
Research Scientists are located in the Offices of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Children and Family Services, Temporary and Disability Assistance and the Departments of Health, Environmental Conservation, the Division for Youth, State University, and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
All titles in this series are in the non-competitive jurisdictional class.
Considering the highly specialized technical and professional nature of scientific research which characteristically involves original and creative work, the abilities of the researcher interacting with the research situation or assignment are factors of central importance in determining the level of research work performed. As the research situation is typically expandable in accordance with the incumbents personal qualifications, the person-in-job concept is utilized in classifying positions in this series over the conventional classification technique based on the evaluation of duties and responsibilities.
Within each agency having a research function as described by this standard, an ad hoc panel consisting of selected top level senior research scientists and administrators representing appropriate specialized fields selects candidates for vacant positions, recommends incumbents for promotions, and recommends appropriate classification of positions. The panel reviews and evaluates the incumbents or candidates knowledges and abilities, personal qualities, achievements, and contributions as they relate to the job to be filled, and recommend classification based on its findings. The factors considered in this review include:
- Educational achievements and evidence of continued professional education.
- Professional research experience considering the quality and relevance of the research conducted, and the contributions made to scientific knowledge.
- Honors, fellowships and awards received.
- Publications and reports authored considering number, type, the research involved and the relevance of the work.
- Professional recognition as indicated by such activities as referring articles, serving as a consultant, membership on a committee of a professional society, serving as editor or reviewer for a professional societys journal, and serving as an officer of a professional society.
- Grants received and number including their size, recency, type and relevance.
- Supervisory experience.
An agencys ad hoc committee should meet regularly, adopt necessary procedures and operational policies and must maintain reviewable records of deliberations, recommendations and determinations as they relate to positions, employees and candidates.
A Research Scientist typically specializes in one of a variety of scientific fields. However, grade levels of these positions depend on essentially the same elements, notably personal qualifications and the research situation regardless of the subject field. These common elements distinguishing levels of research activities are grouped into the following four factors:
Guidance available and originality of the work
Qualifications of the researcher
These four factors equated in terms of assignment, performance level, and minimum qualifications for each class in the Research Scientist series are covered in the following section.
Assistant Research Scientist, Grade 14
The research situation or assignment
This is the base level class for the Research Scientist Series. Assignments at this level are characterized by their having clear and specified objectives and may be selected to develop the employee for work of a higher level. Investigations typically involve a limited number of variables and work is planned and carried out in accordance with methods structured by others. Generally, incumbents perform a supportive role in the organization and have a higher degree of responsibility for the collection of data than for its interpretation.
Work is usually performed under the technical supervision of a research scientist of higher grade. Immediate objectives and the nature of results to be expected are indicated by the supervisor. Work problems are discussed with the supervisor who inspects work to observe adequacy of research methods and practices and to give advice during the progress of the work. Completed reports are reviewed from the standpoint of adequacy, completeness and validity of conclusion reached.
In general, precedents are available in the form of previous studies on related subjects, standard methods in textbooks, handbooks or other literature. Some assignments, however, have features which require other than direct application of these guides so incumbents may be expected to select and adapt methods applicable to the problem.
Bachelors Degree with specialization in an appropriate field and one year of experience in that field. Thirty graduate hours leading to an advanced degree in an appropriate field may be substituted for the required experience.
Research Scientist 1, Grade 18
The research situation or assignment
Projects consist of scientific investigations of limited scope for which there are precedents, and the kind of analysis, examination or test to be used is evident. When standard methods do not appear to apply, the incumbent discusses the evaluation of alternate or modified methods with the supervisor prior to undertaking the work. Typically, the Research Scientist 1 assists higher level Research Scientist positions by participating in all phases of the research process including problem definition, planning, execution, analysis, interpretation and reporting of findings.
The supervisor provides general instructions in the nature of a discussion of objectives, general elements of technical difficulty, suggested approaches, and the nature of results to be expected. Where unusual problems exist in the assignment the completeness of the examination desired and specific methods are suggested, and the findings anticipated, and pertinent literature relevant to the research situation is provided.
Completed work is reviewed for adequacy of method, completeness, and validity of conclusions reached.
Incumbents apply existing experimental techniques involving only a limited amount of innovation or modification of methods or procedures and techniques.
Bachelors Degree and two years of professional research experience in the appropriate field, or a Masters Degree in the appropriate field and one year of professional research experience in that field.
Research Scientist 2, Grade 22
The research situation or assignment
Incumbents work with considerable independence in determining choice of methods, the development of new methods, and the interpretation of results of research projects, usually segments of larger studies, and involving problems of limited scope. The responsibility for the planning of research programs is performed by Research Scientists of higher grade. The incumbent utilizes a broad array of scientific techniques in collecting experimental data, and in presenting results to the supervisor including an evaluation of the validity and possible significance of the findings. Incumbents may prepare written drafts of the materials, methods and results sections of research papers.
Research Scientist 2 positions may provide technical support and training services to subordinate professional staff. Incumbents with a knowledge of the theory and operation of such highly technical and sophisticated instruments as electron microscopes or mass spectrometers, consult with and advise investigators on the interpretation of results and the possibilities and limitations of techniques utilizing such instruments.
The researcher works with little immediate supervision. The incumbent recognizes and informs the supervisor of expected or unusual events that may occur during experiments, and keeps the supervisor informed through occasional discussions of work progress. Completed work and reports are reviewed principally to evaluate overall results.
Incumbents contribute directly to the development of new research methods and specific protocols. Work is assigned in terms of the broad objectives of the project, rather than in terms of the specific steps to be undertaken. Such activity may result in professional publications authored either singly or jointly.
Bachelors Degree and three years of professional research experience in the appropriate field; or a Masters Degree in the appropriate field and two years of such experience; or a doctorate in the appropriate field.
Research Scientist 3, Grade 25
The research situation or assignment
This class is the first level in this series responsible for performing independent original research. Assignments typically require the incumbent to perform or to participate in all phases of the complete research process including problem definition, planning, execution, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of findings.
Projects may be studies in new areas where the objectives are clean-cut and fairly conventional means can be used; they may involve applying existing theory or methods to new classes of subjects or to classes of subjects previously experimented with under various controlled changes in conditions; or they may involve reruns or adaptations of previous studies in the light of changes in theory, improvements in techniques, and instrumentation.
Projects are expected to result in a publishable addition to scientific knowledge or in a comparable contribution to the development of new or recognizably improved method or technique.
Such work usually results in the publication of professional papers or reports authored either singly or jointly.
The researcher serves as a source of information on his or her own research projects principally to researchers within the incumbents own laboratory or sphere of investigation, and on related or similar projects elsewhere.
Incumbents may direct a small staff of lower ranking research scientists in the conduct of his or her research projects.
Most typically, the specific problem is assigned by the supervisor with general instructions as to scope and objectives of the study. The study may, however, be suggested by the incumbent, and undertaken after supervisory approval. The incumbent confers with the supervisor regarding definition of the problem, its relationship to broader research goals of the activity, and the development of a plan of attack. The direction and guidance thus received are aids to the incumbent in the problem definition and planning stages but do not remove his or her personal professional responsibility for the completeness and adequacy of these steps. From this point, the incumbent is expected to take responsibility for the study and pursue it to completion, solving problems ordinarily entailed in accomplishment of the work with only occasional reference to the supervisor. Decisions that materially change the nature of the work such as decisions to discontinue work, change emphasis, or change the plan of attack originate elsewhere or are approved by the supervisor.
The incumbent interprets results of his or her own work, and prepares reports and papers which are reviewed for inclusion of necessary supporting information, completeness and for results.
Existing theory and methods are generally applicable to most, though not necessarily all parts of the problem. Available material may contain some inconsistencies, may be partially unconfirmed, and/or suggest several different possibilities of dealing with the problem at hand. The originality required of an incumbent at this level is primarily the development of a complete and adequate research design for the specific problem based on the use of sound professional judgment in selecting and adapting from available possible methods and techniques those best suited to the immediate problem. This may involve the application of established experimental techniques, or some modification of details of technique or method. Incumbents at this level are involved in only a limited amount of innovation or modification of procedures and techniques.
Bachelors Degree and four years of professional research experience in the appropriate field; or a Masters Degree and three years of such experience; or a doctorate in the appropriate field and one year of such experience.
Research Scientist 4, Grade 27
Research situation or assignment
The researcher typically serves as a full member of a research team indicating major responsibilities for all phases of the research project. The incumbent has demonstrated ability to define problems, to perform the necessary research, to develop an appropriate plan of attack, to execute the research plan, to organize and evaluate the results, and to prepare acceptable reports of findings.
Work is expected to result in the authorship or co-authorship of publications of papers or reports of considerable interest to the scientific field, and the presentation of work at learned conferences. Publications are both quantitatively greater and qualitatively superior to the work of lower level research scientists.
The researcher serves as a source of information to staff and others on the research projects assigned to, and to related or similar projects being conducted elsewhere.
Incumbents may direct a staff of lower ranking research scientists and support staff in the conduct of his or her research projects.
The incumbent is expected to take responsibility for the study and pursue it to completion, solving problems ordinarily entailed in the accomplishment of the work with only occasional reference to the supervisor.
The incumbent interprets results of his or her own work, and prepares reports and papers which are reviewed for inclusion of necessary supporting information, completeness, clarity, and results.
The originality required of an incumbent at this level is primarily the development of a complete and adequate research design for the specific problem. The research design is based on use of sound professional judgment in selecting and adapting from available possible methods and techniques those best suited to the immediate problem. This involves the application of established experimental techniques which may require some modification of details, technique, or method.
Bachelors Degree and five years of professional research experience in the appropriate field; or a Masters Degree and four years of such experience; or a doctorate in the appropriate field and two years of such experience.
Research Scientist 5, Grade 31
Research situation or assignment
The incumbent is responsible for formulating and conducting a systematic research attack on problems which have been recognized as exceptionally difficult and unyielding to research analysis so that their solution would represent an advance of great significance. In terms of complexity, problems are typically difficult to define, require unconventional or novel approaches, require the use of sophisticated research techniques, and present other features of more than average difficulty.
Characteristically, research studies of this scope result in a series of publishable contributions to knowledge which answer important questions in the scientific field, account for previously unexplained phenomena, and open significant new avenues for further study. Such work represents an important contribution to the validation or modification of scientific theory or methodology relating to the topic area, and results in important changes in existing products, processes, techniques, or practices.
Incumbents may direct a staff of lower level research scientists and support staff in the conduct of his or her research projects.
The researcher works under broad administrative supervision which is generally limited to approval of staffing, funds, and facilities and broad agency policies. Within the framework of management objectives, priorities, and pressures for results, the researcher is expected to locate and explore the most fruitful areas of research in relation to the agencys program and needs and the state of science involved; to take complete responsibility for formulating research plans and hypotheses and for carrying them through to completion; and to take full technical responsibility for interpreting findings, including interpreting their applicability to activities and interests of the agency and their broader applicability to scientific methodology. Within the agency, these interpretations are accepted as technically authoritative and become the basis for administrative action.
A high degree of originality is represented by the creative extension of existing theory or methodology, or significant contribution to the development of new theory or methodology which is of such scope as to supplant or add new dimensions to a previous framework of theory or methodology; and the responsibility for applying a very high degree of imagination and creativity in the solution of problems of marked importance for which there is an absence of applicable guidelines, pertinent literature, and methodology.
A doctorate and three years of professional research experience in the appropriate field; or a Masters Degree and five years of such experience.
Research Scientist 6, Grade 35
Research situation or assignment
The incumbent is responsible for developing, coordinating and conducting an organized research attack on basic research problems which have been recognized as exceedingly difficult and resistive to analysis that success cannot be positively stipulated but there can be a reasonable expectation of fruitful work which would represent significant progress toward the understanding of a process, phenomena, hypothesis, concept and/or the coordination of research work with scientists from other governmental units, academic institutions and/or private industry.
Incumbents usually direct a staff of lower level research scientists and support staff in the development and conduct of research projects and exercise leadership in the advancement of research programs, the understanding of the field, and/or the coordination of research work with scientists from other governmental units, academic institutions and/or private industry.
The incumbent receives general administrative supervision which is characterized by a high degree of confidence in the scientists demonstrated ability to perform high level research and success at meeting the research needs of the agency. The supervisory relationship recognizes the researcher as an authority who has complete responsibility for developing research plans and hypotheses and for following them through to completion; locating and exploring only the most fruitful areas of research in relation to the agencys program goals and needs and the state of the research field and recognizes the technical competence of the researcher to take full responsibility for interpretations, recommendations and conclusions; their applicability to the agencys interests and goals where they become the basis for administrative action; and their broader applicability to the professional scientific community where they may have considerable impact.
The work is characterized by the application of a higher degree of productivity, creativity and insight into the development of new theory or methodology and approaches to resistive problems and the identification of new problems to be analyzed. The application of this higher degree of imagination and creativity in the solution of problems or explorations of new areas usually results in the advancement of technology and has applicability to the field and may create the stimulus for increased scientific and technological efforts and achievements.
A doctorate and four years of professional research experience in an appropriate field would be characteristic of this level. The researcher has demonstrated an outstanding level of attainment in a broad field of scientific research and/or an authoritative level in a narrow and intensely specialized field. The researcher would typically have authored a number of important publications having a significant impact or advancing the field and contributed inventions, new designs or techniques regarded as major advances which have paved the way for further developments or solved problems of significance to the agency, the field and/or the public. The researchers contributions are of significant magnitude that they serve to move the art forward and other researchers must take note of the advance to keep abreast of developments in the field. The researcher is sought as a consultant by colleagues and speaks authoritatively regarding his field. As evidence of attainment, the researcher is typically sought out to address professional organizations and receives recognition through favorable literary reviews and numerous citations.
The research situation is characterized by the responsibility for attacking basic research problems of such fundamental interest, extraordinary difficulty, and resistance to attack that there have been numerous attempts by highly competent scientists to explore the area and to gain a fundamental understanding of the processes or phenomena; new hypotheses, concepts, and techniques must be developed for attack, and interpretation; and the successful performance of the work will lead to the major modification or important extension of current theory.
The assignment and the leadership exercised by the incumbent influence the shaping of agency program goals, advancement of programs and understanding in the total field, and the planned activities of numerous scientists in government, academic institutions, and private industry.
The supervision received is characterized by: a degree of confidence in and reliance on the researchers productivity, competence, and judgment such that there is a high level of support of the incumbents recommendations and his or her most novel and seemingly esoteric investigations; interpretations, recommendations and conclusions having major impact on matters of great urgency and significance are furnished other agencies and the professional community; and a supervisory relationship that fully reflects recognition of the researcher as both a top authority in the field, and as a distinguished and brilliant scientist.
The work is characterized by the application of such unusual productivity, creativity, and depth of insight into the fundamental nature of phenomena and their relationships as to produce a substantial variety of new methods and techniques, new approaches to formerly intractable problems, and the identification of new problems to be attacked and of important new concepts and discoveries. New areas are opened up for exploration, the findings have widespread applicability to other fields of science and technology, and there is likely to be a major stimulus to scientific and technological effort and achievement in the field of endeavor.
The incumbent is a nationally recognized authority and leader in an area of widespread scientific interest and investigation who will typically have received honors and awards from major national organizations for his or her accomplishments. This person is sought as an advisor and consultant on scientific and technological programs and problems. His or her reputation as a scientific leader is such that the incumbent serves as a recruiting attraction for other scientists who seek opportunities to work under the researchers inspiration and guidance. The incumbents personal competence is likely to be a major consideration in agency sponsorship of programs in his field. Incumbents usually have a doctorate and have five years of professional research experience in the appropriate field.
Research Scientist 8, Grade 38
Research situation or assignment
The Research Scientist 8 is in full charge of a research department or a major research program of unusual size and complexity.
The incumbent is primarily responsible for the direction and management of large-scale operations to efficiently achieve specified research goals and objectives. The administrative framework involved in accomplishing goals, including basic patterns of organization, delegations of authority and responsibility, overall operating policies and procedures, long-range plans, and overall patterns of resources allocation, has been established by higher authority. Within this framework, the incumbent has responsibility and authority for staffing his or her program, for intermediate and short-range planning, for establishing internal operating policies and procedures, for allocating resources at his or her disposal, for optimizing trade-offs between managerial and technical considerations, and resolving problems which arise out of program operations.
The Research Scientist 8 also performs basic research comparable to that conducted by the Research Scientist 7.
The incumbent has demonstrated outstanding attainment in a broad, or in a narrow but intensely specialized field of research. A number of important publications, of which at least some have had a major impact on advancing the field, will have been authored. The researcher will have contributed inventions, new designs or techniques which are regarded as major advances in research; and which have opened the way for extensive further developments, or have solved problems of great importance to the scientific field, to the agency, or to the public.
Contributions at this degree are of such importance and magnitude that they serve to move a scientific specialization forward to the extent that other researchers must take note of the advance in order to keep abreast of development in the field.
The Research Scientist 8 is sought as a consultant by colleagues who are themselves specialists in his field, and speaks authoritatively regarding the field in contacts within and outside the agency. Invitations to address national professional organizations, and recognition in the literature of his field through favorable reviews and numerous citations by others are further typical evidence of attainment. Incumbents usually have a doctorate and six years of professional experience, including specific research and teaching assignments in the appropriate field.
NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.