Senior management and scientists in biotech R&D
The Vice President of R&D is the highest-ranking position in the R&D function. The Vice President sets strategic scientific objectives, develops operational plans, oversees the R&D organization, and assigns managerial responsibilities to each group. In addition, the Vice President provides leadership and direction on all research activities, initiation of new projects, and development of policies within a function. The Vice President also represents the company in technical issues, initiates new technologies and processes, and manages scientific and technical career development of employees. Typical salaries exceed $175K and usually come with performance bonuses, equity options and other perks.
In many of the larger companies, a Scientific Director, who reports to the Vice President, shares the duties of leading the discovery research group. Typically, this position is more focused on managing operations. The Director directs the work of several research groups, conducts planning, develops budgets, interfaces with managers in other functional areas, contributes to patent applications and represents the R&D function in internal and external meetings. Typical salaries range from $100K to $175K and usually come with performance bonuses, equity options and other perks.
Scientist (Principal Scientist, Senior Scientist, Scientist II, and Scientist I) Most companies have several levels of Scientist positions, as this job is the heart of discovery research occurs. At the head of each research group is a Principal Scientist, a top-tier scientist who is recognized as an expert and expected to have broad knowledge of state-of-the-art principles and theory. Often exceptionally talented and creative, Principal Scientists is also expected to help set the scientific direction of the company and make significant contributions to new research initiatives. Principal Scientists initiate, direct and execute research programs, develop advanced technologies, and test theories and concepts. They also participate in the patent application process, act as spokespersons for their function as well as internal consultants to management in areas that impact implementation of research activities. Typical salaries range from $99K to $132K.
Senior Scientists are also recognized for their depth of expertise in their fields and often have similar responsibilities as Principal Scientists, albeit at a lower level of responsibility. In addition to conducting research programs, they investigate the feasibility of applying scientific principles and concepts to potential inventions, projects, and problems. They are project leaders and consultants for the research function. Typical salaries range from $85K to $100K.
Scientist I and II
The Scientist job is the senior researcher position in the R&D function. At this level, scientists are expected to possess in-depth knowledge of the theories and concepts in their areas of expertise. They are also expected to be able to apply these concepts to solve a broad range of complex problems of interest to the company that employs them. Typical salaries range from $60K to $90K.