Monday, February 15, 2010

Research / Biotechnology / Genetics - Job Prospects & Salary

Research / Biotechnology / Genetics - Personality Traits

Biotechnology Scientists are
Keenly interested in the study of life forms and biological processes
Investigative and questioning by nature
Able to work by themselves for long hours on a specific project
Interested in reading, research and academic discussion

Research / Biotechnology / Genetics - Job Prospects
As scientists, engineers, physicians and computer programmers, one could be working either with research laboratories or with pharmaceutical companies in the area of biotechnology. MBAs and salespeople would find employment with the latter alone. Kind of jobs include -

Work in research and development laboratories of government and private sector involved in biotechnology.
Work in forensic science laboratories which employ molecular biological techniques such as DNA finger printing for diagnostic purpose
Work as part of clinical research programmes in hospital department and research foundations.
Work in research division within government agencies in areas of agriculture, animal health and biomolecular engineering.
Can propagate plants by tissue culture technique
Can be employed in food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries as quality control officers
Can carry out independent research on minor projects
Can be employed as biotechnology based computer personnel
Can independently set up mushroom cultivation laboratory

Both government and private sectors have realized the immense scope and power of biotechnology. A lot of work and research is being done in this area. Along with government aided organization, there are numerous biotech based private sectors which are rapidly getting established in India and specifically around Bangalore. So, it is evident that demand for skilled personnel is ever increasing.
Most laboratories and research institutes in India are government owned and career paths are in accordance with seniority and promotion norms in the government. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies with large research departments have more fast-track career paths for scientists depending on performance. A scientist would join as research assistant, move on to becoming research associate in a couple of years and then to Scientist. The role of Chief Scientific Officer in a lab or biotechnology company is a position of considerable responsibility, respect and decision making power.

The major institutes in India offering research facilities to scientists are:
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi
National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad
National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi
Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi
Department of Biotechnology
Defense Research and Development Organisation
Department of Science and Technology
National Facility for Tissues and Cell Culture, Pune
Indian Council for Medical Research, New Delhi
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Some leading laboratories and companies to work with in India and abroad are Affymetrix Inc., California Institute of Technology, Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, Dkit Confidential, DirectMax Studio, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Johnson Controls, NYC Teaching Fellows, Pfizer, St. Johns River Water Management, University of Illinois at Chicago, Wyle Laboratories and Ranbaxy Laboratories.

Research / Biotechnology / Genetics - Salary

Researchers in laboratories are mostly paid in accordance with government scales as per the Fifth Pay Commission in India and similar scales abroad.
Starting salaries could range from Rs 7,000 – Rs 15,000 per month depending upon academic qualification, institute or university from which the degree is attained, level of work experience and company policy.
Since the sector is fast-growing and poised for a boom of the kind seen in the software industry at the turn of the millennium, salary structures and career paths in the private sector are increasingly competitive and unpredictable.
Peak salaries in Indian Government-owned labs would be a cost to company of around Rs 1 lac per month including housing and other benefits.
A Chief Scientist in a private sector laboratory or biotech company would earn an internationally competitive salary at par with Chief Financial Officers and Chief Technology Officers in the corporate sector in the range of Rs 50 lacs to Rs 1 crore per annum.

Salaries of physicians, IT specialists and MBAs follow corporate trends in that sector.


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