Carrier Opportunities In Research Techniques Of Biological Science

Sanjib Borah, Simson Soren, Reema Talukder and Sukanya Chakraborty Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University North Lakhimpur-787 051, Assam

2020-03-02 13:54:59



The difference between job and carrier is that, a job has minimal impact on your future work life, while a career provides experience and learning to fuel the future. Basic education was all meant about for getting a job opportunity in the past. Then the era comes when graduation became a mandatory and in recent days almost everyone are aware of post graduation and doctoral programme. When it comes to getting a good salaried job these days there is huge struggle. The carrier aspirant wants to have the highest of all qualifications in order to compete with the present generation. However, looking at the employer’s point of view, one with the best experience in its relevant field is considered worthy of his attention. So, one must know the essential requirement of an ideal candidate in the eyes of the recruiter.

Present job market offers researchers a huge diversity of career opportunities in various roles and sectors. A researcher role is found in academia, policy development and advocacy, financial services, market and social research etc. Research is a profession for those who have willingness to transform technologies for tomorrow and want to create life-changing technologies. Aspirants, wishing to make a mark in research field, should have a comprehensive knowledge in the related scientific or engineering stream. For that, a master degree in science stream is required and in many cases any other graduate qualification covering the relevant area of research and specialization is generally considered an ideal qualification. If one thought research and development in science as a career choice the biotechnology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical industry has an endless scope. Once one identifies possible career paths of interest, they should learn as much as about them. Hence, let have a glance at certain research techniques which may help to build a strong career in the biology, health care, biotechnology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical industry ect.

  1. General Molecular Biology techniques

These techniques are applicable to cloning, gene expression and also one need to be familiar with bioinformatic approaches to oligonucleotide design, in silico cloning, identifying genes and use of basic alignment tools to be a part of the research and development team. A researcher is required to work in multidimensions. Completing Ph.D does not necessarily mean that you are an expert of it, which you can achieve in hands-on training via workshops.

  1. Chromatographic techniques:

It includes techniques like Normal Phase and Reversed Phase chromatography which are easier to understand concept-wise however; practically it takes time to standardize and get the equipment run damage free. The issue is no one will let you handle the instrument by yourself. In well-known laboratories like PU, NCL, you are only asked to provide the sample which is then analysed by an expert technician.  Companies like Piramal Healthcare, Nilsan Nishotech Systems Pvt Ltd, Rhydburg Pharmaceuticals Ltd etc. recruit candidates either as an apprentice or permanent positions who are required to have sound experience in basic protein purification and characterization work via chromatography techniques alongside basic immunohistochemistry techniques or ELISA assays.

  1. Quality Control Analyst:

To be a quality control analyst, one need to have a good understanding of the research techniques related to Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology. In addition they demand the experience of Developmental Quality Assurance, review of Batch Manufacturing records of biological drug substance and drug product, knowledge of change control, Deviations, Investigations, and CAPA etc. Jobs like QC Inspector, Manager Quality Control and Safety, QC Officer; Quality Engineer, etc. can be easily grabbed with theoretical knowledge as well having hands on practice. Companies like Thomson Reuters, Reliance, Godrej, ITC, Unliever, etc are even willing to pay a salary ranging from Rs. 1, 59,000/- to Rs. 7, 67, 000/- pa in India based on expertise and experience.

  1. Ability to handle large data:

Artificial Intelligence or handling data of large sample is another need of the hour. Where the recruiter demand skilled workers who can manage data in top Biopharma companies in the areas of genomics, human micro biome, crowd sourcing, drug designing, and clinical data. Various companies viz. Amazon, Siemens Technology, Gartner India Research & Advisory Services, Microsoft etc. handle both offline and online courses related to Artificial Intelligence. They are ready to pay monthly a handsome salary of  lakhs to highly experienced specialists, developers and engineers.

  1. Statistics:

Regardless of the number of software occupied in market today, human intelligence and discretion remain unmatched. Although statistics is involved in every master and doctoral research, but to get a job require an additional expert. Companies like Monsanto require Ph.D candidates with a background in statistics, biostatistics, genetics and Breeding, quantitative genetics, statistical genetics, molecular Breeding, or related fields.

  1. Bioinformatics:

A genomic scientist should have knowledge about atleast one of the programming languages like Perl or Python or Ruby. They need to be expertise in Shell scripting as well as handling large scale next-generation sequencing (NGS) datasets. A candidate should be experienced on Whole genome sequencing and exome sequencing data, detailed and updates knowledge of advanced Germline and Somatic NGS data analysis related tools for single nucleotide variants (SNV), Copy number variations (CNV) and Structural variant (SV) calling and databases for variant interpretation, experience in mathematical modeling, statistics/ multi-omics integrative analysis/ machine learning, experience or knowledge in interpreting NGS data. Computer-aided design (CADD), Modeling, Docking and many such techniques exist in Bioinformatics which can be mastered for high pay scale jobs. So, in order to get expertise in these fields certificate and Diploma courses are available at Biotecnika.

  1. Clinical Research Associate Certification:

Along with basic degree in the related field one must have relevant research experience. E.g. CCRP (Certified Clinical Research Professionals) provide different courses viz. Clinical Research Associate Certification, Clinical Trials Assistant Certification and Acceleration Clinical Research Associate Certification.

  1. HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point):

It is a worldwide accepted research technique to prevent chemical, micobiological and physical contamination along the food supply chain. This can be done by identifying the risks, establishing critical control points, setting critical limits, ensuring validation of control measures, verified and monitored before implementation. The effective performance of HACCP will boost the ability of the companies to protect and improve brands and private labels, endorse consumer confidence and comply with regulatory and market requirements. All sort of businesses that include cereals, meat products, dairy products, fisheries, spices and condiments etc. involved in the food supply chain from producers to retailers can use HACCP.

In a job of Research Associate (RA) in the field of Food Science and Technology, one must be familiar with GMP, FDA, FSSAI and HACCP compliances as well as able to design and carry out lab experiments/ pilot scale and factory scale trials and accomplish meticulous planning and documentation of all technical work. Usually, it requires an experience of 4-6 years. Now, a PDF student from a cancer background definitely will not have a good understanding of these compliances. However, someone with no experience in this field can opt for a certification course from the National Centre for HACCP Certification. This involves application for certification, pre-assessment, training, document review, certification audit and getting a certificate. Likewise, certificate courses for cGMP and FDA are offered by CfPA (The Center for Professional Advancement).

  1. Spectroscopic techniques:

These techniques have wide applications in every field. They either include simple UV- visible spectrometry, or very complex techniques like Nucleic Magnetic Reasonance, Circular Dichroism, Surface Plasmon Reasonance, etc. These techniques are needed to find out the structured details of molecules and compounds. Since the instruments are expensive, they require trained personnel with proper knowledge of related software and techniques.  

  1. Nanobiology:

This is yet another emerging field that covers basics in the field of biological nanoparticles and also provides better employment chances. Not everyone get a chance to be expertise in nanotechnology research techniques, still we can complete a course in nanobiology. Techniques include synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles, nanofabrication etc. There are a multiple scopes and benefits in this field with a monthly salary ranges from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60, 000/- and even higher salary in multinational companies. Being a faculty is indeed the most loved option but companies like Nano serendipity, Nanobiz, Aaxis Nano Technologies, as well as institutes like Institute of Nano Science and Technology always welcome candidate with these skills. The above list are the most trending research techniques which the employers are seeking in candidates, yet there are many more research techniques and skills that one can acquire knowledge of. These are a few of such techniques that can lead you a successful career to grasp the multiple opportunities available in the market that can assist you in building a strong resume to catch the attention of the recruiter and grab a highly paid job.

  1. Flow Cytometry:

Flow cytometry is an advanced analytical technique used for the analysis of single particles or cells. Diverse physical characteristics like internal complexity or relative granularity, relative size and relative fluorescence intensity are measured using a beam of laser light and analyzed as the single particles or cells flow in the stream of fluid to the laser interface. It is use for cell counting, cell sorting, measuring cell size and volume, characterization of different cell types in a mixed cell population, analyzing both cell surface and intracellular molecular expression and assessing the purity of isolated subpopulations of cells.

  1. CRISPR technique: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.” (CRISPR) a genome engineering technology enables scientists to easily and precisely edit the DNA of any genome to treat Genetic errors, elimination of the pathogens, produce designer babies etc. Indian Research community is all set to adapt for this trending gene editing technology of CRISPR Cas9. In fact, a lot of research is already being conducted at research labs and private biopharma companies with respect to CRISPR Research Trends to tackle issues faced globally related to health, agriculture and Food technology. There are many job opportunities in this field for which you need to apply for vacancies in CRISPR related research projects at either research institutes or Biotech companies. But all of these jobs require a minimum qualification of being a postgraduate with NET / GATE qualification if you are joining a research lab or preferably a PhD degree (given priority).

Multiple jobs are available in research lab, academic sector and commercial sector as research fellow- JRF/SRF, Research Associate (RA), research scientist, Post-Doctoral-Fellow (PDF) and lab technician in universities, research institutes, and hospitals.  Pharmaceutical companies and Clinical companies employ persons expertise in flow cytometry particularly those associated with antibody marker development, designing disease targets and drug targets such as cancer, involved in the diagnosis, clinical trials and quality control assurance. List of companies hiring experts in flow cytometry are Boehringer Ingelheim India Pvt Ltd., Thermo Fisher Scientific, Syngene International Ltd., AAstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd., Iqvia Pfizer Inc., Nestle Ltd., Parsons International Ltd., Apex services, BD India Pvt. Ltd., Millipore Sigma, Merck Ltd., Phenomenex Inc., Apogee Services Pvt. Ltd., Cancer Genetics Inc., Averinbiotech Pvt. Ltd., Becton Dickinson India Pvt Ltd., and Thyrocare Technologies Ltd. Etc.