For starters, it’s not just research. What does a researcher do?
Let’s understand this profession in parts.
In fact, there is a lot of time devoted to research. But they are not made anyway.
Still, there are institutions, such as public universities, that combine research and teaching.
Therefore, many researchers are also university professors.
That is, at all times, the research work returns to society.
In this way, they help to develop different areas necessary for life in society, create and export life-saving inventions and discover solutions to complex problems.
Therefore, this profession is not restricted to just one area of knowledge.
As an example of diversity, we have from classic Brazilian researchers, such as Paulo Freire — who revolutionized education around the world — to contemporary innovations, such as the Brazilian researchers who discovered the sequence of the Covid-19 genome .
Certainly these successful careers followed a long academic trajectory and we will teach you all the steps to follow it too.
Unlike other professions, there is no specific faculty to become a researcher.
This is because, as we have already discussed, there are opportunities for research in all areas!
Therefore, students usually discover their passion for research during their undergraduate studies, and this is when the first steps are taken.
However, if you’ve already graduated and realized that you want to be a researcher, you don’t need to graduate again.
Normally, the academic trajectory works as follows:
1. Starting undergraduate research
When we are looking to enter the job market more prepared, it is during college that we start internships and study the area.
It’s the same with research!
Before pursuing an academic career, that is, life as a researcher, university students can undertake their undergraduate scientific initiation through the following modalities:
- PIBIC: the Institutional Program for Scientific Initiation Scholarships offers scholarships for undergraduate students to initiate scientific research in different areas of knowledge;
- PIBID: or Institutional Scholarship Program for Initiation to Teaching, which is offered to students of on-site courses while they carry out teaching internships in public schools;
- PIBITI: in turn, the Institutional Program for Initiation Scholarships in Technological Development and Innovation, focuses on stimulating technological research methods.
In addition, the Course Completion Work itself is considered a research. So you can already have a previous experience, right?
However, if you didn’t do these activities during graduation, no problem!
But just as it is possible to start a job without any experience as an intern, it is also possible to start an academic career even after graduation. Let’s help you!
2. Seeking experience in the specialization
First, let’s understand the difference.
Therefore, the specialization is aimed at already graduated students who seek professional training in a more specific topic.
Although it is not a necessary prerequisite to become a researcher, this alternative is a good solution for those who did not have experiences during college.
However, the Ministry of Education determines that a specialization has at least 360 hours of classes.
For this reason, many students prefer to start their research career right away in the master’s degree.
3. Finally researcher: starting the master’s degree
As we discussed earlier, to be a researcher you need to be connected to a scientific institution and carry out research.
That’s exactly what happens in an academic master’s degree!
So this is where your focus should be if you want to start being a researcher.
To enter the master’s degree, an undergraduate degree and participation in a selection are normally required.
Although the master’s selections may vary depending on the educational institution, it is common to have phases such as presentation of a master’s project, written test, English or Spanish language test and project defense.
Finally, you will be able to show that you are a researcher through your dissertation. That is, the sample of the result of your research in the master’s degree.
After that, some companies already allow acting as a researcher, but it is common to seek to further improve research in the doctorate.
4. Obtaining a Doctor’s Degree
Then we come to the highest degree of higher education.
Although you can already be considered a researcher since your master’s degree, it is in your doctorate that you establish yourself as a researcher in your area.
This is because the research carried out in the doctorate is presented at the end of the course as a thesis and is characterized as an unprecedented contribution to the field of science in which you work.
Finally, when you go through the qualification and defense phase of your research, you will receive the title of doctor.
In addition, it is common for PhDs to seek to improve their research skills at other institutions or universities.
Therefore, it is possible to carry out a post-doctorate. After all, we can always learn more, can’t we?
That is, the study of a researcher is constant and not monotonous.
But where to act?
Certainly if you are considering a profession, you must have already thought about the job market.
So let’s talk about the possible actions of researchers:
As we have seen, the training stages are long and already here we can consider the student as a researcher. Therefore, the first phase of action can also be considered research in the master’s and doctoral degree, which, in some cases, can be supported with research grants only during the postgraduate period.
Still, the academic career opens doors to join foreign universities and live abroad;
Activities in companies
In some cases, there is also the possibility of working in laboratories and innovation industries during research, after the master’s or doctorate, depending on the company’s requirements.
Thus, the work can be developed in different ways, such as profitable solutions for companies and even creating new technologies for the general public.
work at universities
Overall, this is the most common occupation for a researcher. Through competitive examinations, a doctor can enter a college to carry out his research linked to that institution.
In fact, public faculties usually give more space to scientific productions. But it is important to know: Brazilian public universities normally require that the researcher also be a professor. This is how the career of the researcher-teacher emerges.
In addition, it is still possible to pursue a teaching career in private universities as a master or doctor, depending on the requirement.
To look for a job in the academic field, a good resume is also essential.
Therefore, it is super important to open a free account there and keep your data always up to date, as well as any important action taken during your training, such as publications and participation in events.
Now that you already know where you can act, the question remains of how much you will receive for it.
And the answer is: it depends on the career stage in which the researcher is.
During training, researchers who obtain research grants receive a fixed allowance defined by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes) in the amount of:
- For Master’s students: R$ 1,500;
- Doctoral students: R$ 2,200;
- Postdocs: R$ 4,100.
However, it is necessary for the professional to dedicate himself exclusively to the career of a researcher. That is, you cannot have another source of income.
However, the situation improves for the researcher-teacher.