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University of Washington
Professional Staff Payroll Title Series Descriptor
Human Resources Compensation Office

Payroll Title Research Scientist/Engineer
Typical Responsibilities

Apply scientific knowledge gained through formal education at least at the Bachelor's level or equivalent/related experience to conduct research in a scientific discipline such as biology, psychology, the biomedical sciences, chemistry, oceanography, social work, etc.Examples of responsibilities include: - Research problem identification and definition, - Research approach, hypotheses and/or methodology development, in whole or for specific phases, - Conduct experiments, - Research data collection and analysis, - Conclusion development, - Research result presentation and publishing, and/or - Research grant writing/submission.May monitor work of or supervise research and support staff.

Supervisory Responsibility

Positions in this series are not required to supervise staff.

Overtime Eligibility

FLSA overtime status is based on the position's duties and responsibilities, and whether or not the position's gross salary is less than the federal FLSA salary basis test or the Washington state salary basis test, whichever is higher. Please visit the Compensation website for current information on FLSA overtime eligibility.

Professional Staff Exemption

Research: Individuals having formal academic preparation at least at the Bachelor's level or demonstrated professional competence in a specific field of research, and having responsibility for or assisting in one or more of the following tasks: Identifying and defining research problems, Designing approaches or hypotheses to be tested and the methodology to be used, Designing specific phases of research projects, Analyzing results, Developing conclusions and hypotheses, Presenting research results in publishable form, and/or Obtaining research grants.

Sample Working Titles

Research Scientist, Research Engineer

Alternative Payroll Titles

If the primary focus of the position is designing, developing, analyzing, and maintaining research database structures and systems, then the Research Consultant payroll title could be more appropriate.If the primary focus is coordination of research activities for a significant research project or multiple smaller research projects, then the Research Coordinator payroll title could be more appropriate.


At least 50% of the position's time must be spent in research activities to meet the Research exemption.

Payroll title descriptors provide a general idea of the type of work performed by jobs assigned to payroll titles in a series. Descriptors do not and are not intended to represent all possible positions in the payroll title series. Payroll title and grade assignments for a professional staff position are based on its position-specific job description (see Professional Staff Position Description form).

Descriptor version date: 10/16/2012 3:02:06 PM