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Biological Scientist III


Senior biological scientist.  Researches or studies basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.  Works under general supervision.  Relies on significant experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.  Defines goals for a given research project in conjunction with faculty and/or other staff.  A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.  Very familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures.  Analyzes existing methodologies, formulates hypotheses, modifies existing procedures, and develops novel procedures for biological and/or other supporting scientific disciplines.  Performs a variety of complicated tasks.  Typically reports to a Principal Investigator, supervisor, or manager.

This classification includes specialist including but not limited to, Biochemist, Biophysicists, Microbiologists, Zoologists, Wildlife Biologists, Bioinformatics Scientists, Molecular and Cellular Biologists, and Geneticists.

Examples of Work

Job functions are specific duties that would be included in the essential functions of the job description.  These functions are not all-inclusive nor do they cover the full extent of the duties performed.

  • Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes; develop guidelines for procedures
  • Develop protocols to improve existing techniques or to incorporate new diagnostic procedures; search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for research goals
  • Design laboratory experiments; oversee their execution; and review, approve, or interpret results
  • Create novel computational approaches and analytical tools as required by research goals
  • Plan and administer biological research programs for government, research firms, medical industries, or manufacturing firms
  • Coordinate/provide scientific services for clients in a clinic, laboratory, or research area
  • Plan and conduct biological research in accordance with stipulated protocols and quality and safety standards
  • Design and perform scientific experiments for analysis and standardization
  • Develop, organize, and conduct experimental studies with live specimens in controlled or natural surroundings
  • Collect and/or dissect specimens; examine specimens under microscope
  • Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant, animal, microbial species
  • Participate in all levels of bio-product/services development including proposing new products/services, performing market analyses, designing and performing experiments, and collaborating with operations and quality control teams during product launches; confer with departments such as marketing, business development, and operations to coordinate product development or improvement
  • Inventory, estimate, monitor, and make recommendations on management systems and planning for wildlife populations and habitat, consulting with stakeholders and the public at large to explore options; coordinate preventive programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases and manage invasive plants and animals
  • Develop breeding programs or survival plans
  • Cultivate, breed, and grow specimens for study and observation or for use in experiments
  • Isolate and maintain cultures of bacteria or other microorganisms for study in prescribed or developed media, controlling moisture, aeration, temperature, and nutrition
  • Prepare collections of preserved specimens or microscopic slides for species identification and study of development or disease
  • Plan curatorial programs for species collections that include acquisition, distribution, maintenance, or regeneration
  • Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples; performs field surveys to identify appropriate biological specimens
  • Direct, coordinate, organize, or prioritize biological laboratory activities
  • Manage laboratory teams and/or monitor the quality of a team’s work; supervise or direct the work of other scientists, technicians, and other workers and evaluate the accuracy of their results; teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research
  • Direct the work of information technology staff applying tools or applications
  • Instruct undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in methods or procedures
  • Maintain laboratory safety programs and train personnel in laboratory safety techniques
  • Perform administrative duties such as fundraising, public relations, budgeting, and supervision of staff; check for, and ensure compliance with, environmental laws and notify law enforcement when violations are identified
  • Write grants and papers or attend fundraising events to seek research funds
  • Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work
  • Review reports and proposals for accuracy, adequacy, or adherence to policies, regulations, or scientific standards
  • Verify all financial, physical, and human resources assigned to research or development projects are used as planned
  • Design or build laboratory equipment needed for special research projects
  • Provide routine maintenance on laboratory equipment; verify that equipment and instrumentation are maintained in working condition to ensure accuracy and quality of experimental results
  • Evaluate/recommend new supplies, technologies,  and equipment to ensure operability in specific laboratory settings for enhancing or complementing research
  • Confer with vendors to evaluate new equipment or reagents or to discuss the customization of product lines to meet user requirements
  • Maintain accurate laboratory records that record research methods, procedures, and results; prepare and maintain research findings, summaries, logs, and notes
  • Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data
  • Develop new software applications or customize existing applications to meet specific scientific project needs
  • Collaborate/confer with software developers in the development and modification of commercial software
  • Create or modify web-based tools
  • Test new and updated tools and software
  • Design sampling plans or coordinate the collection of samples
  • Provide statistical and computational tools for biologically based activities
  • Compile data; create or use statistical models for the analysis of data
  • Develop data models; design and maintain computer databases; manipulate publicly accessible, commercial, or proprietary databases
  • Analyze datasets for clinical or research purposes; evaluate data by performing appropriate mathematical or statistical calculations and analyses
  • Adjust experimental designs as necessary based on experimental data analysis
  • Disseminate information and/or communicate research results by writing technical reports, research papers, scholarly articles, abstracts, or recommendations; share findings with scientists, non-scientist executives, engineers, other colleagues, and the public via writings or presentations/talks at scientific conferences, schools, clubs, and other interest groups
  • Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings
  • Collaborate/consult with researchers and other professionals to conduct appropriate analyses, analyze problems, determine strategies, or recommend solutions
  • Review databanks for new research findings and correlate with laboratory research findings in participating studies

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field and seven years of relevant experience; or a Master’s degree in biology or a closely related field and five years of relevant experience; Doctoral degree in biology or a closely related field and two years of relevant experience.

Licensure and Certification



This position may include supervisory responsibility.


To see common career pathways for each position at the University of Florida please visit the Career Paths section of the UFHR website.