Research Scientist Titles and Descriptions

(revised 3/30/2012)

The following titles are used for research scientist appointments:

  • Research Scientist
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Principal Research Scientist

Please refer to the grid “Non-faculty Research Titles” (PDF) for detailed descriptions of the roles, responsibilities, and qualifications of each research scientist rank. When considering a research scientist appointment, particular attention should be paid to the distinction between research associates and research scientists. The grid also includes guidelines on when to promote within the track.

Research scientists who are making significant contributions to two Harvard Chan School departments may be appointed in both departments, with the agreement of the two department chairs and the research scientist.  In this case, one department is designated as the primary affiliation and is responsible, as appropriate and relevant, for appointment and research administration, evaluation and career development, and any financial and space arrangements agreed to at the time of appointment or subsequently.