So You Want to Become a Researcher? Build an Academic Career

Becoming a Researcher

Have you ever thought about being a researcher? Know that no activity is more important for technological development in various areas in the country than research. Although very important, it is often a career that is not seen or recognized by society. This is because, after graduating from an undergraduate course, the natural path is to pursue a conventional career in your field.

This is because when choosing the traditional career, the return ends up being faster and requires less time of dedication to academic studies. Therefore, the research career option ends up being disregarded, as it takes a certain investment time, and the result is not always fast. There are also options for professions with a focus on health research, for example.

If you are interested in pursuing an academic career, know that this is the best way to become a researcher. In addition to being able to dedicate to research, it will also be possible to teach and be a university professor. That is, with a structured academic career, you will also have a better remuneration.

Here are some tips for you who want to be a researcher to reach the goal.

How to Become a Researcher

The first step in this is to be moved by curiosity. That is, not being satisfied with everything you know and feeling the constant need to study and go further. So this is the kickoff. And if you notice that this feeling moves you, it is certainly a strong indication that you have the profile of a researcher. When identifying this characteristic in your profile and if you want to work in the field of research, now is the time to know how to follow this path. For this, you need to keep in mind that, like any professional path or choice that is made in life, each decision entails sacrifices.

Therefore, it is essential to realize that you are ready to face future challenges. Here are some steps that are essential to becoming a researcher.

Investing in an Academic Career

Investing in an academic career is the primary choice you must make. It is through it that it will be possible to act in the field of research. Know that it is possible to invest in academic studies in any discipline you have chosen. Therefore, research is not restricted to a specific area or training. The academic career is recommended for those who wish to teach at universities. In this way, it can be built from the moment you enter higher institution.

It is common for many students to find their professional goals during this journey. Therefore, if you want to be a researcher, it is interesting that you start looking for what your areas of interest are. For this, it is important to start observing and participating in the opportunities that are available while studying. This can be done through seminars, or academic conferences; know that they occur at various times during the semesters.

The possibilities for investing in an academic career are many, such as monitoring, curricular activities or extension projects. In addition to refining your studies, you will accumulate experience and be known in the academic environment through your participation.

Obviously, some areas are more promising than others, as they receive more investment and are more targeted. But that does not mean that a less valued area does not guarantee satisfactory results. It is worth remembering that many surveys are discreet, and the results are not always evident in society. But believe me, thanks to them, science has made significant advances in all areas.

Participate in Research Project as an Undergraduate

To invest in an academic career, you must start doing this from your undergraduate days. The best strategy for this is through research projects because it is through them that you begin to set up a solid study to develop your academic career. In doing so, you will have contact with professors who are also researchers, and this allows you to become familiar with the academic environment.

It is important to remember that this is common to all undergraduate courses, because in each of these courses, there is probably an ongoing research project that you can take part in. To find out about research projects, you should keep an eye on the notices that are displayed on the university murals or speak directly with a professor you have relationship with. Undoubtedly, he will know how to indicate who is responsible for the project or even inform about someone else. Therefore, this is the first step in investing in an academic career that will allow you to develop a solid and reliable resume.

The research project for example, also guarantees you publications of articles. Know that academic publications are valuable for the academic resume. They are the ones that help you to become familiar with scientific rigour. So, this is one of the best investments you can make as an undergraduate.

Invest in Graduate School

Know that to become a researcher; you will need to invest in a postgraduate course. For this, it is important to understand that there are two teaching modalities: Professional Graduate Degrees and Academic Graduate Degrees. Know that each of them consists of different professional paths.

But either way, graduate school is designed for those who want to specialize in a career after completing their studies. Therefore, it offers a level of vertical study, which you specialize in a specific area.

Here is a summary of what each of these modalities means:

  1. Professional Graduate Degrees: This modality is the most suitable for those who wish to work in the conventional job market. It is through this modality that it will be possible to find MBA courses or specializations.
  2. Academic Graduate Degrees: If you aim to be a university professor and researcher, this is the path that will take you to that destination. This modality consists of further study.

How the Master’s Degree Works

The master’s degree is an important theoretical deepening stage. The completion time lasts an average of two years, and it is necessary to have exclusive dedication to study and research. At the end of this course, you must prepare a dissertation, which will be evaluated by an examining board. After obtaining approval by this board, the master’s degree will be yours, and you will be able to advance to the doctorate.

How the Doctorate Degree Works

The doctorate is a process similar to the master’s degree, but with even greater depth. At this stage, you must prepare a thesis. This means that in this part, you will have to put your research into practice and develop this research in the field of science for over four years.

The doctorate is divided into two parts, qualification and defence. An examining board approves both steps. After your qualification is validated, the thesis is underway, and in the last year, the defence takes place. After approval of the board, the title of doctor is yours. To reach this academic level, you must be invested throughout your academic career in studies and research. This guarantees you a better qualification when you are applying for a scholarship in graduate school or a vacancy in both the masters and doctorate.

What is the Next Step After the Doctorate?

After obtaining the title of doctor, it is important that you stay active at the university and always keep an eye out for any open call for a teacher contest. Know that you can occupy this position as a substitute professor, who has a fixed term of contract or adjunct, who becomes part of the teaching staff of the university.

It is important to note that in some universities, it is not necessary to have a doctorate, but it can be essential when filling the position. Therefore, the doctorate places you on a different level in the career of professor and researcher.

When you start teaching at a university, you will be able to develop research and guide students to study in a specific area. That’s when you start to develop as a researcher and discover new possibilities for the advancement of research.


Are you interested in the research career? Know that you will need to dedicate yourself to your studies and set up a routine to handle the rigor that comes with it. Therefore, having an affinity with the habit of studying and researching should be a characteristic of your profile.