Research Roles

The Research and Development Department or the ‘R&D Department’ plays a crucial part in the progress and growth of any organization. The basic purpose of this department is to conduct research and find ways through which new and innovative products can be created as well as ways through which existing products can be improved.

This department is widely found in larger organizations which produce goods on a large scale, but is also prevalent to a lesser extent in smaller organizations. Irrespective of the size and nature of the organization, any product that a company produces is usually conceptualized, developed and created by the R&D Department. An active R&D Department is crucial for any company that hopes to grow or sustain its position in the globally competitive markets of today.

As a professional in this department, you would be responsible for various activities that are related to developing and improving products such as conducting research to find out whether a new product can be developed and how, whether an existing product can be improved or not and so on. Apart from conducting research, people working for this department are involved in creating feasible designs for products and creating prototypes on the basis of those designs. It is these prototypes that are eventually used to produce the product on a mass scale.

Mentioned below are some of the roles that you can be assigned in the R&D Department of an organization. Even though these roles are applicable to all types of organizations, you might come across certain variations and overlapping depending upon the size and nature of the organization. For example, there are exceptions like Architects and Scientists who are also parts of the R&D Department of the industries they are involved in.

Keeping aside the exceptions, the more general roles that you will be assigned in the R&D Departments of most organizations are mentioned below.

Researching New Products

Researching New Products roles primarily revolve around coming up with concepts and designs for new products that will increase the sales of the organization. One of the main tasks of individuals working in such roles is to work closely with the Marketing Department and draw inferences regarding usage patterns, consumer demands and likes and dislikes from the surveys and research conducted by the organization. Based on these inferences and the directives of the Marketing Department, professionals who work in these roles are responsible for researching, conceptualizing and designing products that will meet market demands and suit consumer tastes and likes.

As an individual who has been assigned this role, you will be required to first come up with a concept for an innovative product (as per market demands) and then conduct detailed research related to the design of the product as well as the raw materials, technology, financial resources and time that will be consumed in producing the proposed product on a mass scale.

Do keep in mind that in some businesses, these individuals do not need to follow the leads  of surveys or the Marketing Department and can conduct pure research by coming up with dream concepts and designs for products.

Developing New Products

Developing New Products roles involve activities related to creating a fully functioning design of a new product and then bringing it to life by subsequently creating a working prototype or sample. Individuals in these roles are responsible for working on the proposed concept of a new product and finding ways though which it can be created. As a person who’s been assigned such a role, you will be responsible to continuously coordinate with engineers and other professionals in the department so as to be able to build a fully functioning prototype using the correct technology, raw material and design.

More often than not, individuals in such roles add to the research conducted earlier by people in the Researching New Products roles, and make any required alterations to the design, raw material or the technology that is to be used while creating the product. Individuals in these roles combine the right raw materials, technology, design and human resource to create a prototype which is then tested until it is assured that it is an effective representation of what the actual product will be like. Additionally, people in these roles are responsible for creating blueprints and instruction manuals so as to assist the Production Department in the mass production of the product, once it has been approved.

Testing and Quality Checking

Testing and Quality Checking roles revolve around ensuring that the products which are being produced are fully functioning and exactly as per the blueprint designed earlier. Individuals who have been assigned such roles are responsible for testing and performing quality checks on products that have been produced by the Production Department to ensure that the products are of an acceptable standard and not of an inferior quality as compared to what had been agreed to earlier. In case the products are not as per the required standards, it is the responsibility of individuals working in such roles to halt the production and create detailed reports regarding what is wrong with the product and also provide suggestions regarding how the problems of the product can be solved. As a person who’s been assigned this role, you would form the common link between the Production Department and the people in research and development roles within your department to ensure that the goods being produced are as per the blueprint and plan created by them.

 Improving Earlier Products

Improving Earlier Products is a very important role in the R&D Department of any organization. Individuals in such roles are crucial for the extension of the market lifespan of a product by making sure that as time passes, the product’s design, features or concept does not become obsolete. To ensure this, individuals who have been assigned such roles work very hard alongside the Marketing Department of the company to study the results of the research conducted by the organization regarding what the consumers like and do not like about the product. Subsequently, these individuals find ways through which the issues in the current product can be addressed so that the newer produce is an improved version of the same product. By eliminating its faults, the product continues to maintain or perhaps even increase its market demand.

In some businesses such as the electronics industry, a product’s demand decreases even if does not have any apparent faults as it becomes obsolete very quickly. To counter this phenomenon, individuals in such roles have to often add new features to the newer produce of the product so that is does not become obsolete and manages to compete with the recently launched products in the market.

Production Research

Production Research roles involve activities that focus on finding ways to improve the production methods within the organization. As an individual who’s been assigned such a role, you would be responsible for studying the production method of a product carefully and look for ways through which the production costs can be cut, the time taken to produce the product can be reduced, the quality of the product can be improved and the production method can be made more environmental friendly. Individuals in such roles constantly look to create new tools and techniques or find raw material that can improve the production process of a particular product. Do keep in mind that the main challenge in such roles is that you will be responsible for improving the production process of a product without decreasing its quality in any way.

Work Roles

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.