Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree.
Natural Sciences Managers are essentially scientists who have matured into leadership positions and are engaged in managing scientific research projects. As a natural sciences manager, you would be expected to develop business through client communication, set project goals, supervise the research, and ensure adequate staffing, quality and compliance, apart from overseeing day to day administration.
Although most natural sciences managers are predominantly from a scientific or technical research background, most of the time they work in offices. Like any other managers, natural sciences managers need to spend a significant time doing the desk job and in communications with subordinates, senior management, and clients.
They also may spend time in laboratories; however, that would depend on the size of their team. Managers with larger research group tend to spend their time primarily in an administrative role and devote little time to research themselves. The extent of traveling primarily depends on the nature of the research.
Natural sciences managers need to review the work done by the team and suggest action and direction based on the analysis. If a team member brings up certain research finding, the manager should be able to use their own judgment and advise the team member on the best the way forward.
Natural sciences managers should be able to keep their team motivated, appraised and focussed towards the goals of the project. They should be able to gauge the enthusiasm level of their subordinates and spot the need for encouragement and advice whenever required.
This job asks for strong communication skills. A natural sciences manager has to develop and maintain strong business relationship with his own team, the senior leadership as well as clients. He may be required to present business proposals to prospective clients showcasing the talents and capabilities of his team to them, thus convincing them about doing business with the firm.
A natural sciences manager is expected to play a key role in planning the overall direction of the research, development, or production activities. For example, he will thrash out the macro level scientific or technical goals in coordination with the top management and proceed to make the detailed plans required to accomplish these goals.
The natural sciences manager will have to develop processes, procedures, and policies for any scientific or technical work to be performed. For example, while stabilizing a new project, the natural sciences manager would be develop operating strategies, plans, and procedures to be adhered to during the life cycle of the project to ensure compliance and quality control.
The natural sciences manager is entrusted with the role of hiring the right person for the right role so that a strong and efficient team is built around his project. Being involved in the goals setting phase as well as planning phase, the natural sciences manager would be expected to have a clear vision of the team required and is therefore closely involved in the hiring phase.
Such a manager should be able to guide the team as well senior management in various legal or statutory requirements that become applicable to the project. It may be related to obtaining patents for a new finding or compliance with certain regulatory matters.
Natural science managers are the ones who, for example, lead missions to the Arctic Tundra to understand the ecology of the area. While doing so they would generally lead a team full of marine biologists, botanists, geologists etc.
The exact number will depend on your skills, years of research as well as managerial experience, size, and stature of teams handled, projects delivered etc. But we can give you a general idea.
A new natural sciences manager (up to 3 years of experience) can earn around INR 6,50,000 annually. On the other end, a senior level natural sciences manager (with more than 8 years of experience) can earn upwards of INR ₹ 12,00,000 per annum.