Research and development manager

What they do

Research and development managers determine, implement and monitor research and development strategies and priorities to support their organisation’s commercial, policy or research objectives. They may lead major research projects and provide research advice to their organisation. Research and development managers may also communicate research findings and insights through reports and presentations.

Working conditions

Research and development managers usually work for government organisations, research institutes, universities, hospitals, manufacturing firms, not-for-profit organisations, and private sector organisations providing consultancy services. In Western Australia, most research and development manager roles are based in the Perth metropolitan area.

Research and development managers usually work indoors within an office environment. Hours are usually regular, although they may be longer when working to meet deadlines.

Tools and technologies

Research and development managers will perform many of their tasks on a computer. They will need to be familiar with project management software, and work processing and presentation software to prepare reports, human research ethics applications and presentations. Research and development managers generally also need to be familiar with data management and statistical software, such as Excel and SPSS.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a research and development manager, you usually need to study a tertiary qualification and have relevant industry and managerial experience.

A wide range of university degrees can prepare you for a career as a research and development manager, depending on the industry or areas of research you are interested in. This could include university degrees relating to medical science, agriculture, or psychological science. Alternatively, a broader qualification in project management, business administration, social research, or management may also be useful. Employment opportunities may be improved by obtaining postgraduate qualifications.
All universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.