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Research and Development Manager

Position Overview

Research and development managers lead the R&D team in developing new and improved products for their company. This could be for an agrochemical company, a pharmaceutical company, a beverage or food manufacturer, or any other manufacturing firm. They are often in charge of finding ways to improve an already existing brand or product, or developing an entirely new product line based on new or forecasted trends within the company's industry. They develop proposals for these new or improved products, and then works with sales to forecast profitability. Once the product is developed, they test and research its effectiveness before initial market launch. R&D managers may also monitor existing products to ensure they are performing as they should. The R&D department is important in any company to ensure they keep up with market trends and their competition. As such, research and development managers should have an excellent understanding of both business and science.

Research and Development Manager Duties

  • Use creative abilities and research methods to improve existing products
  • Based on industry trends, develop new products to meet the needs of the company's target market
  • Report on any technical product issues that are discovered during evaluation
  • Manage product testing and trials, assessing the materials used, the efficiency of the process, and the effectiveness of the final product
  • Manage other R&D staff, ensuring proper policies and procedures are followed
  • Budget and forecast new developments or research plans
  • Present at conferences on research topics
  • Work with market research companies to ensure a product will do well in the market

Typical Employers

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Consumer packaged goods companies
  • Food and beverage manufacturers
  • Agrichemical companies
  • Manufacturing firms

Required Education and Training

Research and development managers should have their master's degree in the industry they have an interest in. Some degrees that may be relevant include food science, chemistry, biology, or agricultural business. A bachelor's degree may also be acceptable if the candidate has experience working within the industry of relevance or general R&D experience. They should also have experience managing or leading a team of employees.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Creative mind to think outside the box
  • Excellent leadership abilities
  • Great problem solving skills
  • Project management skills
  • Good at managing time
  • Excellent communicator
  • Ability to multitask
  • Good business sense

Average Salary

On average, a research and development manager makes £42,000. The range varies from £30,000 to £60,000, depending on the industry and experience level.