We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Research Consultant?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A research consultant is a specialist that performs targeted research and provides a final report to the client. This type of consultant is most commonly found in scientific, government or engineering services firms. The need for these types of specialist services is standard in these industries, as permanent staff are not experts in the specific areas.

Scientific companies range from pharmaceutical to oil production firms. The types of research consultants are just as varied. A pharmaceutical company may need to use a research consultant for information on specific techniques, existing patents and proposed product design and other items.

To become a research consultant, you must have at least a master's degree in your area of specialty. A PhD is preferred, as is at least ten years of industry specific experience. The ability to work quickly and efficiently is critical, as the period for these types of services is usually quite short.

Many university professors and researchers also provide consulting services to industry. There are conflict of interest policies surrounding these types of arrangements. It is important to ensure that these arrangements do not influence the academic's research and conclusions that may contradict a company’s plans or public statements.

To find work as a research consultant, you must first establish a professional reputation in your field. This involves a consistent quality and output of work. Publish articles in well-known journals and make presentations at conferences. This type of position requires at least five years of steady, high quality output. During this period, employment opportunities exist in industry and in post secondary educational institutes as a lecturer or researcher.

When hiring a research consultant, make a list of exactly what types of services they are required to perform. Think about the output required, written report or presentation. Review prior written work to determine if it will meet the needs of your audience. Many research consultants register with consulting firms that specialize in a particular industry. These firms build a clientele and reputation that allows large companies and government agencies to contact them for specialized personal as needed.

Most consultants aim to work in this type of environment. It allows the researcher to focus on their area of expertise and completing their consulting assignments. An independent consultant spends at least one full day on looking for new opportunities, administrative matters and bookkeeping. The use of a centralized firm provides added benefits and the ability to reach a wider client base.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By istria — On Jun 03, 2011

What does the job market for consulting jobs look like? Is the industry growing, or is it experiencing a glut of consultants. I am asking in regards to IT and security consulting firms. I am trying to decide on what I want to go to college for.

By aplenty — On Jun 02, 2011

@framemaker- I am not sure what type of consulting you are looking for, but you will need to do a search specific to your needs. If you are looking for research consultants for an energy project then you should look for engineering consulting firms. You can also look to many of the multinational conglomerates that deal with energy. Many of these companies offer consulting services.

If you are looking for consultants for energy consultants in a certain type of technology, then you should contact the industry organizations associated with those technologies. They may have resources for you.

By FrameMaker — On May 31, 2011

This was a good article, but how do I find a research consultancy firm? I need a research consultant experienced with renewable energy. Is there some sort of association or registry of research consultants I can thumb through?

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.