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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 502E
Category: Science & Engineering


Conducts primarily nonroutine research studies in a variety of one or more disciplines including physical, biological, social, behavioral, or health-related sciences at the entry level for advanced research work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions at this level are characterized by the following:

(1)        Assigned research work applies specialized professional-level research skills and knowledge which usually includes lack of documented methodology or standardized procedures. 

(2)        Positions deal primarily with unique or one-time studies; or studies that deal with complex correlational analyses or other advanced statistical modeling techniques.  

(3)        Level and scope of work equivalent to university post-graduate research. 

(4)        In larger research units, take guidance from higher level investigators or technical administrators; may recommend policy options based upon research findings (particularly in smaller units). 

(5)        All positions possess and perform at the level of a Master's degree, or higher.

Typical Work

Under supervision or as directed, reviews and designs research studies, e.g., studies relationship between seasonal variations and admissions to institutions; develops rating scales sensitive to changes in behavior following drug administration; studies effects of varying kinds of reward on training of the developmentally disabled, etc.;

Provides core data to the Department or agency for specialized research programs in agencies and divisions;

Develops questionnaires and code sheets suitable for program evaluation; analytically evaluates programs; participates in demographic forecasting and tracking program areas;

Performs statistical analyses of data, e.g., analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, varying kinds of correlations, independent and correlated t, nonparametric statistics, etc.; if in an agency, serves as a resource person for clinical personnel doing part-time research and assists them with problems in regard to design, methodology, and statistical analyses;

Assists in the design of methodologically sound research studies, may direct research assistants or aides who are part of his/her research team;

Consults with administrative and service staff in the assigned agency concerning the planning and logistics necessary to conduct successful research within the agency;

Consults with administrative staff or supervisor in regard to problems of budget, personnel, purchasing, etc.;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: the body of knowledge in his/her specialty; experimental research designs appropriate to his/her field; statistical and research theory and techniques.

Ability to: initiate and plan analytic research; provide research needs of the Department; develop research methodology and methods of data collection; interpret data; speak and write effectively.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

A Ph.D. degree in one of the physical, biological, social, behavioral, or health-related sciences.


A Master's degree in one of the above fields and experience in experimental or analytical research in a public agency, public or private research corporation, non-profit research corporation, or university research center.  Experience as a researcher or graduate research assistant will be credited only if performed equivalent to at least three years at the Research Analyst 3 level; or equivalent to one year at the Research Analyst 3 and one year at the Research Investigator levels.

Candidates, having met one of the criteria mentioned above, and having authored or co-authored at least 3 published articles not relating to a Master’s thesis are preferred.

Class Specification History

New class (replacing existing Research Investigator 1, code 0424): 1-15-82
New class code: (formerly 04150) effective July 1, 2007
(06/26/2008) General language revision to Desirable Qualifications, last paragraph. Last paragraph former language reads: In all instances, candidates must have had at least three articles (not necessarily as sole author) either published or in press, i.e., definitely accepted. These articles may not be the publication of a Master's thesis.