Research scientists are scientists in any discipline who are engaged in new areas of their science, experimenting and exploring new concepts. Many top-level scientists engage in research careers, winning Nobel prizes and advancing science.
Research scientists begin their careers at graduate or postgraduate level. They are required to develop their research skills, which can include a very wide range of professional skills, lab skills, and in many cases, data management skills as well.
In conjunction with their research work, research scientists commonly undertake ongoing education, and in many cases specialized training in related fields. A marine biology researcher, for example, may undertake specialized training in scuba-diving, marine ecosystems, and similar related areas of expertise.
Because of the extremely large number of possible avenues of research, research scientists generally develop their careers on the basis of personal preferences, as far as possible. Research in biology, for example, may involve working in multiple fields of research over a relatively short period of time.
Actual career progression for research scientists is very much based on the nature of their research work, and follows a logical sequence in terms of skills development and qualifications. Participation in research programs is often a precursor to advancement.
If you're looking for a career in scientific research, you're also looking at new horizons in science, by definition. Research is the real 'cutting edge' of all sciences. Research careers can also be among the most rewarding of all scientific careers. They can also include major scientific breakthroughs, and even the development of whole new scientific concepts.