5 Ways to Find a Research Expert

5 Ways to Find a Research Expert
by NotedSource

Hiring external research experts is becoming increasingly more common for companies across industries in order to fill internal skills gaps, take product development to the next level, create niche scientific content, and build employee learning and development programs, among many other applications. Whether your company is looking to find a research expert, hire a university expert, or leverage a scientist with specialized expertise, there are a number of ways that you can find and source the best experts for your needs. So where should you start?

How to find a research expert

1. Leverage Social Media and Your Professional Networkpexels-tracy-le-blanc-67789-607812

Social media and networking can be a great place to start to find a research expert. Especially if you’re seeking an expert or an academic in a more common field, it’s a good idea to ask colleagues or peers in your industry if they can recommend any researchers that they’ve used in the past. A referral from an industry peer helps ensure you’re getting someone with a proven`` track record of success. Similarly, LinkedIn or X (formerly twitter) can be valuable sourcing tools. You can search for hashtags relevant to your project, like #dataanalysis or #academicresearch, and find experts and industry leaders who are sharing or creating content. LinkedIn also offers industry-specific groups, where you might find recommendations. 

2. Post a job description/RFP

Another potential avenue for finding the right research expert to fit your needs is to post a job application or a request for proposal (RFP). If you have a specific project in mind, you can post a detailed job listing on your company’s website or on an external site, like LinkedIn or Indeed. If you go this route, it’s important to clearly outline the project details (including deliverables and project length), as well as the required skills, degree, or experience and your project’s budget. This strategy can attract qualified researchers who are already looking for work (though you may miss out on those who are only interested in part-time positions or are already employed elsewhere). Posting an RFP will yield similar results, but usually requires a more thorough response from interested researchers and can be beneficial if your budget is flexible. For a longer or more complicated project, where you might need your expert to have worked on extremely specific or niche types of research, an RFP may be the right choice to find out the most information about candidates. You can post an RFP on a job board or your website, but you can also share it to professional associations, at conferences, or to a research firm’s website. 

pexels-emily-ranquist-493228-12056513. Go straight to the university source

If you’re specifically looking to find an academic expert or a university researcher, it can be helpful to go straight to the source. Beyond the teaching professors at higher education institutions, many larger universities, especially major research universities, have research centers or institutes that employ experts in various fields. Check the websites of the universities near you (or specialized institutes across the country) to see if they have a directory of research experts available for hire. Even if there isn’t specifically a directory of on-demand experts, you can look for professors, graduate students, or research fellows with the specialized knowledge you need. These experts often look for research opportunities outside of their academic work to expand their experience or even just make some extra money. Check out academic-specific job boards like HigherEdJobs for research-related listings. 

4. Use online directories and communities

There are a number of online directories, job boards, and expert communities where you can search for researchers with the knowledge that you need. Some popular options for freelancers include Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. Websites like these allow you to browse through profiles of freelance research experts, read reviews, and compare rates. There are also websites and tools that are more specific and holistic when it comes to finding researchers. For instance, NotedSource has a large community of pre-vetted academic experts from across all fields, and the platform matches your team with the right experts based on your exact project requirements. Tools like NotedSource remove the legwork and guesswork (as well as the red tape) from finding the right research expert for any project. 

5. Attend industry events/research conferencespexels-jibarofoto-2774556

Of course, there are still opportunities to find expert researchers in person! Attending industry conferences, trade shows, and networking events can be a great way to build in-person connections and find the right match for your team. Look for speakers or panelists who specialize in the area you’re searching for, and introduce yourself to get a better sense of their work style and expertise. You can also attend research-focused conferences to network with experts in a specific field. Check out conferences hosted by academic institutions, professional associations, or large research organizations. You’ll likely have the chance to attend workshops as well as meet researchers with the relevant knowledge for your project. 

What kind of projects do research experts support?

External researchers and experts can support projects across so many areas, including:

  • Specialized employee training/learning
  • Whitepapers, e-books, and other technical writing
  • New product development and ideation
  • Market research
  • Scientific research
  • Literature reviews
  • Change management support
  • Data analysis
  • Guest lectures
  • And much more

The opportunities for research collaboration are almost endless. Don’t let internal skills gaps hold you back from innovation – start building partnerships with external experts today!