Navigating Titles at Columbia

Research Titles

Professional Officers of Research:

  • Includes: Research/ Associate Research/Senior Research Scientist
  • Design and carry out experiments, analyze data, publish independently or as a co-author
  • Senior Research Scientists may serve as PI Perform project-related research duties (not administrative)
  • Title requires PhD, qualifications equivalent to those of tenure-track faculty (Assistant/Associate/Full)

Staff Officers of Research:

  • Includes: Staff/Senior Staff Associate
  • Assist faculty or Professional Officer of Research
  • Carry out assigned duties in design, adaptation of relevant technology into experiments, data collection (clinical) and analysis, client service
  • Perform project-related duties (not administrative)
  • Requires Bachelor’s degree, min 4 years of relevant work experience (8 years for Senior Staff Associates)

Postdoctoral Officers of Research:

  • Includes: Postdoctoral research scientists/scholars/ fellow
  • Participate in design and carry-out of experiments, data collection and analysis
  • PhD or equivalent is required to continue research training

Administrative Titles

Officers of Administration:

  • Perform exempt level work (professional, managerial, administrative in nature)

Support Staff:

  • Provide clerical, technical, maintenance and other administrative support
  • May or may not be union represented

Note: This list does not include all comprehensive titles at Columbia, but is a summary of the ones most frequently used at ISERP. If your prospective hire does not fit in any of these categories, please reach out to us at You can also find a more full list of academic titles in the Faculty Handbook.


Don't want to miss our interesting news and updates! Make sure to join our newsletter list.

* indicates required

Contact us

For general questions about ISERP programs, services, and events.