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CoriSCapnSkip
08-08-2007, 01:14 PM
If a person is good at doing research, how can they go about being paid to do so? Can they choose a particular field, such as history? Do they need extra qualifications such as additional schooling? How do they connect with whoever would pay them for the research, how are research results transmitted (in person, by mail, FAX, etc.?) and what is the pay like? Thanks for any insights.

ink wench
08-08-2007, 10:18 PM
My job title is technically "researcher," and I know people who do it variety of ways, so I'll take a stab at this in a general sense. I don't know anything about historical research, per se, but lots of industries/businesses hire people to do research. Obviously, there are universities and their associated research centers, but outside of academia you have consulting firms (my industry), politicians and political groups, law firms and legal groups, journalism (all varieties), scientifc labs, etc.

Pure historical research is probably quite rare, I'd imagine, outside of academia. If you're thinking of freelancing, I really don't know. As for pay, people will only pay you to research if they're going to make money off your work, and your pay will be dependent on how much money someone thinks they can make off of you. :) Some industries pay well, others pay very poorly. Usually anything associated with the humanities, like history, falls at the lower end of the scale - sadly.

Everyone I know who does or has done research for a living has advanced degrees of some sort, or specialized degrees in their area of research. (e.g. I have a doctorate in psychology, but I do educational evaluation. An ex of mine did a dual major in journalism and science, and so became the science researcher for a health magazine before being promoted to writer.)

I have no idea if that was helpful, but good luck!

AnnieColleen
08-08-2007, 10:46 PM
The author who wrote the tie-in books about Laura Ingalls Wilder's ancestors had a researcher who worked with her. (One series was set in Scotland, another in the next generation in Boston, etc.) Unfortunately that's all I know about the situation -- it was mentioned in the acknowledgements of one of the books (Little House in the Highlands I think?) but it might be a starting point if you want to research that. ;)

veinglory
08-09-2007, 04:25 AM
There are researching jobs where you essentially find and collate information. If you actually organise and interpret it as well a relevant expert qualification is likely to be necessary. Like a graduate degree.

CoriSCapnSkip
08-09-2007, 05:33 AM
Cool, thanks for the answers so far. Anyone know more?

Puma
08-09-2007, 06:36 AM
Hi Cori - There are certified genealogical researchers who work with historic data. From what I understand, there are courses you can take to become certified, but from seeing the work some of them do I suspect you can also pretty much pay the fee.

There are a lot of people willing to pay for genealogical research. I used a researcher for about a year for one job - searching through the microfilms in the LDS files for records from my husband's father's ancestral home in Switzerland. She was able to find many records for me and printed off all the applicable pages from the films. Wonderful! Then I employed a researcher in Bavaria to find records in my father's family - after my funds were used up I was told they weren't able to find anything (but in the meantime I'd made connections with a man in Bavaria who was able to come up with records.)

So, that's some more information for you. Puma

Uma
08-09-2007, 07:32 AM
A good friend of mine works as a researcher in a particular branch of history for a well known professor who often publishes books on the subject. Her job is to keep updated on all information or subjects he wishes to explore and submit reports based on her findings. Often times, if her research is included in an eventual publication, she gets an acknowledgement.

She doesn't live anywhere near the uni, but keeps him updated through regular contact via internet and phone. I don't think it pays very much and she works on this about 10 hours/week. She's been doing it for years, more hours when she lived closer, and has a Masters in his area of specialty.

job
08-09-2007, 07:50 AM
Leesee.

In terms of finding an actual job,

-- if you can relocate, try the Congressional Research Service,

-- or, likewise relocating, try a Think Tank or Foundation. Try the Directory of Foundations, and run through the big ones, looking for those who might have a fari number of employees, including a writing/historian position.

-- do freelance genealogical research, as suggested above. Advertise online and in the magazines that do that. Put up a booth at the Scottish games.



Now, if this is 'how will my fictional character do this ...'

Folks who disturb ground with archeological remains have to do some kind of report on what's there and how they're going to preserve it. I think it's a Federal requirement maybe. This includes, (I think,) not just AmerIndian remains, but all significant historical remains. So being an expert on writing those historical remains reports would be an option.

Ghost writing involves a lot of historical research. So your hero could be a ghost writer. Somewhat similarly, companies want books written about them.

Evaine
08-09-2007, 04:20 PM
To write an archaeological report, you really need to be a qualified archaeologist - and with some experience in the field.
I worked in archaeology for four years, and did some of the post-excavation paperwork, but I don't think I'd like to attempt a full report myself.
Here in the UK, building contractors often have to employ an archaeologist to do the preliminary report on the site if it's in an area of known historical interest - sometimes they have to pay for a trial excavation, too, to see if there's anything of interest underground. I'm looking out of my door now at a new building within yards of a medieval castle wall - and they had to have a dig before the building was started.

waylander
08-09-2007, 04:56 PM
Hi Cori - There are certified genealogical researchers who work with historic data. From what I understand, there are courses you can take to become certified, but from seeing the work some of them do I suspect you can also pretty much pay the fee.

There are a lot of people willing to pay for genealogical research. I used a researcher for about a year for one job - searching through the microfilms in the LDS files for records from my husband's father's ancestral home in Switzerland. She was able to find many records for me and printed off all the applicable pages from the films. Wonderful! Then I employed a researcher in Bavaria to find records in my father's family - after my funds were used up I was told they weren't able to find anything (but in the meantime I'd made connections with a man in Bavaria who was able to come up with records.)

So, that's some more information for you. Puma

My sister-in-law had a job similar to this in Ballinrobe in the west of Ireland helping people (mostly Americans of Irish ancestry) find out about their roots. I'm not sure who set up the centre - could be a government initiative. She had no special qualifications for it. Nice job, but didn't pay too well.

job
08-10-2007, 04:20 AM
To write an archaeological report, you really need to be a qualified archaeologist - and with some experience in the field.
I worked in archaeology for four years, and did some of the post-excavation paperwork, but I don't think I'd like to attempt a full report myself.
Here in the UK, building contractors often have to employ an archaeologist to do the preliminary report on the site if it's in an area of known historical interest - sometimes they have to pay for a trial excavation, too, to see if there's anything of interest underground. I'm looking out of my door now at a new building within yards of a medieval castle wall - and they had to have a dig before the building was started.


I'm not thinking of an 'excavation report' after a dig, of course, but more like those building contractors you're talking about, if they had to fill out government paperwork.
It's one of the places where historians get jobs writing and researching.

It would be something along the lines of here (http://www.kshs.org/resource/SHPO'S_Guide.pdf). (This one has some job descriptions, which makes it useful and interesting.)

He'd need background in archeology, but for all I know the fictional bloke has it ...