A research fellow is an academic research position at a university or similar research institution, usually for academic staff or faculty members.
A research fellow may act either as an independent investigator or under the supervision of a principal investigator.
In contrast to a research assistant or research officer, the position of research fellow normally requires a doctoral degree, or equivalent work experience for instance in industry and research centers.
Some research fellows undertake postdoctoral research or have some moderate teaching responsibilities.
Research fellow positions vary in different countries and academic institutions. In some cases, they are permanent with the possibility of promotion, while in other instances they are temporary.