Edit: "principal investigator" (english) matches "pesquisador chefe"(portuguese).
Be careful, in Portuguese there is a "investigador", but it's different from "pesquisador".
Pesquisador is researcher in the science, engineering, history and all sorts of academic fields.
Investigador is the one who goes after clues to find out something about somebody, or a criminal investigator.
And there is more:
Chefe means he is the boss, he gives orders to the others. Top of the pyramid.
Principal means "main". The most important, the one who contributes more.
I think Fonseman's translation sums up what you are describing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_investigator.
Thank you, Davu.
Somehow I was thinking about portuguese "Investigador principal", which is different from english "principal investigator".
You are right, and the description in your link matches "pesquisador chefe."
"Principal investigator" is certainly a good translation, but perhaps a little bit tied to the world of universities and research grants - I tried "senior researcher", which is more general, and was accepted.
I agree. I took the safe route and used "chief researcher," which DL accepted, but I've been a principal investigator, and I figured that was a better English rendition.
I agree -- in the English-speaking work, the person who runs a research group or laboratory (and holds a faculty appointment) is usually called a "principal investigator" or PI.
Among scientists, "head researcher" is used less often than other phrases such as principal investigator, senior scientist, project director, head of research and others, depending on the context.
Seems to me that "researcher boss" means he is a boss and a researcher, but not the leader of a team of researchers. Am I right?
As a native English speaker, a researcher and (at times) a boss, I have to say I have never heard the phrase "researcher boss" used. Possibly "boss researcher", but only as a joke. Other translations discussed here would be more useful for a Portuguese speaker to learn.