Are you interested in cell biology research jobs?
Cell biologists play a key role in broadening our knowledge of the biological functions of all living things. If you’re interested in helping to develop new cancer treatments, studying plant life or exploring the possibilities of stem cell research, a career in cell biology research might be for you.
This profile provides you with all the information you need to pursue postdoctoral cell biology research, where to find jobs and where your career can take you next.
What is Cell Biology?
Cell biology focuses on the physiology and anatomy of human, plant or animal cells. While molecular biologists study molecular-level functions (such as DNA) inside a cell, cell biologists focus on the mechanisms of an intact cell. Advances in modern imaging technologies have propelled cell biology research forward at a rapid pace, transforming how we prevent and treat disease.
Cell biologists are responsible for researching, interpreting and manipulating the behaviour of cells for medical, agricultural and industrial applications. They work in lab-based research roles in higher education, healthcare or pharmaceutical companies, medicine and public and private research organisations.
Academic Research Jobs in Cell Biology
If you choose to pursue research in a university environment, you’ll find a wide range of exciting projects and activities related to cell biology. Popular areas include cancer cell biology, neurobiology and cell communication.
Academic research is highly collaborative and is often joint-funded by external research organisations and private sector companies, so you’ll be working in a fast-paced, multidisciplinary team.
- Contributing proactively to the development and implementation of a research project.
- Planning research, conducting experiments and interpreting results in a lab setting.
- Using innovative technological equipment.
- Collecting samples and carrying out fieldwork.
- Contributing to research publications, reports and wider dissemination activities.
- Networking with other scientists to develop hypotheses and interpret data.
- Maintaining accurate laboratory records.
- Delivering ad hoc teaching and learning activities to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
How to Become a Cell Biology Researcher
Most higher education employers require postdoctoral researchers to have the following qualifications, experience and knowledge:
- A BSc in biological or life sciences.
- A PhD in cell biology or a related area (or soon-to-be-completed).
Experience and knowledge
Having extensive technical experience in molecular/cell biology methods, microscopy and bioinformatics/computational biology would be essential for any cell biology research job. You would also need to demonstrate a keen understanding and interest in both basic and translational research.
You must also demonstrate how your doctoral research aligns with the programme or activity and evidence of a burgeoning publication record. A proven ability to efficiently plan and develop research activities and effectively communicate findings would be essential for a scientific research role.
What’s the pay?
Postdoctoral fellow/associate researchers can expect a starting salary of around £30,000 to £44,000 p.a. Senior researchers can expect around £45,585 to £54,395p.a., depending on research/publication record and experience.
What can it lead to?
Most postdoctoral research jobs are funding-dependent and offered on a temporary, fixed-term contract basis for the duration of a project. You will need to complete several postdoctoral research projects before being promoted to lead a team as a senior research associate.
If you’re interested in combining your research with teaching, getting a breadth of postdoctoral experience can be a great springboard to a lectureship. Alternatively, you may decide to move out of higher education into a senior research role in the biosciences industries or other research organisations.
Where can I find jobs?
Cell biology is a broad and well-funded research field. There is a demand for the skills and knowledge that postdoctoral researchers in this field can bring to research across biological and biomedical sciences.
Around 46% of academic jobs advertised on jobs.ac.uk are research roles and of that figure, a high percentage are STEM-related positions. However, bear in mind that these roles also have the highest view and application rates and cell biology in particular is a competitive field.
Take a look at our current cell biology research and teaching roles and get the latest jobs straight to your inbox by signing up for a jobs-by-email alert.
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