Senior-level biology academics lead and contribute to significant research and discovery in medicine, bio/life sciences and biotechnology. They also manage teaching and mentoring activities in their specialist areas of biology.
In this post, we take an in depth look at a Professor of Biology job, the research and teaching experience required and opportunities for career progression.
What does a Biology Professor do?
From anatomy to zoology, biology is the science of life. Biologists may come from a clinical or scientific/academic background and their research plays a crucial role in developing new medical treatments and improving our understanding of the natural world. Biologists carry out lab and fieldwork, data analysis and basic and applied research in universities, clinical/healthcare settings, public sector organisations, charities and a huge range of private sector biosciences industries.
Biology Professor jobs
Biology professors lead research and teaching in their specialist area of biology across biosciences and medical faculties or schools. They are also responsible for enhancing the global reputation of their institutions through research excellence and innovation.
- Leading research activities in a specific biosciences field.
- Delivering academically excellent, cutting-edge research outcomes.
- Collaborating with researchers, scientists and organisations globally.
- Procuring funding and attending conferences and events.
- Publication of research in peer-reviewed journals and papers.
- Teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
- Supervision of doctoral students and junior academic research staff.
How to Become a Professor of Biology
Professors of biology are senior-level academics with a prominent global reputation for research and teaching. To be promoted to a professorship, candidates would need to hold the following qualifications, experience and knowledge:
- A primary degree, PhD and postdoctoral experience in a relevant area of biology.
- A higher education teaching qualification and fellowship or senior fellowship with Advance HE.
Experience, knowledge and skills
Career advancement towards a professorship in the UK is heavily influenced by publication record and research success and visibility. Candidates would need to have an internationally-recognised portfolio of research and extensive teaching experience at all levels. A track record of securing substantial and competitive funding would also be essential for a professor of biology position.
Evidence of leadership and management skills and proven experience in designing and delivering course modules would also be essential. The majority of professors are members of a wide range of research groups, committees and organisations globally and candidates would need to demonstrate their ability to cultivate current and future collaboration.
What’s the pay?
Professor salaries are not usually disclosed in job adverts and are usually negotiated on appointment to the role. However, most salaries start at around £50,000 to £59,999 p.a. (significantly more for biosciences disciplines).
What can it lead to?
The majority of professors remain at this level and take on additional roles and duties both inside and outside of academia. However, some choose to move into the senior leadership team of a university as a Head/Director of Department, Dean or Vice-Chancellor.
Where can I find jobs?
These are senior roles where individuals have moved up the academic ranks over many years. Most professorships are advertised as permanent; therefore, the availability of positions (professor jobs make up 4.5% of academic roles on jobs.ac.uk) depends on either a vacancy arising or a university’s requirement for a senior specialist in a particular area of biosciences research and scholarship.
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