Senior-level virology academics lead research and development into pioneering treatments for current and emerging viral threats. The field was brought into sharp focus during the coronavirus pandemic, where specialists played an essential role in the development of new vaccines.
This post looks at the career path and the day-to-day work of a virology professor and where to find these types of opportunities at jobs.ac.uk.
Virology is a sub-discipline of microbiology concerned with viruses; their classification, interaction, genetics and how they cause disease. Virologists diagnose, manage and treat patients with viral infections and conduct research into new treatments. Their work is key to the development of vaccines against emerging infectious pathogens, such as novel coronavirus, and re-emerging diseases like measles and Ebola.
They work as clinical scientists in hospitals and public health bodies, as researchers in higher education, charities and research foundations and in private sector biomedical and biopharmaceutical companies.
Professor of Virology Jobs
Virology professors come from either a medical or biosciences background (or both). They lead interdisciplinary teaching and conduct groundbreaking research in specialist areas of the field.
- Leading and collaborating in global virological research and development.
- Serving on numerous international advisory and review committees and groups.
- Teaching students at all levels across biological sciences, biomedical science and medicine.
- Advising on global health policy.
- Publication of research in peer-reviewed journals and papers.
- Procuring major funding grants.
- Supervision of doctoral students and junior academic research staff.
- Attending and speaking at virology conferences and events worldwide.
How to Become a Virology Professor
The qualifications and experience you need to reach this senior academic level depend on whether you take a clinical or biosciences route through your career. The majority of higher education employers would require professorship candidates to have the following qualifications, experience and knowledge:
- Either a biosciences undergraduate degree or a primary medical degree (clinical route).
- A PhD in virology, infectious diseases, microbiology, biochemistry or related area.
- A higher education teaching qualification and/or principal fellowship with Advance HE (formerly the HEA).
Experience and knowledge
An established and internationally-recognised virology research portfolio and the ability to generate significant funding would be essential for promotion to a professorship. You would also need to demonstrate strong leadership and communication skills and the ability to establish new partnerships with universities, research organisations and biosciences industries worldwide. Candidates are also judged on their teaching practice and ability to shape the careers of junior scientists.
What’s the pay?
Professor salaries vary between disciplines and are usually agreed on appointment to the role. However, most salaries start at around £50,000 to £59,000 p.a. and can be significantly higher depending on experience, academic record and visibility of research.
What can it lead to?
Becoming a professor in a university requires years of dedication to research and education. Professors consider their role to be the pinnacle of an academic career and use their seniority and influence to pursue global scientific breakthroughs in their specialist areas.
However, professors can also be promoted to university management positions, such as Head or Director of a department or Dean of Faculty. The majority of professors take on additional advisory and collaborative roles outside of their institution. For example, a virology professor may also be involved with organisations such as the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or Public Health England.
Where can I find Virology Professor jobs?
Professors are generally appointed by their institution, after having risen through the academic ranks. The availability of jobs in biosciences disciplines depends on the research priorities and funding of each institution and whether your research portfolio aligns with those priorities.
At jobs.ac.uk, we work with hundreds of leading global universities and organisations to bring you the best range of academic jobs. Explore our current senior-level academic opportunities in biological sciences and get new roles straight to your inbox by registering for a jobs by email alert.
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