Here we look at the research jobs in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology, the typical career paths and where to find jobs.
The second-largest area for health and medical jobs advertised here on jobs.ac.uk (after medicine and dentistry), you will find is jobs in anatomy, physiology and pathology research roles in the NHS, universities, research institutes, government bodies and industry.
The areas of anatomy, physiology and pathology offer a diverse range of clinical and non-clinical research opportunities across both medical and sciences disciplines.
Explore research roles
- Working as an Anatomy Researcher
- Working as a Physiology Researcher/Clinical Physiologist
- Working as a Research Pathologist
Working as an anatomy researcher
Researchers in anatomical science study the human body and the morphology of its parts. Anatomy research is an integral component of a broad spectrum of medical and biosciences disciplines.
Anatomists may be qualified doctors or dentists who have undertaken a PhD in a related area, or biological scientists specialising in an area of human anatomy, such as musculoskeletal science or neuroscience. Anatomical study and research also underpin veterinary science.
- Carrying out anatomical research experiments related to any area of the human body
- Studying anatomical specimens within a laboratory environment
- Publishing research outcomes and applying for further funding
- Working within multi-discipline academic research teams in medical or biosciences
- Delivering workshops and cadaveric dissection demonstrations to medical and sciences students
There are two routes into a career as an anatomy researcher:
On completion of a primary medical qualification, you may decide to dedicate your career to anatomy research by completing doctoral studies in an area of human anatomy. From there, your first move would be to secure a postdoctoral research or lecturing post in a university medical, dental or biomedical sciences faculty.
You might have a first degree and postgraduate qualification in biological, life or health sciences and are undertaking doctoral research in an area related to anatomical sciences. On completion of your PhD, your next move would be to secure a research associate post related to your specialist area in a university or research institute.
For both routes, you would need to demonstrate significant research experience and outcomes in your specialist area. Many anatomy researchers also combine their research with teaching duties as a lecturer or demonstrator.
Salaries for research associate roles in anatomical sciences start at around £33,309 to £40,927, depending on qualifications and research experience.
Further up the pay scale, salaries for senior research associates or senior lecturers in anatomy start from around £45,000 p.a.
Anatomy research jobs
If you choose to work as an anatomy researcher in a university, here are some of the jobs you may come across during your search:
- Postdoctoral researcher
- Research associate/fellow
- Clinical trials manager
- Anatomy demonstrator
- Lecturer/senior lecturer
Find anatomy research jobs here
Working as a physiology researcher/clinical physiologist
Physiologists study the how human body functions and their research may be focused on a single cell, organ or system and how they interact.
Physiologists may work as part of a research team within a university or as a clinical physiologist in a hospital or clinic, helping doctors to diagnose diseases using cutting-edge medical technology. Many academic physiologists combine their research with teaching in a lecturing role.
- Carrying out specialised research and experiments in a laboratory environment
- Disseminating research results and securing further funding
- Collaborating with scientists around the world on joint research projects
- Helping to develop new medicines and treatments within a pharmacology/pharmaceutical environment
- Working with patients in a healthcare setting (clinical physiologists)
There are several routes to an academic career in physiology. If you are aiming for a career as a clinical physiologist working with patients in a healthcare setting, the main route would be through the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). This allows sciences graduates to train in specific areas of physiology – such as respiratory physiology – in a clinical setting. You would be employed by a hospital and paid a salary during your training.
If you are looking at routes into an academic research career in physiology in a university, you would need to complete a PhD in your chosen specialism. Your next move would be to secure a position as a postdoctoral researcher or research associate.
Salaries for postdoctoral researcher/research associate roles in physiology (or related area) start at around 30,000- £49,999 p.a., depending on qualifications and experience.
Trainee clinical physiologists start on around £31,365 p.a. Once qualified, a clinical scientist in the NHS can expect to earn around £38,890 to £44,503 p.a.
Physiology research jobs
If you choose a career in physiology research in a university, here are some of the jobs you may come across during your search:
- Research assistant
- Postdoctoral research scientist
- Research technician
- Research associate/fellow
- Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Physiology
Find physiology research jobs here
Working as a research pathologist
Pathologists are doctors and scientists who study and help to diagnose disease. Their research is essential to the development of life-saving treatments. Mainly based in hospital laboratories, pathologists also provide medical education to trainees and carry out research into specific areas, such as cancer or drug resistance.
- Analysing blood and tissue samples in a hospital laboratory
- Working with patients to understand tests required
- Collaborating with biomedical scientists, doctors and other medical professionals on research projects, diagnosis and healthcare
- Supervising and teaching trainee pathologists and junior medical staff
There are two ways to become a pathologist:
- Medical route – You would complete a 5-year primary medical degree, followed by a 2-year foundation course. You would then go on to complete a 5-year specialist training programme in pathology in a healthcare setting.
- Clinical science route – You would complete a first degree in biology, biomedical sciences or chemistry/biochemistry followed by a work-based Scientist Training Programme Master’s degree. You would then follow a pathology specialism through the Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme, which takes around 5 years to complete.
As a junior doctor you can expect to earn in the range of £28,808 to £33,345 p.a. Qualified clinical pathologists earn between £45,124 to £77, 519 p.a., rising to up to £110, 683 p.a. for consultants.
Find pathologist research jobs here
- Academic jobs in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
- Lecturing jobs in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
- Senior-level jobs in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
- Careers in Pathology