Looking to work in life sciences? Here’s a handy summary of the different jobs you will find in the life science sector:
Biomedical scientists examine medical samples, for example, of blood and tissue, helping doctors to diagnose and treat diseases. They use their knowledge and test results to advise and support doctors and other medical staff. Biomedical scientists need an in-depth knowledge of areas such as pathology, anatomy and physiology.
Biotechnologists combine biology, the science of living things, with technology. They research and develop the use of biology to solve problems in areas such as health care, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, agriculture, food production and environmental protection
Biochemists study the chemistry of life. They investigate life’s processes at the level of molecules, using their knowledge to identify and solve biological problems. They research and develop new products and processes to benefit a wide range of areas, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, health care and agriculture.
Computational biology involves the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modelling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioural, and social systems. The field is broadly defined and includes foundations in computer science, applied mathematics, animation, statistics, biochemistry, chemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, ecology, evolution, anatomy, neuroscience, and visualization
Microbiologists study the biology and chemistry of microbes. They apply their knowledge to solve problems in areas like agriculture, food production, the water industry, medicine and pharmaceuticals, and to manage and protect the environment.
Clinical research associates organise and run trials to test the safety of new medicines and to see if they work well. They choose and set up sites where tests take place, supervise trials and monitor the quality of data from the trials.
Industrial pharmacists are involved in the discovery and development of safe, effective drugs and medicines. They can work at any stage of the process, including research, development, clinical trials, overseeing production, quality testing, marketing and applying to have the drug legally registered.
A research assistant is a researcher employed, often on a temporary contract, by a university or a research institute, for the purpose of assisting in academic research. Research assistants are not independent and not directly responsible for the outcome of the research and are responsible to a supervisor or principal investigator. Research assistants are often educated to degree level and might be enrolled in a postgraduate degree program and simultaneously teach.
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to study and process biological data.
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Advice for applying for life sciences roles:
- Getting your post-PhD job during COVID-19
- Completing a Job Application
- 10-Step Checklist Before You Send Your Application
- 10 things NOT to do on your CV