Career outlook for neuroscientist
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
Neuroscientists study our bodies’ most compelling element – the brain. As we still know relatively little about how the mind works, this is a field where your research can make a big difference.
You’ll track brain and nerve activity and examine cells and tissue to increase our understanding of the nervous system. You might use MRI scans or sensors attached to someone’s head. Or you might model nervous system behaviour on a computer to see what happens under certain conditions.
Neuroscience experiments can take months or even years to complete. So you’ll need to stay focused and consistent to make sure your findings are reliable.
Your discoveries could inform treatments for brain or nerve-related injuries and illnesses. They could even help to stop these illnesses occurring in the first place.
When your research is complete, you’ll write a detailed report that you might then send to academic journals. If the journals’ editors think your work is robust, they’ll publish it. Published scientists are held in high regard, and can find it easier to get funding for further research.
What you’ll do
- Prepare tissue and cell samples for analysis under a microscope
- Use chemical tests to highlight different parts of the nervous system
- Use an fMRI or MEG scanner to map brain activity
- Monitor experiments closely and collate accurate data
- Analyse data to find patterns and trends
- Run statistical analyses to show that your findings are driven by cause and effect rather than coincidence
- Meet with colleagues to discuss the progress of your research
- Write research papers and send to neuroscience journals
- Read journals to keep up to date with the latest breakthroughs
- Contribute to data analyses in drug trials
- Provide information and evidence for funding applications
- Go to conferences to meet other neuroscientists and present your research
- Teach or lecture in neuroscience
UK employment status
Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.
- Written communication
- Problem solving
- Working with numbers
- Attention to detail
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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.