Jobs for Neuroscientists

There are many different types of jobs for neuroscientists. Some neuroscientists have an M.D. degree, some have a Ph.D. degree, some have both! The following table lists some of the types of neuroscientists and what they study.
Name Field of Study
Neuroscientist General term for someone who studies the nervous system.
Neuroanatomist Studies the structure (anatomy) of the nervous system.
Neurobiologist Studies the biology of the nervous system.
Neurochemist Studies the chemistry (for example, neurotransmitters) of the nervous system.
Neurological Surgeon An M.D. who performs surgery on the nervous system (brain, spinal, nerves).
Neurologist An M.D. who diagnoses and treats disorders of the nervous system.
Neuropathologist An M.D. or Ph.D. who studies diseases of the nervous system.
Neuropharmacologist Studies the action of drugs on the nervous system and/or behavior.
Neurophysiologist Studies the physiology (electrical responses) of the nervous system.
Neuropsychologist Studies brain/behavior relationships especially cognitive function.
Neuroradiologist Uses imaging methods such as X-ray, MRI, CT and angiography to diagnose diseases of the nervous system.
Physiological Psychologist
Psychobiologist
Biological Psychologist
Studies the neural basis of behavior.
Psychiatrist M.D. who diagnoses and treats mental disorders.
Neuroscience Nurse Nurse who cares for patients with neurological disorders and assists other neuroscience-related health care professionals.
Psychophysicist Measures perceptual abilities.
Electroneurodiagnostic Technician Records electrical activity from the brain (electroencephalograms; evoked potentials) and spinal cord.

Is Neuroscience Research in Your Future?

[Written by Victoria Gill, Neuroscience for Kids Consultant]

Scientific research has acquired something of a stereotype with some people. For many, research means sitting at a bench, wearing a white coat, and staring through a microscope all day long. However, research is much more varied and far reaching than you may think. Neuroscience research involves many fields from molecular biology to genetics to behavioural psychology.

Molecular and genetic research techniques are advancing at a fast pace and with them, a wealth of exciting discoveries are being made. Many pioneering studies have found crucial roles for proteins (building blocks of cells in the central nervous system). Interactions between these proteins are vital for the brain to carry out its functions. By pinpointing critical genes and molecules, these studies may eventually lead to explanations about how the central nervous system works and to development of new treatments for neurological diseases. Behavioural research is a fascinating blend of psychology and neuroscience. Animal and human behavioral studies can examine complex cognitive functions such as learning, memory, pain and other complex behaviors.

A career in research?

Many universities have excellent neuroscience departments where you can study neuroscience as an undergraduate or graduate student. One you get a degree, you may find a job at a university or in industry such as a pharmaceutical company. But not all careers in neuroscience involve research. Here are some examples of how studying the subject could lead to other wide-ranging career possibilities:
  • Science and the media: The relationship between research and the media is an important one. Important findings are published and can be of great public concern. Journalists who can convey complex scientific findings in simple terms are in demand. You could find yourself using your scientific expertise to pursue a career in writing or even TV!

  • Teaching: Good science teachers are always wanted and a career in teaching, although demanding, can be extremely rewarding.

Interested in more job information? How about a career in neurosurgery, physiology or psychology (also see, even more careers in psychology and Psychologist's Stories About Their Psychology Careers)?

From Neuroscience for Kids:

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