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Confused about possible career paths involving Neuroscience watch

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    (Original post by abbiemac)
    I'm really interested in work into areas involving neurodegenerative diseases, and also memory and consciousness. Would you say getting a PhD is critical to getting a position in research?
    Thank you
    The PhD is critical for conducting your own independent research in those areas -- only PhDs are permitted to have the funding and resources needed to direct their own laboratory and their own investigations. That's true for all areas of Neuroscience.

    But. You can become a Research Assistant or Laboratory Technician in those areas as well, conducting workflow in someone else's lab, helping complete someone else's research, with as little as a B.Sc. or M.Sc.

    That however entails a trade-off. You will be at the mercy of the scientific job market and government funding: Job security is usually pretty terrible. And your job may only be guaranteed to exist for a few months or 1-3 years.
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    ok so ive seen ass these posts today and i am beyond cofused. i either want to have a neuroscience degree or immunology and infectious dieseases. i really dont know. also if a phd would be better and my job options at the end. i will start a2 level in september and any help appreciated
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    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    It very much depends on what sort of Neuroscience work you want to go into. A vast amount of cellular neuroscience research going on at the moment is heavily molecular biology based (e.g. stem cells, gene therapy, signalling pathways, etc.). For this kind of work (in my opinion) having a degree in molecular/cellular biology and then perhaps doing a MSc/PhD is a better option. If you want to do neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuroimaging etc. then maybe it doesn't matter so much, or doing a straight science degree may even be more helpful. Cognitive neuroscience on the other hand, you'd definitely be better of doing straight neuroscience, or having a psychology and/or computing background.
    this may be abit personally and i apologize but how are you enjoy your work at the moment. do you work long hours and it is all the course says?
    any tips on which degree u feel is better. a MSc or Phd
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    (Original post by rockstar101)
    ok so ive seen ass these posts today and i am beyond cofused. i either want to have a neuroscience degree or immunology and infectious dieseases. i really dont know. also if a phd would be better and my job options at the end. i will start a2 level in september and any help appreciated
    If you're still doing your A levels then you're a bit premature in wondering whether or not you want to do a PhD, or even what area of science you want to work in I guarantee that you'll change your mind at least twice hehe.

    (Original post by rockstar101)
    this may be abit personally and i apologize but how are you enjoy your work at the moment. do you work long hours and it is all the course says?
    any tips on which degree u feel is better. a MSc or Phd
    I don't actually work in neuroscience any more, and my job is very much not typical of a standard research position, so my answers to those questions won't help you! I also didn't study neuroscience, I did molecular biology.

    As for which is better, I couldn't say. It depends entirely on you, and what you want to do.
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    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    If you're still doing your A levels then you're a bit premature in wondering whether or not you want to do a PhD, or even what area of science you want to work in I guarantee that you'll change your mind at least twice hehe.


    I don't actually work in neuroscience any more, and my job is very much not typical of a standard research position, so my answers to those questions won't help you! I also didn't study neuroscience, I did molecular biology.

    As for which is better, I couldn't say. It depends entirely on you, and what you want to do.
    Heyy thanx alot for ur tiime and help. I know i plan alot although that never works out haha. I am considering biomed now. Thanx for the help.
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    Hi,

    I wanted to ask you what you mean by 'going into industry'... I see this phrased used so often but still haven't quite managed to understand fully what it means and what type of jobs it refers to. I'd be very grateful if you could clarify this for me.

    Thank you

    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    Depends how far you want to go really. If you want to work as a research technician or assistant then a BSc or MSc are usually adequate. (Doing an MSc or MRes will give you a greater depth of knowledge of the specific subject and a taste of what working on a research project is like. It can also make it easier to get a RT/RA job). In these roles you are assigned to a research group which is usually headed up by a professor and post-doctoral researchers; they are the ones who decide what the group researches and how to research it, they design the experiments, generate the hypotheses, analyse and write up the data, etc. The research techs and assistants help out by carrying out various bits of the experiment, helping to generate the data that gets passed to the post-docs. In more senior tech/assistant roles you may have some leeway to plan your own experiments and do data analysis etc. The average salary for these positions in London is around £20-28,000, with the maximum being around £30-32,000, but the higher end is exceptional. There's not generally much in the way of progression, the only way to 'advance' is by moving to another slightly more senior post elsewhere.

    If you want to get more into research, then a PhD is the way to go. Generally takes 3-4 years and you're paid a tax-free stipend of about £10-20,000 annually (again, the upper range is exceptional). During this time you'll learn more about your specific area, you'll undertake semi-independent research, publish papers and eventually write a thesis presenting all you've discovered. If you pass, you're awarded a doctorate and you now have some other options available. The usual thing to do here is to undertake a post-doc position, usually lasting about 5 years or so, where you can independently undertake research in a chosen area, plan experiments, teach PhD students etc. It's common to do a couple of post-doc positions, then one usually seeks more permanent positions like lectureships, research fellowships and so on. Eventually you might become a professor.

    The other alternative is to go into industry and make a fortune
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    (Original post by rubi-t)
    Hi,

    I wanted to ask you what you mean by 'going into industry'... I see this phrased used so often but still haven't quite managed to understand fully what it means and what type of jobs it refers to. I'd be very grateful if you could clarify this for me.

    Thank you
    It refers to taking a job in a scientific company, as opposed to working for an academic institution. For example, my last job was working on an immunology related project at King's College London in one of their research departments - that was a job in academia. A few years ago however, I was working as a support scientist for GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company - that was a job in industry.
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    I was in IB and transferred into AP after 2.25 years. In AP I was able to always manage straight A's, but IB it wasn't as good of grades. A's, B's, C's. I think I made a D once too?? But the scale is just as high though with AP having 5.0 range. So If you choose AP you're more likely to have a good GPA. IB literally will take away any social life and free time you have or want during high school. Ahhhhh the memories >.< You can take advanced placement tests in AP just like IB tests if you wanna opt out of classes in college. But honestly, many times people choose to take the classes anyway (I was one of them.. haha). It'll help with your other classes.
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    Hello Revd. Mike,


    I have been offered today a place at King's to do MSc Neuroscience. Considering your extensive background, which subdivision would you recommend? I am very interested in working with Stem Cells or in the Pharmaceutical Industry, however the "career pathways" on their website are not particularly helpful (or may be I am not looking in the correct place).
    What they offer are

    MSc Neuroscience in:

    Psychiatric genetics
    Addiction biology
    Developmental neurobiology
    Neurodegeneration
    Neuroimaging
    fMRI and tractography
    Cognitive neuroscience

    Which one is which? Also, what is your view on funding the MSc? I was thinking of getting the professional career and development loan from Barkley's however the 9.9% interest rate is putting me off... Then again, I don't know where to look for any kind of studentships/sponsorships. What do you think would be my chances of going into employment straight after I'm done with the course? Is the job market reliable? Thanks for your time, I greatly appreciate it
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    Hi Lemark- working with stem cells and pharmaceuticals requires training in molecular techniques- you need to understand things like genetics, protein interactions, and diseases.

    'Psychiatric genetics' addresses the role of genetics in psychiatry, which could be useful when it comes to treatment of neuropsychiatric disease (e.g. depression, eating disorders, PTSD), which could be tackled through drug development.
    'Addiction biology' would address disorders such as tobacco, alcohol, and drug addictions- which are also tackled by pharma.
    'Developmental neurobiology' is about the growth and maturation of the nervous system, processes which are controlled by genes, so would be relevant to stem cell differentiation, as well as pharma (because of the role drugs can play in development).
    'Neurodegeneration' is about the degeneration of the nervous system- typically focused on diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (both of which are the focus of regenerative medicine, i.e. spanning stem cell and drug research- tackled both in academic labs and the pharmaceutical industry).
    'Neuroimaging' involves techniques such at PET, MRI, and fMRI, to obtain images of the brain in a relatively non-invasive way (as opposed to genetic manipulations or cortical electrode recordings, for example), and are typically used in humans.
    'fMRI and tractography' are techniques used to study the nervous system, and have a wide range of applications in both basic research and medicine, depending on how they are used (fMRI is particularly widely used for human patients and human subjects, though both techniques are also used in other species- monkeys, for example). Tractography is closely linked to neuroanatomy and the tracing of connections between brain regions.
    'Cognitive neuroscience' has to do with cognition and covers many subjects, such as perception, behaviour, and decision making, and can be applied in both clinical and non-clinical settings, and includes the examination of effects of neuromodulators on the brain, i.e. relevant to pharma (though in my opinion, stem cell research has yet to make waves in this area, though that may change overnight).

    In other words, there is a lot of overlap between the topics listed, as well as overlap with your areas of interest (because they are broadly applicable).

    My advice would be to read about the research done in labs at King's and to gain familiarity with the work of specific individuals. Practical research experience is essential for your future career and employment, and it would be highly beneficial to do an internship with a group that you're interested in. Also note that professors are not always able to take on students, no matter how bright and enthusiastic, for a variety of reasons- so if one lab doesn't take you in, keep contacting others.

    Perseverance is key. Good luck!
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    (Original post by robawalsh)
    I am very interested in Neuroscience, and its potential advances in the future and think it would be fascinating to get into. I sometimes read books about the brain and that, and research on the internet about disorders etc, and I do find it very interesting.

    I think for GCSE, I will do fairly well. I havn't had all my mocks back yet, but I got A's in Chemistry and Biology. Maths was a let down, with only 44% (surprisingly, still a B grade apparently). I plan to revise flat out from April, but i'm only doing light revision until then.

    I'm still not sure whether I want to do A-levels or IB - advice anyone? (regarding Neuroscience etc. )

    Could anyone possibly give me an idea of what subjects/uni courses I should be considering? Do I need to go to medical school? Or do I do a degree in Neuroscience, and then more specialised? I'm confused... :confused:

    Bear in mind that i'm aiming quite high, for a respectable profession with decent salary, but I don't quite want to be a doctor as I don't really like the idea of a vocational job that takes up your whole life..
    Also, I would rather be on the front of discovering and making advances in Neuroscience applied in medicine in particular, not being a doctor where I use the knowledge, more discovering it.
    What particular jobs/professions should I be looking at?

    EDIT: I might also be interested in Neurology, which I know I do need to go to medical school for. Also, I know it's a lot like Psychiatry; could someone explain the differences?

    Thanks in advance.
    Not much time atm so I'll be short.
    GCSE's: don't really matter, just prequisite to higher levels.
    A levels: anything biology, psychology, maths, and physics related.
    BTECS: health related ones also good.
    Degree: Neuroscience, psychology, biology, maths, physics.
    MSc (optional): neuroscience - different specialisations available. Possible clin psychology.
    Phd..... in neuroscience... Bingo you get to choose the area of neuroscience, quite a few available, depending on preferences and strengths.
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    hi im thinking about doing a degree in neuroscience and i was wondering what careers you could go into? and how much money you could make out of it?
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    Hey..... While you are studying you should definitely aim to achieve at least three science based A Levels to excel at Neuroscience. Glasgow University offers a fabulous Neuroscience degree.
    This is not Neurology and you won't become a doctor with this degree either, that's just nonsense. There are many new avenues opening up to degree standard Neuroscientists in Marketing and the Consumer Field as well as other new advanced medical applications that were unheard of only a few years ago. Biology and Chemistry are a must and Maths is another science that you may like to consider. Studying these subjects to advanced Higher will help you ease into first year knowing the basics. It is a difficult course and demands a lot of study. Physiology and Anatomy are also featured heavily. If you shy away from exploring dead bodies this may not be for you as you will encounter some cadaver work. This is fast becoming the new rocket science.
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    Hey! I just finished my Psychology M.A. course at Glasgow University and I want to continue by doing a master in Brain Sciences at the same uni. I would like to then go in the industry but I don't know if my knowledge can be applied anywhere outside academia. I have extensive experience with neuroimaging techniques and I did 2 fMRI studies so far. Do you happen to know what I could do with my knowledge outside academia because I keep googling for information and don't seem to find anything.
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    hi
    i am currently a pharmacy student and im not interested in doing pharmacy at all please help me in my country no courses are available to become a neuroscience and i have keen interest in this...what should i do?i straightly want to study this subject
    my time is wasting in studying pharmacy
    im thinking of studying this subject independently by getting enrolled in any university so that i can get a degree and to leave pharmacy is this possible to study independently
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    is it possible to study neuroscience independently by getting enrolled in a good university because in my country not a single course is available for neurosciences
    this is my dream plz suggest me what should i do?i straightly wants to study neuroscience
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    (Original post by einsnew)
    is it possible to study neuroscience independently by getting enrolled in a good university because in my country not a single course is available for neurosciences
    this is my dream plz suggest me what should i do?i straightly wants to study neuroscience
    To be wildly honest, best hope for getting into Neuroscience, even in a great American/British university, is by majoring in Physics, Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering, and then doing EXTREMELY well. I have a B.Sc. in Neuroscience and while it's far more respected (and prepares the student better than) majoring in Biology, Pharmacology, or Psychology, it pales in comparison to those 4 degrees. A great GPA and a Physics degree will get you a long way. They don't care that you know everything about the brain before grad school. They want you to show that you can handle the hardest courses and be well versed in quantitative thinking.

    So to recap. Get a high GPA and major in Physics, Math, Electrical Engineering, or Biomedical Engineering. Then you might be able to get a graduate position in Neuroscience.

    Be warned! Even if you get into a neuroscience graduate program, you will be faced with a grueling uphill battle. Less than 8% of people doing in a Doctorate in Neuroscience will even be able to become a neuroscience researcher. So, even majoring in it and getting a PhD in Neuroscience won't make your dream happen. You have to fight and be way better than everyone else at it. You have to demonstrate better intuitions or experimental skill by out-publishing others. I'm in a top tier Neuroscience graduate program. It's ruthless up here. Be careful what you wish for. It's incredibly fun/rewarding though if you're good at it.
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    (Original post by SynapticSage)
    To be wildly honest, best hope for getting into Neuroscience, even in a great American/British university, is by majoring in Physics, Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering, and then doing EXTREMELY well. I have a B.Sc. in Neuroscience and while it's far more respected (and prepares the student better than) majoring in Biology, Pharmacology, or Psychology, it pales in comparison to those 4 degrees. A great GPA and a Physics degree will get you a long way. They don't care that you know everything about the brain before grad school. They want you to show that you can handle the hardest courses and be well versed in quantitative thinking.
    So to recap. Get a high GPA and major in Physics, Math, Electrical Engineering, or Biomedical Engineering. Then you might be able to get a graduate position in Neuroscience.
    Be warned! Even if you get into a neuroscience graduate program, you will be faced with a grueling uphill battle. Less than 8% of people doing in a Doctorate in Neuroscience will even be able to become a neuroscience researcher. So, even majoring in it and getting a PhD in Neuroscience won't make your dream happen. You have to fight and be way better than everyone else at it. You have to demonstrate better intuitions or experimental skill by out-publishing others. I'm in a top tier Neuroscience graduate program. It's ruthless up here. Be careful what you wish for. It's incredibly fun/rewarding though if you're good at it.
    the problem is i cannot take any of these subjects because they are all for engineering students so i cannot study them for this i have to enroll in college again and study pre engineering which is quite a diffucult processyou wont understand becoz its pakistan
    thats why i was asking is it possible to pursue neuroscience course independently because this is becoming the biggest issue of my life and day by day im getting more depression anxiety.....i just want to continue with neuroscience i am keen interested in this subject but because of lack of opportunities in my country my carrer life is wasting is there any way out?
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    i read all the responses and i see that you have lots of knowledge about neurosciences. In future i want to have a medicine related job. I can't choose between biomed and neuroscience. Do you know if you can transfer to medicine after neuroscience degree?
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    This has been a pretty interesting discussion for me to read as well, you all have my thanks for bringing it up.

    I'm on my 2nd year Neuroscience & Psychology degree, I'm aiming to get a Bachelors in this, then, final-grade dependant (Ideally a level 1, naturally) I'm hoping to go after a masters in Nanotechnology and Neuroscience, run by a certain well-known university that would probably snub their nose at me if I had anything less than a level 1... ... -_-'

    Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do
 
 
 
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