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Neuroscience: Education, PhD & Postdoctoral Jobs

Updated on January 21, 2013

Neuroscience: Education, PhD & Postdoctoral Jobs

The main function of our nervous system is to monitor and respond to the changes occurring inside our body such as pain, thirst, hunger, etc., and also, to receive and react to the external environmental stimuli. Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. The nervous system is divided into two major parts, the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).

The human brain, which is a part of the CNS, is a complex organ with at least 10 billion neurons. The nervous system is afflicted by a growing number of illnesses such as depression, chronic pain, Parkinson, Alzheimer, epilepsy, autisms, schizophrenia, stroke and so on. The health care system of all societies is spending billions of dollars to control, treat and manage nervous system-related disorders.

Pharmaceutical industry is also making enormous investments to develop novel drugs. Therefore, the need for neuroscientists is in high demand in both academia and industry.

Schooling in Neuroscience

The neuroscience program is a cross-disciplinary subject incorporating anatomy, biochemistry, cell & molecular biology, pharmacology, physiology, psychology and other branches of life sciences into a single discipline concerned with the structure, function and mechanisms of the brain. Bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in neuroscience prepare students for a wide range of career paths.

Neuroscience Jobs

At the entry level, there are several career paths for students with neuroscience majors. Your theoretical knowledge of neuroscience are in demand in several industries such as marketing/sales position in biotech/research supply companies, consulting, public research, science writing, government regulatory bodies, patent laws and in public health sector. Similarly, with your neuroscience practical skills, you can look for positions in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and in neuroscience research labs. In recent years, neuroscientists collaborate with computer scientists to devise models of neuronal processing to understand the complexities of the human brain.

Ph.D. in Neuroscience

After obtaining Master’s degree in neuroscience, students can acquire advanced training in neuroscience by applying for a Ph.D. program. There are several excellent universities in U.S. and elsewhere offering fellowship for Ph.D. course. The Ph.D. program will lead to specialize in sub-fields of neuroscience. Depending on the Ph.D. program, an individual can become a Neurophysiologist, Neuropathologist, Neuroendocrinologist, Neuropsychopharmacologist, and the list continues. Students with Ph.D. in neuroscience can also find teaching/instructor positions in medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary schools.

Postdoctoral Positions in Neuroscience

With a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience field, you can apply for the postdoctoral position. Several institutes in U.S., U.K., Europe and Canada offer postdoctoral positions in neurosciences. However, this may narrow your field of expertise. Doing postdoc for few years is mandatory to apply for faculty positions in universities, and also, to have independent lab (see the hub for more details about career as a postdoctoral fellow).

Medical Neuroscience Jobs

Medical students have several options to focus in medical neuroscience field by doing M.D. in Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry- the three common specialties.

Application of Neuroscience in other Profession

In health care set-up, neurological nurses and neurotechnicians assist with patient care and diagnosis. In the fields of Experimental Psychology, Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Pharmacology and Psychology, neuroscience courses are included.

Top ranking institutes in U.S. that provides Ph.D. program in neuroscience

Institute name
Harvard Medical School
Johns Hopkins University
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Stanford School of Medicine

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