Academic researchers are people who conduct and carry out investigations or research, with the intention of obtaining new information and improve our current understanding of the topic of research. They would spend their days writing and publishing papers on their work in peer reviewed journals.  

They will also write down reports or books, or even help others write books with their expertise. Often, they’ll work at universities or research institutes, and will speak at lectures depending on the type of academic researcher they are. For example, you can be a PhD researcher, research associate or high education lecturer, mostly working at universities. Academic researchers also supervise students at these universities and generally share their knowledge on their area of specialisation.  

Funded PhD students normally get some sort of bursary or other funding, usually between £15,000 – £20,000. Postdoctoral researchers can earn up to £39,000 and senior lecturers in universities can have average salaries of £58,000. Biology is a very competitive subject area, so work experience is crucial. 


Position in career Associated Salary (UK) 
PhD Student To be a PhD student first you’d have to have a biology degree as well as a masters – which would take four years in total. Work experience is also a vital element of getting accepted in a PhD programme. £15,000 – £20,000 
Postdoctoral Researcher  Like a PhD researcher you’ll have to have a biology degree and masters, and possibly a PhD. Securing a role here will take funding and a keen eye looking for opportunities for a supervisor that will be compatible with your work. £27,000 – £39,000 
Senior Lecturer/ professor  A senior lecturer or professor is someone with plenty of passion for their subject of interest, in this case biology, and must be willing to spend a lot of time around it. They must have an undergraduate and master’s in biology, generally with very high marks, as well as a PhD. They will also need to have experience to be able to guide students at their university of research institute   £43,000 – £100,000 


  1. University of Greenwich  
  2. Kings College London  
  3. Imperial College London 
  4. University College London  
  5. University of Nottingham  
  6. Birkbeck, University of London 
  7. City, University of London  
  8. University of Southampton  
  9. Manchester Metropolitan University  
  10. Newcastle University  

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