- What do researchers do? Labour market information
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Between 2006 and 2009, 0.3% of employed doctoral graduates, or 40 doctoral graduates in total, are known to have been working as microbiologists six months after graduation.
Doctoral microbiologists are usually found in research settings in higher education, private science research and development and healthcare.
Much of this research work is very similar in nature to the research work the new entrant carried out as a doctoral student, with an increased level of responsibility. As a result, most entrants into these research roles should have a good idea of the basic nature of the job and many of the key responsibilities. Clinical roles may differ more.
Microbiologists study microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and protozoa. They focus on the biology of microorganisms at both the molecular and cellular level, research the interactions between microorganisms and human systems and develop and commercialise techniques in a range of fields, including emerging biotechnology areas. Microorganisms affect every aspect of life on earth and, consequently, microbiologists work in a wide variety of settings, although the majority of work is laboratory-based and focused on research.
Microbiology is a large subject which overlaps with other areas of life sciences, such as molecular biology, immunology and biochemistry. Areas of specialism include: basic research; medicine; healthcare; food; industry, such as pharmaceuticals, toiletries and biotechnology; agriculture; the environment; and university teaching.