Career Path

Maintaining Leadership
in Global Science

"It is the gift of any institution to promote people appropriately"

To build and maintain a world competitive scientific enterprise, it is essential that Imaging Scientists - with all their knowledge and expertise - are sustained and nurtured for the future. 

Careers in Imaging

  • Stuart Micklethwaite image

    I came into the university on a traineeship, and once I got through my traineeship, this job became available.

    Stuart Micklethwaite Electron Microscopy Support Technician
    University of Leeds
  • Seema Rajani image

    I received most of my training at PerkinElmer, and I worked there for about four years before I got the job here at Nottingham University.

    Seema Rajani Technician, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
    University of Nottingham
  • Mike Ferguson image

    This idea that there isn't a proper career structure for technology scientists isn't true. That is absolutely in the gift of any institution to promote people appropriately.

    Mike Ferguson Regius Professor of Life Sciences and Academic Lead for Research Strategy
    University of Dundee
  • Carina Monico image

    I did lots of imaging during my PhD research, and I liked microscopy and science a lot, but I didn't want to be a PI. I guess this is a common profile.

    Carina Monico Assistant Facility Manager
    Micron Oxford Advanced Bioimaging Unit
  • John Harrington image

    When I first came, I was a technician for 19 years. I did a work-based masters degree, and that allowed me then to go above the glass ceiling.

    John Harrington Facility Manager - LEMAS
    University of Leeds
  • Alex Sossick

    I left school when I was 16 and went to college to study scientific photography. I ended up going to EMBL for four years, learning a lot about confocal microscopes in the early days and then got recruited back to the Gurdon Institute.

    Alex Sossick Head of Imaging Facility
    University of Cambridge

Did you know?

Did you know icon

"It is vital for progress in the bioimaging field that these staff have access to advanced training for new and existing technologies, are able to train others in these technologies (train the trainer) and have a clear career path."

BBSCR Strategic Review
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"Training across disciplines and at all career stages is essential to ensure that there is sufficient bioimaging capability in the UK. One area identified as being in particular need of attention is that of training in data skills, which are required across the biosciences community to enable high-quality quantitative bioimaging."

did you know icon 3

"Bioimaging is a skills-heavy research area: the technology, methods development and the use of bioimaging require different levels of cross-disciplinary knowledge and expertise, including, for example, image analysis experience. Training and skills development is essential at all career stages and across the disciplines."

Routes into Imaging

Our interviewees have taken many different paths into imaging. The following demonstrate some of the varied routes they have taken.

Traineeship route

Traineeship Image

Industry route

Industry Image

Academic route

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Conclusions & Future Directions

Career structures and paths for Imaging Scientists are often seen as undefined and difficult to navigate.

Universities have the power to appoint Imaging Scientists to positions with long-term career trajectories.

Long-term funding of Imaging Scientists in core facilities helps ensure knowledge transfer and sustain scientific excellence.

Imaging Scientists are often placed on technology career tracks, but some may deserve appointment to academic tracks.