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In Summary - Neuroscientist

Researches how the nervous system behaves; develops pharmaceuticals for neurological disorders.

Career Sectors

Neuroscientists typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Research and Development
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Biomedical Technologies & Engineering
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Medical Devices
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Clinical Trials
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech
Medical & Healthcare

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The Work - Neuroscientist

Neuroscientists study the development and function of the nervous system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and nerve cells throughout the body. 

Neuroscientists conduct research on patients and on laboratory animals including rats and mice. (Neurologists, on the other hand, are practicing physicians who diagnose and treat neurological diseases in humans).

They may specialise in one part of the nervous system, such as neurotransmitters, or focus their research on specific behaviors, such as psychiatric disorders.

Illnesses based in the nervous system include Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Neuroscientists typically take part in publicly funded research projects at universities, research institutes, or government facilities.

The are also engaged in applied research for private industry, such as the development of new pharmaceutical treatments or other biotechnology products.

Some treat patients as licensed neurosurgeons and neurologists.

Neuroscientists typically perform research in offices or laboratories. Some work in clinics and hospitals to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients.

Neuroscientists begin experiments by preparing tissue and cell samples. They make use of antibodies, dyes, and gene probes to identify different components of the nervous system. Tools and equipment used to monitor brain and nerve activity include magnetic resonance imagers and microelectrodes. Some use computers to create nervous system models, while others study the simplified nervous system of insects to better isolate certain behaviors.

Interests - Neuroscientist

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.


It is essential for Neuroscientists to have good communication skills, patience and the ability to work within a team of health care specialists. 

An analytical mindset and good problem solving skills are key in this line of work.

Mathematical and computational skillsets are crucial as well as attention to detail in your research and the ability to work to a high level of accuracy.

Entry Requirements - Neuroscientist

A Neuroscientist may or may not have a degree in medicine. They may complete a Bachelor's Degree in neuroscience or in a biological science to prepare for graduate studies and research. Relevant subject areas include computer science, cognitive science, mathematics, and physics.

Those wishing to purse clinical work must also have completed Degree in Medicine.

In addition to neuroscience, graduates may choose advanced degree fields in such areas as neurobiology or pharmacology.

Permanent research positions in neuroscience commonly require postdoctoral fellowships to gain laboratory experience.

Last Updated: October, 2014

Pay & Salary - Neuroscientist

Labour Market Updates - Neuroscientist

While the supply of graduates appears to be sufficient to meet the annual recruitment requirement (5,500 graduates in 2017), the demand is arising for roles for those with a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Neuroscientist

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