Careers Service

Scientific Research and Development

This is a sector with a wide range of specialised jobs, most requiring at least a related degree, and many of them needing a higher degree.


Follow the links below for profiles of common occupations in this sector:

Food technologist

Institute of Food Science & Technology - for background on the industry.

Institute of Food Science & Technology

Food and Drink Federation - the website provides useful information about the various sectors within the food and drink industry and its importance to the economy (good for business awareness). There is no specific career information.

Food and Drink Federation


Royal Meteorological Society - an excellent resource, summarising main employers in public and private sectors and internationally. Qualifications eg chartered meteorologist are explained, and there is an extensive range of career profiles to browse through.

Royal Meteorological Society

Met Office - a major employer offering placements and graduate opportunities. The ‘Your Career’ section provides information about specific areas of the Met Office and you can sign up for job alerts in the vacancies section.

Met Office

National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) - part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the NCAS is a world leader in atmospheric science who provide scientific research facilities on a national scale. Their website includes information on their weather science programme and research opportunities within the research centre.

National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) - independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states and based in Reading, UK. ECMWF conduct research and provide a 24/7 operational service to members states. The ECMWF website includes educational materials and advertises job vacancies.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

There are also a number of private weather service providers operating within the UK and Europe who offer roles for meteorologists. Four of the largest of these providers are MeteoGroup, MetraWeather, Weatherquest and The Weather Company.




The Weather Company


British Oceanographic Data Centre - is a national facility for looking after and distributing data concerning the marine environment. The website has lots of information about the work of the centre and it also advertises vacancies.

British Oceanographic Data Centre

Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology - is a professional body for all marine professionals.

Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology

National Oceanography Centre - national focus for oceanography in the UK, jointly run by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the University of Southampton. Details of PhDs available.

National Oceanography Centre


Microbiology Society – a membership organisation for scientists who work in all areas of microbiology. Also contains a careers section.

Microbiology Society

Public Health England - an executive agency sponsored by the department of health. Aims to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. The website includes news stories, research and consultations on public health issues.

Public Health England

Society for Applied Microbiology - useful for background information and news stories. Vacancy details are restricted to members.

Society for Applied Microbiology

Plant breeder/geneticist

British Society of Plant Pathology - is a membership organisation which aims to advance the study of plant pathology. There are job profiles and details of bursaries.

Research scientist (life sciences)

Royal Society of Biology - promotes the study and application of biology. The site has a careers section.

Royal Society of Biology

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - is Britain's leading funding agency for academic research and training in the non-medical life sciences. The site has extensive information about funding.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Society for Experimental Biology is a registered charity that promotes experimental biology.

Society for Experimental Biology

Research scientist (maths)

Maths Careers - part of the Institute of Mathematics site. A great resource which contains sections for undergraduates and graduates, career profiles and articles.

Maths Careers

Institute of Mathematics & its Applications - professional and learned society for qualified and practising mathematicians.

Institute of Mathematics & its Applications

London Mathematical Society - this society is for the whole of the UK, despite its name. Vacancies are mostly at senior levels. The society also provides financial support for mathematicians including research students.

London Mathematical Society

Research scientist (medical)

Institute of Biomedical Science - professional body for biomedical scientists, with lots of information about careers.

Institute of Biomedical Science

Medical Research Council - has detailed information about a career as a medical researcher, plus funding information.

Medical Research Council

Association of Medical Research Charities - search the website for relevant charities and read articles on medical research topics. Also runs an internship scheme for postgraduate students.

Association of Medical Research Charities

Research scientist (physical sciences)

Institute of Physics - a professional body and learned society. Careers pages include a wide range of case studies, advice on becoming chartered and details of awards.

Institute of Physics

Science and Technology Facilities Council - funds UK education, research and training in astronomy, particle physics, space science and nuclear physics.

Science and Technology Facilities Council

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - the main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. Website includes details on news, events and publications and provides information on PhD study.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) - a professional body covering astronomy, geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences. Information on funding, and studying and working in astronomy and planetary science.

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

Your future in....Space industry

Information on getting into the space industry, for University of Edinburgh students.

UK Space Agency - coordinates UK civil space activity and contains information for those wishing to pursue a career in the space industry.

UK Space Agency

European Space Agency (ESA) - detailed careers section with information on student placements, graduate trainee positions, career opportunities and current vacancies.

European Space Agency ESA

UK Space Directory - information on over 200 UK companies involved in the space industry.

UK Space Directory

Space Careers - this is a specialist vacancy website for jobs in the space industry. The website also has a useful directory of space related companies.

Space Careers

BrightRecruits - advertises physics and engineering jobs in the UK and the rest of the world. The site contains a careers advice section including case studies.


Soil scientist

British Society of Soil Science - website has a section dedicated to students and provides details of users of soil scientists and regional discussion groups, which could be a useful way to network within this sector.

British Society of Soil Science