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BSI careers survey: how did you get where you are?

‘How did you get where you are?’ This is a question we often ask ourselves and ask our peers in the hope of gaining inspiration into what we can do next in our career.

When you talk to people about their career, many will say that their career pathway has been unique to them, different from anything anyone else has done. Some will say that they have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Others might tell you that they’ve had a clear career plan in mind since the beginning and they’ve managed to follow that precisely. Everyone’s career path is different, asking us to call upon different skills and experiences to shape our future.


Immunology careers paths

To gain an insight into the experiences of immunologists, the British Society for Immunology would like to hear about your career through our new career survey. We want to know how you got where you are? What advice you were given? And which skills you found to be useful along the way?

This survey forms a critical part of our careers mapping project, which aims to gather information on immunology-based careers and gain insight into the career pathway of immunologists. Through this, we hope to better understand the immunology careers landscape and place ourselves in the ideal position to offer help, advice and support for the next generation of immunologists. We know that not every PhD will lead to a postdoc position, and not all postdocs will go on to secure a permanent academic position. Some will join scientific research companies in industry or start their own successful businesses. Others will go on to do something completely different, and this is precisely why we want to hear from you!


What we hope to achieve

Through this project, the BSI hopes to position ourselves as the comprehensive guide for immunology careers within the UK.

We want to know where people are going and what they’re doing after they work in immunology. How many people stay in the discipline and how many move on to new challenges in different sectors? We want to hear about the barriers you’ve faced and how you’ve managed to overcome these.

Through gaining this insight, the BSI wants to use this information to support future generations of immunologists, offering appropriate guidance on the next steps of your career and advice on how to make yourself more employable, as well as strengthening the ever-expanding immunology network and securing the best quality workforce for the future.

If we’re able to inform immunologists of the wealth of possible future careers available to them, we can help them fulfill their potential and achieve their goals.


We need your help!

To get this true insight into the current immunology workforce, we need your help.

Firstly, whether you consider yourself an immunologist now or have done at some point in your career, please fill out our careers survey. We want to hear your experiences.  The survey should take a maximum of 15 minutes to complete and you can enter a prize draw to win either £50 Amazon vouchers or a £50 donation to a charity of your choice.

Secondly, we need your help to spread the word about our survey. As well as hearing from people who currently work in immunology, we also need to contact those who have left the discipline and moved on to new challenges. We know that immunologists end up working in many different sectors, making a large contribution to society. Please send the survey to colleagues you’ve worked with, ex-students and anyone you know who considered themselves an immunologist at some point in their career. 

Though understanding the complex and varied career pathways of immunologists, we hope to better support current and future members in their career aspirations, whether these be in immunology or in different sectors.

Glyn Jones

BSI Education & Careers Officer


You can fill out our survey here and find out more on our careers mapping project here.