The British Society for Immunology has published a new report, ‘Careers in Immunology’, which discusses the findings from our recent project to review immunology careers. You can download a full copy of the report here.
This is the most comprehensive piece of work carried out on the sector’s workforce to date and provides a snapshot of which areas immunology is excelling in, as well as some pivotal challenges facing the discipline.
The report concludes that immunology is a young, growing and dynamic discipline, which offers the potential for a fulfilling career. However, the sector faces several challenges to ensure the future prosperity of the UK workforce. These are:
- Funding – immunology is funded by a diverse array of organisations and has a high number of staff in early career positions, evidencing the growth of the discipline over recent years. However, the sector now needs a funding strategy and ‘jobs pipeline’ make sure this growth feeds through to more senior levels, with the creation of more tenured positions.
- Skills – the rapid expansion of immunology requires a highly skilled workforce. We need to build capacity within the sector to ensure the UK meets future demand in specific research areas. Providing targeted training opportunities and building bridges between academia and industry are key to ensuring we have a workforce that is fit for function to tackle the challenges ahead.
- Culture – immunologists experience a variety of barriers in progressing their careers, with resilience highlighted a key skill needed. Working abroad is also an important part of many immunologists' careers, and this ability of UK immunology to both attract talented researchers from abroad, and for British scientists to spend a period of time working overseas should be recognised. Finally, the report highlights a number of issues regarding the experiences and concerns of women in immunology, compared with men. The sector must intensify efforts to achieve a fair and equal working environment, accessible to all and free from discrimination.
The UK is a global leader in immunology research. However, we can only maintain this standing if we build on our strengths and invest in our workforce. We encourage those interested in our findings to get in touch with their feedback and with ideas for what can be done to resolve some of the issues highlighted.
You can download the full report here.
Visit the Careers Review section of our website to find out more background information on the project, read case studies from those working in immunology and to access the full data from the project.