© Seth Taube 2023.

What Does a Neuroscientist Do For a Living?

Seth Taube
On 25 January 2023

If you are interested in a career in neuroscience, you may wonder what a neuroscientist does for a living. Here is a brief description of a few jobs that a neuroscientist does.

Postdoctoral researcher

A postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience works under the direction of a research mentor. They learn to manage large projects, develops a comprehensive knowledge of scientific objectives, and acquire a solid theoretical and technical foundation.

Postdoctoral researchers in the neuroscience cluster study the nervous system and its diseases. They conduct basic and clinical studies and are involved in publications and presentations. During the postdoctoral training period, they also mentor undergraduate research students.

The Laboratory of Molecular Biology is looking for postdoctoral researchers who will research the development of the brain and its functional components. This includes the identification of individual molecules that contribute to its functioning. Interested candidates must submit a curriculum vitae, a list of research publications, and a list of two recommenders.

Neuroscience research at the University of Florida provides postdoctoral trainees a stimulating, professional environment. Postdoctoral trainees receive NIH-level compensation and ample professional development opportunities. Its affiliations with other UF centers also offer opportunities to build skills.


Neuroscientists use a wide variety of techniques to study the nervous system. They may work in an office, medical laboratory, or clinical setting. The job requires a high level of analytical and problem-solving skills. Other responsibilities include presenting their research, meeting patients, or interpreting their findings.

Many neuroscientists begin their careers as research assistants. These roles require a bachelor’s degree in a science-based field. Upon completing this education, they can apply for jobs in smaller companies or university positions.

Typically, neuroscientists will complete one or more postdoctoral programs before securing an industry position. For example, a researcher might focus on MRI scanning, writing funding bids, or developing new experimental techniques.

Another possible route is to become a science journalist. Journalists write about various science-related topics in newspapers, magazines, and websites. Undergraduate and graduate-level science courses can help students prepare for this career.

Neuroscientists can also go on to become physicians. Depending on their specific interests, some neuroscientists specialize in treating patients, while others focus on more critical aspects of their jobs.

Machine learning engineer

You may have heard of machine learning (ML) if you are a neuroscientist. It’s a powerful tool for scientists and engineers to learn about the brain. However, researchers still have a long way to go in understanding the brain’s processes.

In particular, a new class of ML tools is being developed to solve some of the biggest challenges in neuroscience. These algorithms are designed to create an AI that is safe and socially aligned.

One of the biggest challenges in neuroscience is capturing a signal in large images. Functional magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful tool that can capture snapshots of neural activity in hours.

Using ML, experts in the field have developed a new form of machine learning that can learn without needing advanced training. This fundamentally new type of ML is proving to be highly adaptable.

Scientists and engineers can now design systems that perform many of the brain’s functions. With the help of this technology, they can create robotic platforms that mimic human behavior.

Anatomy, function, and development of the nervous system

The nervous system comprises the brain, spinal cord, and a vast network of nerves that transmit electrical signals throughout the body. These signals travel through the body from organ to organ, from the gland to gland. They are used by the body to coordinate activity and interpret information.

Nerves are specialized cells that receive input from the environment and then send out electrical and chemical signals. The nervous system contains approximately 100 billion neurons.

Each neuron has a cell body that contains the nucleus, mitochondria, and dendrites that are used to receive signals from other neurons. At the end of the axon, the electrical signal changes to a chemical one.

Neurons have a protective outer layer called myelin. Myelin helps the nerve cell send signals quickly and efficiently. It also provides structural support to the neurons. Several types of glial cells help protect and maintain the neuron’s function. Some of these include astrocytes, radial glia, and satellite glial cells.