A Career in Life Sciences Computation
Dr Tony Papenfuss, Laboratory Head, Bioinformatics at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne is featured in a Careers in Maths series produced by AMSI. He is part of a growing number of professionals in this emerging field, and demand for such people is growing, both here and overseas.
The Scientist's 2010 Life Sciences Salary Survey indicated that during the economic downturn the only growth in salaries was in the fields of bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, and neurosciences. This was attributed to the increasing requirements for informatics components in large projects and the continued surge in high-throughput experiments and a corresponding demand for employees who can manage and interpret the data.
[The Scientist, Vol. 24, Issue 11, pg 53, 1/11/2010].
The 2011 survey indicated that life science salaries were recovering. In fact, the rate of job growth in life science research continues to be higher than that of the overall workforce, with 60 percent of all US R&D expenditures directed to this sector.
Some recent job advertisements as listed on the Bioinformatics Australia news list reflect the strong demand for specialised professionals in these fields:
- Genome Computational Specialist, requires a successful track record in project management, of working collaboratively in a research environment and experience in biological data analysis and bioinformatics. Salary Range: AUD$88,417 - $92,781
- Bioinformatician required to contribute computational and bioinformatics expertise to agricultural, medical and environmental research projects. Salary Range: AUD$77,296 - $82,857
- Software Developer to work closely with bioinformaticians. Salary Range: AUD$77,296 - $82,857
- Genome Biology Postdoctoral/Research Fellows. Salary range: AUD$56,113 - $88,212
And if you are still not convinced that life sciences computation offers a significant future, this article by a young, medical practitioner working in the UK is compelling.
Go to Outreach & Opportunties to see what is currently on offer to support your computational biology career.