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What Are the Different Types of Science Lecturer Jobs?

By K. Kinsella
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Science lecturers are academics who teach classes at colleges and higher education establishments. Major universities recruit people to fill several different science lecturer jobs within a single department. Pay scales for lecturers vary greatly based on experience although some lecturers are technically students rather than university employees.

Academics with a background in biology, chemistry, physics and other sciences often fill science lecturer jobs in which they are required to conduct field work as well as lead classroom sessions. Biological scientists study living organisms although each lecturer may focus on a particular animal, plant or species. Chemists study elements and chemical reactions while physicists study matter and space. At major universities, science lecturers normally teach on one topic, but at community colleges and other types of higher educational establishments a lecturer may have to teach classes that cover a wider variety of basic science topics.

In some nations such as the United States, most undergraduate students are required to study at least some science classes. Lecturers who teach broad topics such as biology may have to teach students who are not at college to obtain science degrees. People who teach more specific topics, such as marine biology, may only teach students who are taking biological science degrees since students have successfully pass several other broad science topics before they can enroll in these more specialized classes.

Some universities have science lecturer jobs for academics who spend the majority of their time conducting research in the laboratory or at off-campus locations. Research scientists include biological scientists who are tasked with identifying diseases, and chemists who attempt to develop new drugs. These researchers normally teach classes for post-graduate students and the class attendees often have to take an active role in the teacher's research. In many instances, research lecturers write books and study guides that are used by students at the college they are employed by as well as students studying elsewhere.

At many colleges, post-graduate science students are responsible for teaching classes for undergraduates. These individuals may conduct lectures or lead seminars and group discussions. Post-graduate students normally receive a stipend or free tuition and accommodation in exchange for teaching. Making use of post graduate students as teachers can enable colleges to cut costs by eliminating paid science lecturer jobs. Upon graduation, post-graduate students are sometimes retained by the university and move into conventional lecturer roles, although post-graduate students often exceed the number of available positions.

Most universities only employ a limited number of permanent lectures. Guest lecturers who are experts on particular topics often work on short-term contracts a various different colleges over the course of the year. These teachers are usually tasked with leading a single class or with conducting a series of seminars on a specific topic. In some instances it costs less for a college to hire a series of freelance guest lecturers rather than filling full time science lecturer jobs.

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