Learn About Careers in Life Sciences

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Wellesley Career Education

A career in the life sciences can include a broad range of companies, organizations, and foundations concerned with the study of living organisms, including biological sciences, botany, zoology, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, and a number of related subjects. Employers may include biotechnology & pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, healthcare organizations, foundations, and federal agencies. Most of the information on this page concerns non-patient facing options but there are opportunities to create career paths that merge patient and non-patient settings.

“After grad school, I jumped straight into curriculum development as a Middle Grades Editor at Pearson Education, then left for a startup making video games that taught science, and finally ended up at the Smithsonian Science Education Center as a curriculum developer (my dream gig!).”

Curriculum Design

Hayley
Hayley Meredith McIlvaine

Career paths in curriculum design are wide-ranging, beginning with the variety of terms and job titles you will hear and levels of preparation required (a Bachelor’s degree is required, often a master’s is preferred--or depth of knowledge in the subject). There is often confusion within the occupation surrounding titles. Typically, the role involves development and evaluation of curricular and training materials.

Library Science

Hayley
Hayley Meredith McIlvaine

Wherever there’s a need for information, there’s a need for a librarian. Libraries have been empowering people by offering resources, services and training to expand their knowledge for thousands of years. According to the American Library Association career resource page there are approximately 400,000 librarians and library workers who bring opportunity every day to the communities they serve.

Science Research

Alexis Trench
Alexis Trench

Participating in research experiences as an undergraduate is an excellent way to add depth to your science understanding and actively engage with what you are learning in the classroom. By doing so, you further develop your laboratory, analytical, and problem-solving skills, and you start to build your network with faculty members. Research experiences are valuable components to your resume, and they can make you more competitive for both graduate school and industry opportunities.

Mathematics

Alexis Trench
Alexis Trench

Mathematics is essentially the study of patterns, and the understanding and application of these patterns is essential for the foundation of all other sciences. While mathematics is often studied in its own right, it is also applied to all manner of real world problems found in business, government, laboratories, medicine, engineering, and more.

“I hear from the parents of Dynamo Girls whose daughters are on the cusp of taking great risks: at the top of mountains, at the sides of a pool, in the wings before going on stage, and the parents say to them—‘You can do this. You are a Dynamo Girl.’”

Fulbright Program (rising seniors & graduates)

Kate Dailinger
Kate Dailinger

Supports a year (or occasionally more) of study or research abroad in any discipline, or year-long English teaching assistantships (ETAs) abroad in programs designed by the host countries. Eligible are graduating seniors and graduates who are US citizens. Campus application deadline for Wellesley students and graduates typically in August.

National Institutes of Standards & Technology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (NIST SURF) (students)

Kate Dailinger
Kate Dailinger

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) at NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, MD, and Boulder, CO. The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is designed to inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a unique research experience that supports the NIST mission.  Eligible are currently enrolled undergraduates who are US citizens or permanent residents, majoring in chemistry, computer science, physics, engineering, materials science, fire research, nanotechnology, information technology, mathematics, biology, manufacturing, statistics, or another STEM discipline.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (students)

Kate Dailinger
Kate Dailinger

Supports one or two years of undergraduate study in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and natural sciences. Eligible are college sophomores or juniors who are US citizens, permanent residents, and nationals intending to pursue research careers in STEM fields. Campus application deadline typically in late November/early December.

Churchill Scholarships (rising seniors & alumnae)

Kate Dailinger
Kate Dailinger

Supports one year of graduate study (including one-year research degrees) in science, mathematics, or engineering at Cambridge. Eligible: graduating seniors and recent alumnae of Wellesley College who are US citizens with majors in appropriate STEM fields. Campus application deadline typically in early October.

“In the past year I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, talking, and journaling about my career, values, and interests. The courage to see if different doors would open for me, to reach out to people and ask for their time and wisdom, was sometimes hard to come by, but my curiosity pushed me to do things that were slightly uncomfortable, and the results were worth it.”

“Seeing young girls excited about STEM has been really meaningful and encourages me to continue improving Robogals and increasing our reach to impact more girls.”

“Right away, we met amazing, enthusiastic teachers who were ready to jump in to help us with our project.”

Jan 16, 2023

NIH Bioethics Post-Baccalaureate Fellowships - direct application deadline

Eligible: applicants for the post-baccalaureate fellowship must have an undergraduate or master’s degree completed no more than 3 years prior to the start date of the fellowship for a bachelor’s and no more than 6 months prior for a master’s. Only U.S. citizens or U.S. Legal Permanent Residents are eligible for post-baccalaureate fellowships. These fellowships are ideal for students interested in eventually pursuing an MD, JD, PhD, or other graduate degree.

Research/Gradschool, Postgraduate

The NIH Department of Bioethics welcomes applications for fully funded two-year postbaccalaureate research fellowships. Fellows are central to the activities and intellectual life of our interdisciplinary department. They study ethical issues related to biomedical research, clinical practice, genetics, biotechnology, public health, health policy, and more. They conduct mentored theoretical and empirical research on a range of bioethical fields. For a typical fellow, this research yields multiple first-authored publications in premier academic journals. In addition to research and writing,...