School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Career Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research
The vast majority of our graduates find immediate employment as ‘postdoctoral fellows’ in the laboratory of their choice often at another university. These positions are typically supported through NIH grants awarded to a principal investigator (faculty sponsor) and last 2-5 years. The postdoctoral experience represents an important ‘stepping stone’ in career development for any successful research scientist.

Faculty Positions in the Academic Setting
The long-term career goal of most of our students is to obtain a faculty position in university setting where they can conduct their own independent research as well as teach advanced level courses to graduate and undergraduate students. Advancement to faculty status usually requires several years of postdoctoral research as well as the establishment of an independent, extramurally-funded research program. Starting faculty positions begin at the level of Assistant Professor with promotion to Associate Professor based upon a merit-based system that varies slightly between universities, but usually involves demonstrating success in research, teaching, and service activities. The rank of Full Professor represents the top rank of the 3-tier faculty system.

Careers in Anatomical Instruction: While our program focuses on the development of research scientists, we also provide an opportunity for students to become proficient in classical anatomical coursework taught in all medical schools. Students interested in teaching gross anatomy are encouraged to develop this particular area of expertise since many gross anatomists nation-wide are nearing retirement age and will have to be replaced by young faculty.

Careers in Biotech Industry: Many companies offer postdoctoral training to young investigators interested in a career in the biotech industry. Since our program is research-based, it is easy to take research skills learned in academia into the industrial setting. If the company values your productivity, you may be offered a promotion into a more permanent position.