Academics who teach classes at colleges and universities are known as science lecturers. Within a single department, major universities hire people to fill a variety of science lecturer positions. Although some lecturers are technically students rather than university employees, pay scales for lecturers vary greatly depending on experience.
Academics with backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, and other sciences are frequently hired as science lecturers, who are expected to conduct field research as well as lead classroom sessions. Although each lecturer may focus on a specific animal, plant, or species, biological scientists study living organisms. Physicists study matter and space, while chemists study elements and chemical reactions. Science lecturers at major universities typically teach on a single topic, but at community colleges and other types of higher education institutions, a lecturer may be required to teach classes on a wider range of basic science topics.
Most undergraduate students in some countries, such as the United States, are required to take at least some science classes. Lecturers who teach broad topics like biology may be required to teach students who are not currently enrolled in college how to obtain science degrees. People who teach more specialized topics, such as marine biology, may only work with students who are pursuing biological science degrees, as students must first pass several broad science courses before enrolling in these more specialized classes.
Academics who spend the majority of their time conducting research in the laboratory or at off-campus locations can apply for science lecturer positions at some universities. Biological scientists who are tasked with identifying diseases and chemists who are attempting to develop new drugs are examples of research scientists. These researchers usually teach post-graduate students, and the students are often required to participate actively in the teacher’s research. Research lecturers frequently write books and study guides that are used both students at the college where they work and students studying elsewhere.
Many colleges assign post-graduate science students to teach undergraduate science classes. Lectures, seminars, and group discussions may be given these individuals. In exchange for teaching, post-graduate students usually receive a stipend or free tuition and housing. Colleges can save money eliminating paid science lecturer jobs using post-graduate students as teachers. Post-graduate students are occasionally retained universities and moved into traditional lecturer roles after graduation, despite the fact that the number of available positions often exceeds the number of post-graduate students.
Most universities only hire a small number of full-time lecturers. Guest lecturers who are experts on specific topics frequently work on short-term contracts at a variety of colleges throughout the year. These instructors are usually in charge of a single class or a series of seminars on a specific subject. In some cases, hiring a series of freelance guest lecturers rather than filling full-time science lecturer positions saves a college money.