Careers and Educational Courses
What is a Plant Pathologist?
A plant pathologist is someone who’s interested in understanding the organisms and agents that cause plant diseases and how diseases affect plant health. As you’ll see in the profiles below, there is a massive range of plant pathology careers.
Are you interested in work experience as a plant doctor?
Direct BSPP financial support is limited to undergraduate summer placements (https://www.bspp.org.uk/funds/vacation) but there might still be opportunities and lists of supervisors from previous years may help you decipher which areas are strong for plant pathology. Check out our list of UK based institutions here: Undergraduate Level Courses for Plant Pathology – BSPP.
There is also support available for those looking to pursue further qualifications beyond their undergraduate degrees https://www.bspp.org.uk/funds/mscmres/
With any of these programmes and future employment, the more experience you have the better. It can help you stand out from other graduates if you can evidence ‘working in the field’ (literally or within this area of research). To help you decipher those research institutes and HEI’s with active plant pathology departments look specifically for what is offered from the list of course providers.
Many agricultural research organisations offer seasonal summer jobs, if you want to try working in the field:
If considering a more industry focused route (rather than government funded research) look to see what the agrochemical companies are offering.
John Innes Centre and the Sainsbury Lab, has a strong focus on Plant Pathology, so always potential opportunities for science technicians, PhD’s and more. ADAS and NIAB offer positions in the summer as trials officers. FERA also offer these, apprenticeships and studentships in collaboration with Newcastle University.
Example work experience placement: ‘The Processors and Growers Research Organisation is an applied research centre. If you are interested in a career in biology, plant science or agronomy then have a chat to their staff who are willing to host students on work experience for a day or longer. Have a look at how plant doctors are able to diagnose plant diseases and offer advice to growers on how best to treat their crop. See a seed testing lab where seed is tested for disease and germination. See www.PGRO.org for more information’
Please visit www.bspp.org.uk/jobs for recent vacancies posted on our website. There are also a number of opportunities from websites like: findaphd.co.uk and jobs.ac.uk, as well as multiple recruitment web sites which can be found on Google.
- The Society of Biology: career resources guide you through undergraduate and postgraduate study
- The Gatsby Plant Science: Plant Science | Gatsby
- The American Phytopathological Society: Plant Pathology Career Brochure
Check out the many locations in the UK and abroad who employ those passionate in Plant Health.
What is a Plant Health Inspector?
Watch Plant Health Professionals:
The Royal Horticultural Society has created videos on being a: