• Question: How much money do make on a daily basis?

    Asked by faitho1 on 27 Apr 2020.
    • Photo: Melanie Krause

      Melanie Krause answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      On a PhD stipend including the London allowance about 40£ per day. As a post-doctoral scientist its a bit higher but then you also have to deduct taxes.

    • Photo: Kim Liu

      Kim Liu answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      As a postdoc in Cambridge, I currently take home (after tax) approx. £60 every day. Teaching undergraduates bumps this by around £10 or so ~

    • Photo: Donna MacCallum

      Donna MacCallum answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      Working as a lecturer in microbiology I get a good salary, but I also work long hours if needed to make sure that my students work is marked and returned on time, or that I write an application to get money to carry out research by the deadline, or work weekends to speak to kids and the general public about the science that I do.

    • Photo: Catriona Aitken

      Catriona Aitken answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      As a PhD student with extra industry support, around £50 per day. Your PhD income isn’t taxed which helps a lot, and you don’t pay council tax either so it’s not a bad wage.

    • Photo: Shenghong He

      Shenghong He answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      As a third year Postdoc, currently my take home salary is about £66 per day, which is really not that much considering the living costs here 🙁

    • Photo: Ella Mercer

      Ella Mercer answered on 27 Apr 2020:

      I’m doing a part time PhD in Edinburgh and I make about £45 a day. I expect lots of people here will agree … being a scientist probably won’t make you rich!

    • Photo: Liane Hobson

      Liane Hobson answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      Mine is around the same as your other answers really – you tend to do science because you love it and want to help everyone and not to get rich (sadly!!)

      In some jobs you can get more money for doing extra time though – that’s always a good thing!

    • Photo: Patricia Brown

      Patricia Brown answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      Postdocs in Cambridge make about £60 per day. Some fellowships give you a bit more than this, but they’re usually just for a couple of years.

    • Photo: Freya Harrison

      Freya Harrison answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      It’s hard to work out a daily or hourly salary because, like Donna said, we can end up working quite irregular hours. In terms of annual salary in academic jobs, post-doc positions (research jobs for people with PhD) tend to start at about £30,000 and gradually progress to £38-40,000 as you get more experienced. These are short-term jobs, 2-5 years each, where you work for somebody else in their lab. Then when you get a job as a research group leader, usually tied to a university lectureship, you start at around £40,000 and this goes up more quickly, so that in a few years you hit £50,000. You need to be promoted to Professor to get beyond that.
      So you won’t be mega-rich in science, but you will end up comfortably off (the current median average salary in the UK is around £24,000 I think).

    • Photo: Eva Kane

      Eva Kane answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      As a PhD student in London (you usually get paid a little extra if you’re working in London, as the cost of living is higher), I make about £60 a day. That’s not taxed as we’re still technically considered to be students, so I take all of it home which is nice.

      It’s worth noting that between my Masters and my PhD I worked in the publishing industry and made quite a bit less than that (even before tax!), so working for a private company (as opposed to working for a publicly funded university), isn’t always better paid than academic science!

    • Photo: Spyros Lytras

      Spyros Lytras answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      As a PhD student in Glasgow about £40 a day. This is the standard for most UK PhD students (with some exceptions like people in London, since cost of living is much more expensive there, or people getting funded by companies). The funding however covers more than just your salary, like lab expenses, or buying computer equipment for your work and some travel expenses for going to conferences. (It technically also covers the cost of doing a PhD at a university, which can be quite substantial if you were to pay for it yourself).

    • Photo: Andrew Beale

      Andrew Beale answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      About £60 per day after tax in Cambridge. It is possible to make more money as a scientist by working in the private sector, or by having a good idea that can be turned into a business, but research institutes and universities don’t pay as much.

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 28 Apr 2020:

      As a postdoc in Cambridge about £60/day after tax for my main job.

    • Photo: Robert Ives

      Robert Ives answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      Before the tax people take their bit (which they use to pay for the hospitals, schools, police, build houses, etc) I earn around £200 per day, but also, if I do a good job, my company might give me a little bit extra money once per year to say thank you. I started off working for the government as an associate scientist and the money wasn’t too bad (although it was quite a long time ago now) and now I work for a company that makes its own new medicines (pharmaceutical company). My pay is reasonably good, more than some, less than others. The most important thing is that I enjoy my work and am happy in life. When you decide which type of work you want to get into, chose something that really interests you, even if the money doesn’t sound that great. If you enjoy your work, you are more likely to be good at it and if you are good at it, you are more likely to be paid more money…. plus you will be happy, which is all that really counts. Good luck.

    • Photo: Martin Law

      Martin Law answered on 4 May 2020: last edited 4 May 2020 1:43 pm


      Similar to the other PhD students who have answered, I make around £50 per day, which adds up to £1500 per month. After I finish, I will get around £70 per day after tax, which adds up to £2100 per month.

      There is a big difference in salary between working in the “public sector”, which means the government pays you, and working in the “private sector”, which means a company pays you. Working in the public sector means lower salary, but often better work-life balance, less stress and more choice over what work you do. Working in the private sector means a higher salary — sometimes much higher! — but more deadlines, more stress and more people telling you what to do. These aren’t universal rules, but these differences are pretty common.

      I will work in the public sector, because I don’t like stress and I don’t care about making lots of money.

      Lots of scientists will try jobs in both the public and the private sector, to get an idea of what they prefer.