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Microbiologist

A Navy Microbiologist conducts research in the lab.

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Responsibilities

As a Navy Microbiologist, your primary focus will be to prevent, diagnose and/or treat infectious diseases. You may also be called upon to:

  • Consult and conduct infectious disease research
  • Participate in operational deployments
  • Conduct defensive research, including vaccine development
  • Supervise clinical/public health microbiology laboratories, with the opportunity to serve as department head, program manager or research director
  • Senior members may even serve as senior scientists or in Navy Executive Medicine as liaisons, Officers in Charge, Executive Officers or Commanding Officers

Work Environment

Navy Microbiologists may serve in any of 20 global locations, performing a wide range of duties across multiple fields. You’ll work everywhere from world-renowned research laboratories and clinical settings to in the field with Sailors and Marines.

  • Research and development centers (both medical and nonmedical) overseas in Cairo, Egypt; Lima, Peru; Jakarta, Indonesia and within the continental U.S. (Washington, D.C., metro area and San Diego, CA)
  • Environmental preventive medicine in Hawaii, Virginia or California
  • Clinical microbiology at any of three large teaching medical centers in Bethesda, MD; Portsmouth, VA or San Diego, CA

Training & Advancement

Those pursuing a Microbiologist position are required to attend Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here they learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette.

Once that training is complete, you will learn the ins and outs of life as a Microbiologist at your first assignment.

Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.

Post-Service Opportunities

It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.

Education Opportunities

The Navy offers generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs. You can finish your education with little or no debt, and learn to lead others, further distinguishing your career, enhancing your credentials and expanding the boundaries of your expertise. Plus, if you’re a student or resident, you can concentrate on your education or training, with no military/training obligation until after your program is completed.

Students

The Navy may pay for your medical education. You don’t need to attend a military medical school. Attend a school of your choice and you may emerge debt-free. With the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), you may receive 100% tuition coverage during medical school, plus a monthly stipend, reimbursement of expenses and up to $20,000 sign-on bonus. Or, with the Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP), you may receive from $157,000 to $269,000 while attending medical school. This includes a monthly military salary, a housing allowance and a comprehensive health care benefits package.

Practicing Microbiologists

Through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to pay down the cost of your graduate education.

All offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Medical Recruiter contact you.

Qualifications & Requirements

To qualify for employment consideration as a Microbiologist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S.
  • Master's degree (M.S./M.A./M.P.H.) or doctoral degree (Ph.D., DrPH, D.Sc.) in microbiology or a closely related field (e.g., bacteriology, biology, botany, epidemiology, immunology, molecular biology, mycology, parasitology, public health or virology)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate studies
  • For biology/botany/epidemiology/public health majors, several upper-level (300-plus) microbiology courses (eight hours or more), including laboratory, must be part of the candidate's curriculum
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • Author or coauthor of peer-reviewed research in scientific journals
  • Clinical microbiology, infectious disease surveillance or biowarfare defense experience

Candidates with a doctoral degree have an advantage over M.S./M.A. candidates, since many research job openings require doctorate-level training.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've never served before.

Part-Time Opportunities

Serving part-time as a Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Microbiologists in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your medical experience in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.

For annual training, Microbiologists may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or in bases and camps in countries around the world.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.

Microbiologists in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: Officer Candidates will be required to attend the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here you will learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette. There may be an option for attendees to request to split the five-week program into two sessions.

With flexible training options, Medical Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own practice – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.

The Navy Medical Corps offers you a truly diverse variety of academic, clinical and operational settings in which to practice. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian hospital or setting you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.

As a Microbiologist in the Navy Medical Corps Reserve, you’ll receive a first-rate benefits package – including your choice of any one of these three generous financial offers:

  • Up to $50,000 per year in specialty pay
  • Up to $250,000 in medical school loan repayment assistance
  • An immediate one-time sign-on bonus of up to $10,000

Navy Reserve Sailors joining the Medical Corps as residents can get monthly stipend in excess of $2,200 while completing your residency. Offers based on service commitment. Contact a Navy Reserve Medical Officer Recruiter for complete offer details.