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Research Physiologist

Navy Pathologist Heather Gaburo examines tissue in the lab at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego

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As an Officer and Research Physiologist, you’ll have the opportunity to apply innovative technologies in physiology and medicine to help treat patients. Responsibilities may include:

  • Analyzing physiological and chemical functions of living organisms
  • Conducting research on physiological responses to the stresses of military environments, including temperature, altitude, pressure and acceleration, and exposure to hazardous chemicals and radiation
  • Recommending countermeasures to ensure maximum efficiency and safety of personnel
  • Studying at biomedical research laboratories investigating cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal and neurophysiological challenges that Sailors and Marines face
  • Work with scientists and engineers to help plan, coordinate and direct funding for military science and technology projects

Work Environment

Navy Research Physiologists may serve at any one of more than 250 Navy and Joint medical facilities around the globe, from Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam, and Washington, D.C., to Washington state.

As a Research Physiologist, you typically work stateside at one of the highly acclaimed research laboratories such as Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA, or Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD. Opportunities for operational medicine tours can include providing medical support to deployed troops aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

Training & Advancement

Upon graduation from graduate school, those pursuing a Research Physiology position are required to attend Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a 5-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.

Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. As a Research Physiologist, you may develop leadership and expertise for positions involving policy development, research management and oversight, as well as program evaluation. You may also take advantage of opportunities for medical department leadership positions, including command of Navy Medical Research Centers and Development Laboratories.

Post Service Opportunities

It’s 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 in the civilian world.

Education Opportunities

Wherever you are in your professional career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with generous financial assistance and continuing education programs. Opportunities for further education within this platform include:

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.

Qualifications & Requirements

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

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a doctoral degree in physiology with a strong background in research. Consideration will be given to those with doctoral degrees in related biomedical fields, such as pharmacology, neuroscience and molecular biology.
  • 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.

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

There are no part-time jobs as a Navy Reserve Sailor in this role. Go back to Careers to find other jobs that have a Reserve component. You can also find out more about what life is like as a Reserve Sailor in the Navy.