Job profile

Clinical Scientist, Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics

Clinical Scientist, Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics

Clinical Scientist, Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Job Profile

What is a Clinical Scientist, Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics?

Clinical Scientists in the field of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) conduct analyses that aid in the selection of recipients for transplants of hematopoietic stem cells and other organs.

Histocompatibility research focuses on understanding the immunological processes at play during transplantation in order to better predict outcomes and track patient responses. Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLAs) are molecules that are expressed on every one of our cells and serve as a sort of “molecular fingerprint” or “tissue type” for each individual.

It is crucial to characterise these thoroughly to maximise the organ’s survival rate because the immune system can generate antibodies to “non-self” HLA antigens that would cause transplant rejection.

The study of HLA genes, as well as any other genes encoding immune response molecules, is known as Immunogenetics. Even a single change in a gene’s base pair can significantly alter the outcome of a transplant. Because HLA antigens have been linked to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases and adverse drug reactions, Clinical Scientists in the field of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) often use their findings to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.


The following responsibilites are typical for a Clinical Scientist in the field of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetic science:

  • Participating in tissue banking, which includes harvesting and storing various tissues for later use in patient treatment. Skin, bone marrow, corneas, heart valves, and stem cells are all possible examples of such tissues.
  • Be accountable for the safe handling of tissues and the distribution of appropriate tissues to patients.
  • Auditing the diagnostics, clinical use and performance of clinical investigations.
  • Carrying out complex analyses on patient and donor specimens.
  • Ensuring the quality of clinical investigations.
    Writing reports.
  • Submitting funding bids.
  • Conducting research with clinicians and other healthcare scientists.
  • Developing new and existing tests, often requiring considerable manual expertise.
  • Investing yourself in studies that will make transplantation a more widely accepted method of treating a variety of diseases.
  • Working in a multidisciplinary team setting.


The location and kind of organisation affect the salary for a Clinical Scientist in the field of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Clinical scientists can earn a variety of salaries depending on whether they work for a private company, a university, the government, or another organisation.

Agenda for Change (AfC) pay rates, comprising nine pay bands, typically apply to jobs in the NHS. Band 6 salaries for Trainee Clinical Scientists typically begin at £33,706. Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll be eligible for a salary between £41,659 and £47,672 (Band 7). Principal and Consultant Scientists can expect to make anywhere from £48,526 (Band 8) to £109,475 (Band 9), depending on their level of responsibility, education, and years of experience in the field.

Employees in the Greater London Area may be eligible for a high-cost area supplement ranging from five percent to twenty percent of their base salary.

Working hours and work location

As a Clinical Scientist in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, in addition to your regular 37.5-hour workweek, you may be required to participate in an on-call rota after-hours to assist with solid organ transplants.

Once you’ve earned your credentials, you might spend some time away from home getting trained in different hospitals or other relevant locations, but not for extensive amounts of time.

After meeting the necessary requirements, part-time employment may be obtained.

Vacancies can be found all over the UK, particularly in larger and medium-sized medical facilities.

What to expect

In order to do well in this job, you must be willing to work long hours, but the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone get better more than makes up for the sacrifices.

Clinical Scientists are frequently at the forefront of research and innovation, ensuring that patients always receive the best possible care. In Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, Clinical Scientists conduct extensive research, including the development of methods to support antibody-incompatible solid organ transplantation, the understanding of the significance of HLA and other immunogenetic markers in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the development of new methods, and the design and delivery of innovative models of service provision.

Developments in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics are expanding transplantation as a treatment option for a growing number of diseases.


First and foremost, all aspiring Clinical Scientists need to earn a bachelor’s degree with honours or an integrated master’s degree in a field of pure or applied science that is directly related to the area of Clinical Science they hope to work in. You need either a 1.1 or a 2.1.3 Alternatively, if the trainee has a 2.2 but also has a higher degree in a relevant discipline, they may apply.

The next step is to submit an application to the three-year Scientist Training Programme (STP). Oriel is the online application portal for postgraduate medical, dental, public health, healthcare science, and pre-registration pharmacy training programmes, all of which are accepted for entry into the STP. The recruitment procedure is usually implemented in January.

The online situational judgement test (JST), online application, and in-person interviews are just the beginning of the hiring process. The Pearson VUE website features JST sample questions.

Academic and professional training are both incorporated into the STP’s core, rotational, and specialty modules. The practical training is accomplished through employment with an NHS division or, on rare occasions, with a private partner or private company of the NHS. E-portfolios are used to evaluate this aspect of the programme. Part-time study towards a master’s degree (MSc in Clinical Science) is included in the programme and is supported financially. There are a total of 180 credits required for the master’s degree, and students will spend 70 of those on their thesis.

After finishing the STP, you will be eligible to apply for clinical Scientist registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and receive a Certificate of Completion for the Scientist Training Programme (CCSTP) from the NSHCS.

Visit the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) website for complete information on the STP, application guidance, and competition ratio data by specialty area.

To become a registered Clinical Scientist with the HCPC, you can also earn a Certificate of Attainment from the Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS) after completing the British Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (BSHI) Diploma in H&I. You need at least a 2:1 in biology and a job in a lab that provides H&I services to a transplant programme to enrol in the Diploma.


In order to become a Clinical Scientists in the field of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) you will need to gain or possess the following skills:

  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent motor skills
    Ability to think analytically and investigate situations quickly and accurately
  • Ability to lead and motivate others
  • The ability to work as a part of a team and individually
  • Competence in the laboratory
    Superior communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Ability to make ethical patient-affecting decisions and the ability to design and plan research investigations and experiments
  • Strong IT skills and a working knowledge of common computing packages
  • Capacity to manage a laboratory project and liaise with a variety of technical colleagues
  • Resilience and resourcefulness to cope with work and study
  • Ability to plan and prioritise work
  • Flexibility
  • Emotional strength and good self-awareness
  • Time management
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • If you’re applying for a job in the NHS, you’ll also need to show that you uphold the organisation’s values.

Work experience

Since each case is unique when it comes to Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, in order to gain additional experience, you need to be able to think quickly on your feet and draw on your existing experience to find solutions. Get in touch with the nearest H&I lab and schedule a visit if at all possible. To make sure it’s the right fit for you, you could even do some volunteer work there

If you don’t yet have the required amount of experience for a particular paid position that interests you, volunteering is a great way to fill that gap and find out if the work is a good fit for you. In addition to helping you feel better about yourself, volunteering is a rewarding way to give back to the local community.

Career prospects

After gaining experience in the fields of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, you may find employment with a public health service (NHS) hospital trust (typically in the transplantation or immunology department). Volunteer positions are available at organisations like the Anthony Nolan Trust.

However, the number of available jobs as Clinical Scientists in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics is limited, and moving may be necessary to advance in your chosen profession.


Related courses

  • MSc Information Technology
    The University of the West of Scotland teaches this program at their London Campus, so you’ll be studying at the heart of the UK’s science centre. This one-year, full-time curriculum is for students who have no prior expertise with computers or information technology. The course will help you learn much-needed IT expertise to help you prepare for a job as a Clinical Scientists in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics.
  • MSc in Information Technology
    If you are looking to study fully online, this course is a great choice. It still exhibits all the characteristics of the top MSc that the University of the West of Scotland offers on campus. You do not need to have an IT bachelor’s degree to attend this course.
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