Guide to Careers in Toxicology
What is Toxicology?
Consider a Career in Toxicology?
What Do Toxicologists Do?
Where Do Toxicologists Work?
Regional Distribution of Toxicology
How Much Do Toxicologists
How Do I Prepare for a Career in Toxicology?
and Post-Doctoral Programs and Web Sites
The presence of a program in this Guide does not constitute endorsement
by the Society of Toxicology, nor does the omission of a program
constitute lack of endorsement. Programs included here subscribed
to this list using the Program Submission Form.
The Society of Toxicology
(SOT) seeks to recruit diverse and talented scientists to the field
of toxicology. The first edition of the Resource Guide to Careers
in Toxicology was conceived and prepared by members of the Educational
Issues Task Force of the Tox 90's Commission, including Jay Gandolfi,
Ph.D. (Committee Chairman), University of Arizona; David
L. Eaton, Ph.D. (Project Coordinator), University of Washington;
Robert E. Dudley, Ph.D., Gynex, Inc.; Michele Medinsky,
Ph.D., CIIT; Harihara Mehendale, Ph.D., University of
Mississippi; and Curtis D. Klaassen, Ph.D. (Council Liaison),
University of Kansas Medical Center, with additional guidance from
19891990 SOT President Roger McClellan.
The format for the fourth
edition has been substantially revised. Since the internet has become
a primary source of information, this edition directs students and
advisors to detailed information that the academic programs maintain
on their Web sites. These sites can be accessed directly from the
On-Line version of this Guide, which can be found on the
SOT Web site. This On-Line version may be updated annually upon
This revision was completed
under the direction of the SOT Education Committee (Claude McGowan,
Ph.D., 1998-1999 Chair, Janssen at Washington Crossing; and
Rick G. Schnellmann, Ph.D., 1999-2000 Chair, University of
Arkansas Medical Sciences); and a Task Force consisting of James
E. Klaunig, Ph.D. (Project Coordinator), Indiana University
School of Medicine; David L. Eaton, Ph.D., University of
Washington; A. Jay Gandolfi, Ph.D., University of Arizona;
Claude McGowan, Ph.D., Janssen at Washington Crossing; Mary
Davis, Ph.D., West Virginia University Medical Center; Jacqueline
H. Smith, Ph.D., Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc.; and Betty
Eidemiller, Ph.D., SOT Director of Education.
We acknowledge Alice
Ottobani for the phrase "the dose makes the poison."
All academic programs
that submitted materials and contributed to defray production and
distribution costs were included in the Guide. Inclusion
does not constitute endorsement by the SOT, nor does the absence
of any program infer lack of endorsement.
Society of Toxicology
1821 Michael Faraday Drive, Suite 300
Reston, Virginia 20190-5332
Tel: (703) 438-3115
Fax: (703) 438-3113
Web site: http://www.toxicology.org
dose makes the poison."
"Toxicology is part of the solution."
Toxicology. . . is
the science that studies the harmful effects of drugs, environmental
contaminants, and naturally occurring substances found in food,
water, air and soil.
Toxicology. . . research
is important for improving the health of humans, animals and
Toxicology. . . studies
are required to ensure the safety of medicines, household and gardening
chemicals, and industrial and natural chemicals to which humans
and animals are frequently exposed.
Toxicology. . . research
is intended to identify harmful effects of potential new products
and to determine safe levels for approved products.
Toxicology. . . research
also provides understanding of the mechanisms by which chemical
substances cause injury, and this information can be used in the
treatment of poisonings.
Opportunities in Toxicology
Hardly a week goes by
without hearing that a chemical may potentially threaten our healthpesticides
in the food we eat, pollutants in the air we breathe, chemicals
in the water we drink, toxic dump sites near our homes. Chemicals
make up everything around us. Which chemicals are really dangerous?
How much does it take to cause harm? What are the effects of a particular
chemical? Cancer? Nervous system damage? Birth defects?
sound answers to these very important questions is what toxicologists
do, using the most modern molecular, genetic, and analytical techniques
available. Toxicology combines the elements of many scientific disciplines
to help us understand the harmful effects of chemicals on living
An additional, important
aspect of toxicology is determining the likelihood that harmful
effects will occur under certain exposure circumstances, sometimes
called "risk assessment." If the risks are real, then
we must be able to deal with them effectively. If the risks are
trivial, then we must ensure that valuable public resources are
not spent ineffectively. Such important decisions must be made with
the best scientific evidence possible.
The responsibility of
the toxicologist is to:
1) develop new and better
ways to determine the potential harmful effects of chemical and
physical agents and the amount (dosage) that will cause these
effects. An essential part of this is to learn more about the
basic molecular, biochemical and cellular processes responsible
for diseases caused by exposure to chemical or physical substances;
2) design and carry
out carefully controlled studies of specific chemicals of social
and economic importance to determine the conditions under which
they can be used safely (that is, conditions that have little
or no negative impact on human health, other organisms, or the
3) assess the probability,
or likelihood, that particular chemicals, processes or situations
present a significant risk to human health and/or the environment,
and assist in the establishment of rules and regulations aimed
at protecting and preserving human health and the environment.
Consider a Career in Toxicology?
Wise use of chemicals is an essential component of the high standard
of living we enjoy. The challenge to toxicologists is to ensure
that we are not endangering our health or the environment with the
products and by-products of modern and comfortable living. As a
career, toxicology provides the excitement of science and research
while also contributing to the well-being of current and future
generations. Few other careers offer such exciting and socially
important challenges as protecting public health and the environment.
With the increase in our health consciousness, as well as concern
for our environment, a wide and growing variety of career opportunities
exist in toxicology.
participate in basic
research using the most advanced techniques in molecular biology,
analytical chemistry and biomedical sciences;
work with chemical,
pharmaceutical and many other industries to test and ensure
that their products and workplaces are safe, and to evaluate
the implications of new research data;
work for local and
federal governments to develop and enforce laws to ensure that
chemicals are produced, used and disposed of safely; work in
academic institutions to teach others about the safe use of
chemicals and to train future toxicologists.
and Professional Advancement
The demand for well-trained toxicologists continues to increase.
Highly competitive salaries are available in a variety of employment
sectors. Increasing specialization in the science of toxicology
now provides the toxicologist with a competitive advantage over
chemists, engineers, biologists or other scientists without specialized
training in toxicology. Opportunities are available for career advancement
to executive levels for those with organizational and administrative
skills and a superb record of scientific achievement.
Do Toxicologists Do?
Many toxicologists, especially
in academic and nonprofit institutions, are principally involved
in the discovery of new knowledge concerning how toxic substances
produce their effects. There are many subspecialty areas in toxicology
research: chemical carcinogenesis, reproductive and developmental
toxicology, neurotoxicology, immunotoxicology, inhalation toxicology,
risk assessment and many others. Researchers use laboratory animals,
human and animal cells in culture, and other test systems to examine
the cellular, biochemical and molecular processes underlying toxic
responses. Research opportunities are available for individuals
employed in industry, academia and government. There are many commercial
and nonprofit laboratories that also provide interesting and challenging
Research is considered
to be "basic" where no immediate commercial or public
health application is expected, but the knowledge will add to our
understanding of basic life processes. Such research is of great
value in solving important and long-term problems. Examples of this
would be studies of how a particular enzyme involved in the detoxification
of a chemical is regulated at the gene level or how a chemical affects
the rate of cell division.
Other research is considered
"applied" when the results are expected to yield direct
social or commercial benefit. Examples would be studies to identify
new chemicals that selectively kill certain pests or studies to
determine if a particular industrial process is responsible for
a specific disease identified in a population of workers. Development
of antidotes for radiation injury or chemical poisoning are examples
of applied research of public health importance.
Many industries employ toxicologists to assist in the evaluation
of the safety of their products. For therapeutic drugs, food additives,
cosmetics, agricultural chemicals and other classes of chemicals,
federal laws often require that the manufacturer provide adequate
testing of the product before it is released into commerce. Tests
to determine if a chemical has the potential to cause cancer, birth
defects, reproductive effects, neurological toxicity or other adverse
effects are commonly conducted by the manufacturer.
in product safety evaluation have the responsibility to ensure that
such tests are designed, conducted and interpreted in a scientifically
sound manner. Information from such studies is, in turn, reviewed
by toxicologists in various regulatory agencies, such as the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), or by international organizations to ensure that the products
will not present an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment.
When the information is
available, toxicologists also utilize studies of human populations
(the science of epidemiology) to assist in the evaluation of the
safety and potential risks of the chemical products and by-products
of modern society.
Toxicologists employed in colleges and universities are involved
in teaching toxicology to students and others. Because of increasing
interest in the impacts of chemicals on our society, many colleges
and universities offer toxicology courses at both the undergraduate
and graduate level. Academic institutions that do not have graduate
programs in toxicology employ toxicologists to participate in curriculum
development and teach basic programs such as chemistry and biology.
Thus, opportunities exist to teach toxicology in small colleges
as well as major universities. One of the most important efforts
of toxicologists in academic institutions is the training of future
generations of toxicologists in basic and applied research, data
interpretation and evaluation, and risk assessment and regulatory
Regulatory Affairs and Consulting
An important part of any science is communicating results and discussing
implications. The tremendous growth in public awareness of chemical
hazards over the last two decades has resulted in the passage of
many laws governing the production, use and disposal of chemicals.
Many local, state and federal regulatory agencies employ toxicologists
to assist in the development and enforcement of these laws. An increasingly
important area of toxicology is in public communication of chemical
risks. Toxicologists employed by regulatory agencies may often be
called upon to explain the scientific basis for regulatory actions,
or to assist in communicating to the public why regulatory actions
are or are not taken in particular situations. There are many private
consulting firms with expertise in toxicology that can now provide
such services to local and state health departments, public utilities,
private industries, etc. Thus, many employment opportunities in
the private sector are available to the toxicologist interested
in assisting public agencies and private industries in resolving
many important public health and environmental problems. Some scientists
like this aspect so much that they pursue consulting full-time.
Do Toxicologists Work?
The "Job Market Survey"
estimates that 9,000 toxicologists are employed in North America.
Of recent Ph.D.s, 53% entered industry, 34% found positions
in academia and 12% in government. These numbers are similar to
overall employment statistics in the discipline as projected in
the "Job Market Survey."
Comparison with other
careers is possible by investigating the Occupational Outlook
produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Products, Pharmaceutical and Other Industries
Industries are the number one employer of toxicologists (47%). Product
development, product safety evaluation, and regulatory compliance
generate a large job market for toxicologists. Pharmaceutical industries
employ 17% of toxicologists, and chemical industries employ 7%.
These industries often employ toxicologists trained at all levels
of education. The "Toxicologist Supply and Expertise Survey"
found that, of recent graduates, 53% of those with Ph.D.s,
73% of those with masters degrees and 58% of those with bachelors
degrees entered industry. Many industries have their own research
and product safety evaluation programs, while others may contract
their work to specific research organizations that are managed independently
from the industry.
Academic institutions are the number two employer of toxicologists
(21%). The rapid growth in toxicology programs has generated a large
and growing market for toxicologists with doctoral level training.
Although most of these opportunities are in schools of medicine
and/or public health in major universities, smaller colleges are
beginning to employ toxicologists to teach toxicology in basic biology,
chemistry and engineering programs.
Government is the third largest employer of toxicologists (14%).
Although most government jobs are with federal regulatory agencies,
many states are now beginning to employ toxicologists with masters
or doctoral degrees.
An increasing number of toxicologists are employed in the professional
services industry (12%). Providing professional guidance and advice
to local public agencies, industries and attorneys involved in problems
with toxic chemicals is a rapidly growing activity for the experienced
toxicologist. Many graduates of baccalaureate and masters
programs in toxicology are finding employment with consulting firms.
Individuals with doctoral training and several years of experience
in applied toxicology may also find opportunities directing projects
and serving as team leaders or administrators in the consulting
A small proportion of toxicologists pursue research within nonprofit
organizations (4%). Numerous public and private research foundations
employ toxicologists to conduct research on specific problems of
industrial or public concern. Toxicologists at all levels of education
may work for these research foundations.
Distribution of Toxicology Jobs
Although the majority
of government and industry jobs are located in the eastern portion
of the United States, employment opportunities at all levels are
available throughout the country. The geographic distribution of
SOT members in the continental United States reflects job distribution.
Much Do Toxicologists Earn?
As with any profession,
the level of education and length of experience are key determinants
of salary. Entry level positions for those with doctoral degrees
are often in the range of $35,000 to $60,000, with rapid advancement
possible. In general, positions in industry pay slightly better
than government or academia. Mid-range professionals with a Ph.D.
degree and 10 years of experience can expect to earn $70,000 to
$100,000 annually. Most executive positions in toxicology exceed
$100,000 per year, and some corporate executive toxicologists earn
$200,000 or more. Of course, salaries for those with masters
and/or bachelors degrees in toxicology will generally be less
than those for individuals with doctoral degrees, but are still
highly competitive with other science-based professions.
Do I Prepare for a Career in Toxicology?
Jobs are available for
recipients of associate through doctoral degrees. Candidates with
two- or four-year degrees can work in toxicology as laboratory assistants,
research technicians or animal care specialists.
Depending upon your career
aspirations, a bachelors degree may not be enough for you
to achieve your goals. The higher the degree, the more likely your
position will provide more opportunities, more responsibility and
higher salaries. Of recent graduates from toxicology programs, 55%
received Ph.D.s, 22% masters degrees, and 23% bachelors
degrees. According to the "Job Market Survey," about half
of employed toxicologists have a Ph.D. Post-doctoral experience
was considered an "absolute" requirement by 29% of the
employers who planned to hire toxicologists in the next few years;
an additional 38% listed such experience as "desired."
Post-doctoral training is a route to employment in toxicology for
those with advanced degrees in other areas, such as the Ph.D. in
other biomedical sciences, the M.D., or D.V.M.
In the "Job Market
Survey," employers requested strong written and oral communication
skills and knowledge of computers. Good laboratory practice, project
management skills and statistics experience were also viewed as
important. The fast pace of change and future job market will favor
workers who can demonstrate flexibility and adaptability.
A strong foundation for any future scientist is based on skills
in reading, writing, mathematics, computer science and communication,
along with courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Knowledge
of a foreign language is important for exchanging information in
our global society. Extra curricular activities such as science
fairs and clubs build leadership experience. Part-time or summer
work in a research laboratory is also valuable.
If your institution does not have a baccalaureate program in toxicology,
a major in biology or chemistry provides a basis for a career in
this discipline. Take as many biology and chemistry courses as you
can, as well as physics, computer science, statistics and mathematics
(including calculus). Improve your writing and speaking skills,
and develop a multidisciplinary foundation to increase your options
and qualifications. While breadth in your undergraduate training
is important, depth and experience provided by working in a laboratory
or completing a student research project can be very important in
increasing your skills and helping you determine the kind of science
career that suits your interest and skills. Engage in activities
that improve team-building aptitude, as well as those that improve
hand-eye coordination. Join local and national scientific professional
societies and participate in student-oriented events, regional and
national meetings. All of these efforts will be repaid whether you
enter the job market immediately after receiving your degree or
pursue graduate study.
Information about financial aid is available on the world wide web
at sites such as Financial Aid (http://www.finaid.org)
and FastWeb (http://www.fastweb.com).
Of special interest to members of groups under-represented in the
sciences is the Minority On-Line Information Service (MOLIS) (http://web.sciencewise.com/molis).
MOLIS is a database including information on faculty and programs
at about 300 minority institutions, as well as hyperlinks to other
information that is of benefit to the minority education and research
Careful planning and attention to your undergraduate courses will
enhance your graduate education opportunities.
Most graduate toxicology
programs have specific prerequisites for admission. In addition
to a baccalaureate degree in a relevant field of study such as biology
or chemistry, these requirements often include advanced coursework
in chemistry, especially organic chemistry, at least one year of
general biology, a year of college math including calculus, and
general physics. Additional upper division courses in biochemistry,
molecular biology and physiology will often increase your competitive
advantage for admission. Effective communication is an important
skill for toxicologists; therefore, coursework in scientific writing
and public speaking is also useful. Involvement in extracurricular
activities is a valuable way to develop and demonstrate your leadership
and communication skills.
Consult the programs that
are of interest to you to determine their specific admission requirements.
In addition to a strong academic record, demonstration of basic
laboratory and research skills and leadership abilities will increase
your chances of admission to the more competitive programs. Undergraduate
research experience or working during the summer in a research laboratory
is a plus. From January to April each year, the SOT provides a listing
of summer internships available in academic, industrial and government
research laboratories across the country. Contact the SOT Headquarters
office for more information about the Summer Internship Program.
Performance on the Graduate
Record Examination is also important. You should take the exam at
least nine months prior to the time you plan to begin your graduate
study and you should prepare in advance for the exam.
If possible, plan to visit
the programs you wish to consider in advance of your application
process. Notify the director of the program of your interests and
arrange to speak with the director and other faculty in the program.
An excellent source of
information is Careers in Science and Engineering: A Student
Planning Guide to Graduate School and Beyond (National Academy
Press, 1996) (http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/careers).
One example in this book traces the career path of a physicist into
Training in Toxicology
a Program That's Right for You
Identifying a graduate training program that is best for you requires
some advanced planning. First, you should establish a potential
career plan. Consider the various subspecialties in toxicology,
such as neurotoxicology, chemical carcinogenesis, teratology, etc.,
to determine if there is a specific field of research that is of
particular interest to you. Attending regional and national scientific
meetings will help you explore areas of interest. Although choosing
a specialty early in your graduate education certainly does not
commit you to this direction, it will help you in deciding which
programs are most likely to meet your needs. It is also useful to
talk with toxicologists in local universities, industries and governmental
agencies to help you in your selection of a training program and
future career direction. Make sure that you are able to satisfy
all of the admission requirements prior to the time you intend to
begin the program, as these requirements may vary between programs
and from the general requirements described above. Geographical
considerations are also important to some individuals. Some students
balance employment and graduate study. The list of academic programs
in toxicology contained in this Guide should help you find
the right program for you.
Tips for success in graduate
school can be found in Peterson's Graduate School Survival Guide
Most students in toxicology graduate programs have financial support,
which can come from a variety of sources.
Many universities have funds to support graduate students during
their training. These awards are generally offered as either Teaching
Assistantships (TAs) or as Research Assistantships (RAs). As TAs,
students generally assist in the preparation and teaching of undergraduate
or graduate courses, and obtain valuable experience in teaching
that will help them in their future careers as toxicologists. RAs
generally assist faculty in research on specific topics or provide
general assistance to multiple faculty in the program. Check with
the specific academic program directors for more information on
the availability of student support for graduate training at your
school of choice.
1) Research Manpower Development Programs
The National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) supports research training
in four areas related to toxicology: a) environmental toxicology,
emphasizing training in the principles that determine the effects
of exposure to environmental agents; b) environmental pathology,
emphasizing training in chemical (as opposed to infectious disease)
pathology; c) environmental mutagenesis, emphasizing training in
the application of the principles of genetics and biochemistry to
assess the potential genetic hazards to man from environmental chemicals;
and d) environmental epidemiology and biostatistics, emphasizing
training in the use of statistical and mathematical tools to assist
in the identification of environmental diseases in human populations
and in experimental design and interpretation of data.
2) NIH Individual Investigator
Many toxicologists in
academic institutions who receive grant support from the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) have RAs. These RA positions are often
used to support graduate students in their final years of dissertation
research. The level of support for a RA may vary from institution
to institution, but are generally similar or slightly higher than
training grant stipends.
3) Other Federal Programs
In addition to the specific
programs noted above, federal support for graduate training may
be available through other training programs or research grants
and contracts available from other federal agencies such as the
National Science Foundation, the Armed Forces, the EPA, the Department
of Defense or the Department of Energy.
The SOT selects several pre-doctoral students each year for Graduate
Fellowship awards. These awards are currently sponsored by the Covance
Company, Novartis, and The Procter & Gamble Company. Any student
member of the SOT who has (at time of award) completed one year,
but not more than three years, of graduate study towards the Ph.D.
degree in an area of toxicology, and whose major professor is a
member of the SOT is eligible. The Education Committee evaluates
candidates on scholastic achievement, letters of recommendation
and the dissertation research. Applications and further information
are available from the SOT Web site.
Individual academic programs
may receive graduate student training support from sponsoring industries
Training In Toxicology
If you've already completed a doctoral degree in a biomedical science,
you can enter the field of toxicology by spending two to three years
as a post-doctoral fellow in a toxicology laboratory. Post-doctoral
education of a toxicologist takes many forms depending on the goal
of the scientist. Post-doctoral experience is necessary for most
academic and research positions, but is not a requirement for many
other positions in government or industry.
can further enhance the marketability of a toxicologist. Recent
toxicology graduates may lack experience in project management,
people management and grant-writing, and experience in these areas
can be gained during post-doctoral training. Although higher numbers
of toxicologists are undertaking post-doctoral training in recent
years, a smaller proportion of the total number of graduates are
engaged in post-doctoral fellowships30% in 19901995
vs. 43% in 19841989.
The SOT Career Resource and Development Services
maintains an active list of post-doctoral opportunities available
in toxicology. You may obtain more information about the Career Resource and Development Services by visiting the SOT Web site, or by contacting the SOT.
Numerous government agencies provide post-doctoral training programs
in toxicology at agency facilities such as the EPA (in its regional
laboratories), the FDA at its Beltsville and National Center for
Toxicology Research facilities, Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
Center for Disease Controls National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health, and the many National Institutes of Health laboratories,
A time-honored post-doctoral
training route has been through investigator-initiated research
grants, which focus the post-doctoral fellow in the area of the
mentor. Most researchers at academic institutions who receive federal
research grants have funds to support post-doctoral fellows. One
means of exploring post-doctoral opportunities is to directly contact
individual faculty from graduate programs in toxicology.
In addition to individual
research grants, many academic programs receive federal training
grants with funds specifically dedicated to post-doctoral training.
For example, the NIEHS provides post-doctoral fellowships to academic
institutions for post-doctoral training in environmental toxicology
and/or environmental pathology. Consult the "Employment and
Training Opportunities" on the NIEHS Web site (http://www.niehs.nih.gov).
You can also write to the Program Administrator (Scientific Programs
Branch, MD 3/03, NIEHS, Division of Extramural Research and Training,
P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709) to obtain a list
of academic programs that receive NIEHS-sponsored post-doctoral
training grants in toxicology.
Many companies that employ toxicologists (such as pharmaceutical,
chemical, food and automotive companies) provide post-doctoral training
opportunities for individuals with doctoral degrees in toxicology
or related disciplines.
source of post-doctoral training is the contract laboratory. The
contract laboratory exposes the early career scientist to the broadest
issues in general toxicology, especially testing and preparing documents
for submission to regulatory agencies. In many respects, this type
of experience represents the practice or art of toxicology, while
the university experience represents the science of toxicology.
Company offers the Colgate-Palmolive Post-Doctoral Fellowship, which
is directed specifically toward innovations in toxicology methodology
involving alternatives to whole animal use in testing. This award
is administered through the SOT, and further information can be
found on the SOT Web site.
Information on career
outlook and salary is based on the following four reports available
on the SOT Web site.
Gad, Shayne C. "Fifth
Triennial Toxicology Salary Survey." International
Journal of Toxicology, vol. 21. 2002.
Gad, Shayne C. "Fourth
Triennial Toxicology Salary Survey and Trends in the Toxicology
Job Market." International Journal of Toxicology,
vol. 18, pp. 219-225. 1999.
Market Survey: Past, Present, and the Future." SOT
Placement Committee Report. 1997.
Supply and Expertise Survey: Past, Present, and Future."
SOT Placement Committee Report. 1998.
Society of Toxicology
The Society of Toxicology
(SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization that represents
the great variety of scientists from academic institutions, government
and industry who are practicing toxicology in the U.S. and around
the world. The organization is dedicated to supporting the creation
and communication of sound scientific information that reduces uncertainties
in assessing risks and improves decisions regarding the health of
humans, other animals, and the environment. Further information
is provided on the Society's Web site (http://www.toxicology.org).
The SOT communicates research
to diverse audiences throughout the world. SOT members publish their
findings in the leading research journals, present their research
at meetings and conferences, testify before government panels, serve
in advisory capacities on an international basis, and conduct lectures
and training programs for professionals, students, and the general
public. The SOT Annual Meeting, held each year in March, is the
largest of its kind in the world, with about 5,000 participants,
and features ground-breaking toxicology research and the exhibition
of the latest in instrumentation and services.
The SOT has a strong commitment
to public and professional education, offering a variety of programs
including a Congressional fellowship, continuing education courses,
workshops, symposia, student travel awards and student summer internships.
Significant efforts are also aimed at recruiting students from under
represented populations to careers in toxicology and to helping
the public achieve a better understanding of toxicology. The SOT
coordinates several community outreach programs, including a public
forum on local issues, special training programs for K12 teachers,
and media training for toxicologists.
The SOT was founded in
1961 as a not-for-profit scientific society. It is governed by an
11-person, elected Council and managed by an administrative office
in the Washington, D.C. area. There are approximately 5,000 individual
members from 42 countries and nearly 60 SOT Associates. The SOT's
activities are highly diverse and conducted through the efforts
of over 20 elected and appointed committees and task forces. The
Society has established 18 specialty sections and 18 regional chapters
that foster scientific exchange throughout the year.
Programs for Students
Student membership in the SOT provides access to the many advantages
of membership. Students with an interest in toxicology who are enrolled
full-time in a graduate degree program are eligible. The nominal
dues include the SOT newsletter and other membership mailings. Students
may subscribe to Society journals at reduced member rates. Other
Society activities of interest to students are the SOT Career Resource and Development Services and the Student Luncheon and Reception, which are conducted
each year at the Annual Meeting.
Student members are eligible
- Graduate Travel Awardstravel
support for students presenting a paper or poster at the Annual
- Graduate Fellowship Awardsone
year support for graduate study.
- Colgate Palmolive Post-Doctoral
Fellowshipssupport for post-doctoral training leading
to innovation in the use of alternatives to whole animal testing.
Applications and information
are available on the SOT Web site. Applications are due each year
on October 1, with the exception of the Colgate Palmolive Post-Doctoral
Fellowship which is due in even years (i.e., 2002, 2004, etc.).
The Society has a long-standing program to bring undergraduate students
to the SOT Annual Meeting. Participants are members of groups under-represented
in the sciences (primarily African American, Hispanic and Native
American students). The special educational program for these students
recognizes promising undergraduate science majors and informs these
students and their advisors about the discipline of toxicology,
opportunities in toxicology and the preparation necessary for a
research career. Details and applications are available on the SOT
The Colgate-Palmolive Visiting Professorships, administered by the
SOT, provide the opportunity for distinguished toxicologists to
visit an institution to further the dissemination of knowledge regarding
research, development and use of science that contributes to the
replacement, reduction or refinement of animal models currently
used in research and testing. Faculty may submit an application
on behalf of the institution. Applications and instructions can
be found under "Awards" on the SOT Web site.
The SOT endeavors to provide
equal opportunity for all individuals interested in career opportunities
in toxicology, and SOT-sponsored activities are open to all individuals,
regardless of race, creed, color, gender, religion, age, disability
or national origin.
Programs and Web Sites