Spotlight Series: Science Beyond Academia Nora McFadden – Science Procurement Manager, The Crick Institute

Nora’s career in science started with her undergraduate degree in medical microbiology at Warwick which she followed by jumping straight to a PhD at Imperial College.

After working as a post-doc she realised that she didn’t want to be a PI and couldn’t see a future for herself in lab-based academic research.

She moved initially to lab management at CRUK as the Crick was being developed and it was made clear to her that progression within her role would be possible. She became involved in procurement for the Institute as it was being built and works there currently, managing the purchasing of supplies and equipment for a large and complex institution.

Nora emphasises that science background is essential as she needs to understand the scientific context in order to effectively provide equipment and supplies as well as communicate effectively with researchers.

Her work is varied and requires very close attention to detail with lots of opportunity for project management. The skills of a researcher in managing, communicating and understanding data, problem solving, analysis, time management and being flexible and adaptable all come frequently into play. There are frequent opportunities to interact with the research the researchers and this kind of role can be great for those who don’t want to lose touch with science but do want to try a different profession.

The environment is often more formal than academic research. There are regular office hours and the culture is often more like that of a business than a university.

For those interested in applying for professional support roles within science, Nora recommends that you try to get some experience of and contact with people working in these roles and show your interest and willingness to get involved.

CVs and applications should be skills focussed and much less detailed than academic CVs as well as thoroughly tailored towards the role and institution you are applying for.

Pre-Consultancy Training Workshop: 9 May

Tuesday, 9 May 2017
10:00 – 15:30
S3.31, Strand Campus

King’s PhD students who are interested in consultancy work but who are unsure as to whether they have the skills for it, are invited to the next pre-consultancy training workshop on Tuesday 9 May.

Please find the agenda below.

10 – 10:45 Preparing your Application  Donald Lush, Careers Consultant
 10:45 – 11:30 Working for yourself  Donald Lush, Careers Consultant
 11:30 – 11:45 King’s Research Consultancy – Programme Overview  Katie Black/Jon Sanders, Careers & Employability
11:45 – 12:15 Working as a Consultant – What to Expect
12:15 – 12:45 My King’s Research Consultancy Project  Aine Rubikaite, Final Year PhD Candidate, Developmental Neurobiology, IoPPN
 12:45 – 13:30 Lunch Break
 13:30 – 15:30 Project Management, Dealing with Client Issues and Presenting your Conclusions  Dr Ross English – Researcher Development Unit

To book a place on this workshop, please email careers-consultancy@kcl.ac.uk, or call 020 7848 1376.

About the King’s Research Consultancy
The King’s Research Consultancy is a programme offering PhDs (post-upgrade) the opportunity to consult on a specific research project within a department at King’s College London, or with an external organisation.

You can benefit from this scheme by:

  • Gaining advanced levels of work-based experiential learning and build on research, analytical and project management skills.
  • Having access to pre-consultancy training and support from King’s Careers & Employability, if required.
  • Having the opportunity to apply your PhD subject knowledge to a commercial project, impacting significantly and tangibly on organisational or departmental outcomes.

A career in medical communications – visit to Nucleus Global

Nucleus Global is a group of medical communications agencies that provides full in-house consulting and communications services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and to healthcare professionals. They have offices across the globe.

As well as a number of full-service medical communications agencies, Nucleus Global also has its own continuing and independent medical education companies. You can find out more about them here. To find about more about medical communications careers click here.

As an employer, they focus on recruiting people with science PhDs for both their client services and editorial roles because of the depth of knowledge and advanced scientific and research skills.  Nucleus Global continuously recruits throughout the year.

They initially require a CV which is followed by a brief phone call. The CV is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate good communication skills. It should be attractive, well laid out with perfect grammar and spelling. You should also demonstrate how your skills match the needs of medical communications.

If you are successful in the initial screening there is a writing test and usually an interview process, which is competency based.  Candidates are given one week to complete the writing test to a brief which is provided. Demonstration of effective plain English written communication is essential to success in the recruitment process.

The company places good value on activities additional to your research. This may be volunteering, taking on extra responsibilities, playing sport or other activities that demonstrate your interests and strengths. You should also consider how your values align with those of the company, which is very team oriented and wants to work with people who thrive in this sort of environment. This can be quite a contrast to the more solitary life of an academic researcher.

As a business, the company has a much faster pace than academic research but maintains the same scientific rigour and high ethical standards. Finally, as a global business, with a diverse range of clients, your people skills are highly valued and vital to succeeding.

Many thanks to all at Nucleus Global for hosting the visit and being so generous with their time and insights.

New on-line careers resources for PhD students and research staff

scrapbook-154813_640We’ve just added some new careers resources for PhD students and research staff to our on-line library.  These are the first three collections in a series which will eventually cover all faculties.

Please click the links below for your resources:

 

Arts & Humanities + Social Sciencehttp://libguides.kcl.ac.uk/phd-resources-social-science/

Natural and Mathematical Scienceshttp://libguides.kcl.ac.uk/phd-resources-nms

Life Scienceshttp://libguides.kcl.ac.uk/phd-resources-life-science