MedComms careers event – January 2016

‘I’m delighted we will once again be running our annual lunchtime MedComms careers event in Oxford on 14 January, supported by Oxford University. Please help spread the word and encourage all relevant others to join us.

We have now completed the line-up of agencies as follows: 7.4 Limited, Ashfield Healthcare Communications, BioScience Communications Darwin Healthcare Communications, Fishawack Group, Highfield Communications, McCann Complete Medical Group, Oxford PharmaGenesis, Porterhouse Medical and The Prime Medical Group. That means the opportunity for attendees to meet at least 30-40 MedComms specialists who are happy to chat about the business and career opportunities.

This will be the tenth such event we have run in Oxford and we have more than proven the value now of gathering together the leading agencies to talk about opportunities in the business. If you’re wondering whether the events are worthwhile, earlier this year I published a host of comments from individuals who had successfully made the transition into MedComms following our events and I know many more have since followed them in.

The event is entirely free of charge and anyone is welcome to attend no matter how many times they have done so before. My advice to jobseekers is always very simple; “Grab as many opportunities as you can to talk to as many people as you can. Whether you are looking to start now or in three years’ time, the more you understand MedComms and the related businesses the more likely you will get the job that best suits you.”

Please do help spread the word. Anyone wanting to learn more about a career in MedComms is very welcome. The more the merrier!

If anyone wants to sign up, they simply send me an email providing details of their current position.

What we need now is as many delegates as possible!


Please help spread the word and encourage all relevant others to join us. Everyone is welcome. It’s entirely free of charge and a great opportunity to meet and chat with lots of specialists about MedComms itself but also about related businesses if people are unsure which direction to take. As always, anyone can come along even if they have been before. The more people someone talks to in MedComms the more they will understand the business and the more likely they will find their entry level opportunity.

Don’t forget we’ve a useful number of entry level job ads over at the NextMedCommsJob service.

Meanwhile all the various resources at remain entirely free to access for everyone.’


Med Comms – useful info, vacancies, and events

The 7th edition of our annual Careers guide is now freely available online at our Starting Out page at and once again we have updated the core text to include new Personal Profiles and up-to-date contact details for many leading MedComms agencies who are keen to hear from people looking for an entry level job in MedComms. My favourite page this year is page 23 – quotes from named individuals who are now working in MedComms having attended our careers events last year. The events really do work! Please share details of this guide with anyone interested in learning more about MedComms.

Note paper copies are available if you want some, they are free of charge while stocks last.

Note also that alongside our three larger, open days each year, we also run a small, intensive workshop in Oxford, which has proven very beneficial for many attendees. The idea of the open events is anyone can come along at whatever stage they are at and find out more about MedComms. The idea of the smaller workshop is that attendees have a genuine interest in pursuing a career in MedComms, and specifically in medical writing which is what we focus on at this event and we provide them with in-depth insight in to the business and the roles available.

The dates this year are 18-19 May. Registration is now open. Places are strictly limited.

Note individuals need to apply via Oxford University – but check out details here first.

Applicants from within University of Oxford and Oxford NHS may attend free of charge. For external applicants there is a fee of 200 pounds to attend.

Finally, don’t forget we’ve a useful number of entry level job ads over at the NextMedCommsJob service so do check these out. There are 32 listed today. In particular note that these new ones went up in the past week; Account Coordinator – London from Inspired Science and Associate Medical Writer – Macclesfield from Windhorse MedComms Services. Please help spread the word.

Meanwhile the various resources at remain entirely free to access.

Career Inspiration: Science Communication

Our Career Spotlight last week was turned on the world of Science Communications.  We listened to two speakers talk about different ends of the SciComms spectrum, sharing their enthusiasm and energy around their chosen careers.

Eleanor Roberts has founded her own medical writing business, Beeline Communcations.  Following a PhD at the then IoP, Eleanor took some time off the science treadmill before going onto a post-doc in the US.  Writing was always what she enjoyed doing, perhaps more so than the science parts of these research posts.

How did she get in?

Whilst doing her post-doc, she was able to do some copy-editing, copy-writing and grammar courses, which gave her formal qualifications in these areas.  The first medical writing agency that took her in was particularly interested in her post-doc experience, as the sorts of skills she had as a post-doc (slide-deck writing, poster-writing, chapter-writing) are exactly what you do as a medical writer.

What does she now do?

As a medical writer, you are at the junction of the drug companies and the medical professionals.  You need to be making the companies’ products look good, by writing in the references and writing it so the audience will understand.

Now, as a freelance, she is on a substantial contract with one particular global pharmaceutical company, but before that, she worked with King’s, writing the impact case studies for the recent REF submission.  This, Eleanor says, was really interesting.  It involved a different kind of writing, and research impact that professors didn’t necessarily know existed!

Eleanor’s Top Tips

  • Look out for small-scale projects, such as writing for health websites such as, Healthday and so on.
  • Look out for the MedComms events.
  • Slowly build up a portfolio of different styles of writing.

Toby Shannon is the UK Co-ordinator of the International year of Light at the Institute of Physics, one of the learned societies associated with science in the UK.   This is a public engagement role, where ‘science communication’ blurs with ‘public engagement’.

How did he get in?

Toby took an MSc in Science Communications at UWE (there are others, including at Imperial College); and then found a paid internship with the British Science Association.  Then he was able to apply for a Science in Society role – helping researchers do public engagement.

How could you do public engagement?

  • There are many science festivals and events such as I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!; Pint of Science , Big Bang and so on.
  • Could you help at a university Open Day?
  • Create a short film or podcast?
  • Figure out an under-served audience and specifically aim an event at them?
  • Can you measure and evaluate it properly?
  • Be an Explainer at the Wellcome Trust?  (Equivalents at other museums!)

Toby’s Top Tips:

I think the two major things I’d recommend for aspiring science communicators are:


My other recommendations to make yourself more noticeable to potential employers are:

  • Volunteer – have a go at lots of different volunteering opportunities to see what you enjoy and are good at
  • Organise – once you’ve found what you enjoy, try organising something yourself to show that you’re not just a willing volunteer
  • Go beyond – think about expanding your skills by working with under-served audiences or treating your projects in a professional way to help you stand out