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.’


Career Inspiration: Patent Attorney

Could you describe a pencil in fewer than 100 words?

Interested in using your scientific knowledge in a very precise way?

Join us to hear from the following speakers, who can probably do both those things…..!
Eleanor MacIver – Trainee Patent Atorney at Mewburn Ellis, PhD in Organic Chemistry

John Fisher – Senior Associate at Carpmaels & Ransford LLP, PhD in Organic Chemistry

Nick Noble –  Patent Attorney at Kilburn & Strode, PhD in Medical Image Analysis

Weds 25th March 5-6pm
FWB 1.70, Waterloo

Use the Patent Attorney tag from the list on the RH side to read about previous Career Spotlights in this field.

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: Careers in Scientific Publishing

We welcomed the following four people currently working in scientific publishing to come and talk to students about their industry and careers.

**Ruth Francis – Head of Communications at BioMed Central (previous includes Head of Press Nature Publishing Group and Press Officer King’s College London and Cancer Research UK)

**Luke Fleet – Associate Editor at Nature Publishing Group (previous includes Assistant Editor Nature Communications and a PhD Physics, Quantum Nanoelectronics)

**Michael Osuch – Publishing Director for Neuroscience and Psychology journals at Elsevier (previous posts were at Nature, Informa and Wiley Publishing)

**Francesca Lake – Managing Editor, Future Science Group

The following are some of the suggestions they had for those who are seriously considering choosing scientific publishing.

  • Think carefully about what kind of organization you’d like to work in. There has been a lot of consolidation in the industry recently, meaning it is dominated by a small number of big players. These big firms may have very different organizational cultures: Elsevier for example has a conservative reputation, while NPG is considered by many to be more innovative.
  • The speakers said they look for candidates who are well-prepared and can talk about the company. Candidates who ask lots of questions and can build rapport will have an advantage.
  • Qualities that you should be able to demonstrate include motivation, interpersonal skills, and being organized. A PhD may provide useful evidence of this, but is not a pre-requisite.
  • Luke recommends postdocs not to remain in a single niche. Having diverse subject matter expertise can be an advantage both in academia and outside of it.

Our speakers said that scientific publishing can be an alternative to academia, that allows you to stay in touch, and make use of, your subject matter expertise. You may want to consider whether you prefer the journal development aspect of the work, or management, as with experience you may need to choose a track.