Aidan Budd is a former researcher whose love of community-focused work led him from an EMBL PhD to project management work in bioinformatics teaching, service, and research with a focus on community building. He’s previously described to the EMBL alumni team how this initial transition occurred. He’s since continued in this area, initially joining The Earlham Institute as Senior Community and Business Development Manager (explained here), and now as Node Coordinator for ELIXIR-UK. Here we talk to him in more depth about his current role at ELIXIR-UK and what advice he’d give to young scientists interested in working with scientific communities.
According to Aidan, working in roles related to scientific community provide a rewarding career for people with some organisational abilities, good communication skills, and a strong interest in people and organisations. He particularly enjoys using his engineering mindset to design new processes, which he sees as a little like designing experiments but with the added challenge of the human dimension – such as finding consensus between stakeholders with different needs and interests.
Science administration is a broad career area encompassing many roles. Ioannis Legouras, an EMBL alumnus working in the area of strategic cooperation and research funding, shared his experience of moving into this career area along with his tips to those interested in following a similar path.
Scientists are internationally mobile & they do not always find guidance on tailoring their CVs for specific sectors and countries. Following a recent twitter debate on whether photos should be included in CVs, the EMBL Fellows’ Career Service started a survey to provide evidence-based guidance for life scientists.
A PDF summary of the main conclusions, with a graphical visualisation of the results by sector and country can be downloaded here. This article aims to provide a more detailed discussion.
So that we can update this article with more guidance in future, we have left the survey open for further responses. We would particularly welcome input from countries with no or few responses so far, and those hiring life scientists in the diverse array of non-academic careers. We will update this post once we reach a critical mass of new responses. A big thank you to all those who have completed the survey so far – including science twitter, our personal contacts & members of the EMBO Young Investigator network.
Sandra Caldeira is “Deputy Head of Unit, Health in Society” at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. In her current role, Sandra provides high-level support to a range of projects that use science to inform European policy and thus potentially impacting millions of lives. She talked to us about the JRC, her role, and how she ended up supporting European policy making – after completing a PhD and postdoc in molecular biology and working for several years as a journal editor.
During a recent visit to EMBL Hamburg, we met EMBL alumna Barbara Tizzano, who shared her experience of moving into clinical trial management. This is a career area that may be attractive for people who love coordinating projects and bringing people together to solve real-life problems.
The full interview is below. You also can find out more about the clinical research area in the following resources:
Article from science careers outlining some of the roles linked to clinical research.
Overview of clinical research associate role from new scientist careers (a career option related to trial management, more closely linked to clinical trial sites).
The layout of your CV makes an immediate and lasting impression – ideally that, like your CV, you are organized, logical, focused and easy to interact with. One of the most important aspects of your CV is therefore the structure and formatting. This article focuses on four questions to ask yourself when selecting or creating a layout for your CV. Continue reading “Choosing the best layout for your CV”
Ami S. Lakdawala shared details of her career in pharma Research & Development, which has taken her from computational chemistry to overarching roles in strategy and operations. Ami stresses that most PhDs and postdocs enter pharma in research roles but that there is support to then develop your career in many directions – including roles where you stay very close to the science. She advises PhDs and postdocs considering a career in the pharmaceutical industry that pharma is really interested in their scientific expertise, and that you also need communication and team-work skills to succeed in industry. You can find the full interview below.
Tobias Maier became involved in science communication while a postdoc at the CRG, starting a successful German-language blog. After leaving the lab, he briefly explored entrepreneurship, before founding his own science communication agency. The network he’d built in science communication then led to a position at the National Institute for Science Communication in Karlsruhe, where he is now Deputy Director.
For those who are interested in science communication, Tobias recommends starting to communicate your science and attending science communication events. He also describes how difficult the decision to leave the lab can be and how he found a value-based decision-making process, supported by a career counselor, really helped with this transition.
You can find the full interview below, and a video version is also available on Tobias’ blog.