Data science is a career area that has exploded in the last years and offers many opportunities for scientists whose projects involved analysis of large datasets. We recently spoke to Michael Kachala, an EMBL alumnus who is now Global Head of Data Science at Bayer Consumer Health, about his career path and suggestions for aspiring data scientists. He advises that data science is a great career for people who love to learn new things, and recommends taking up pet projects and Kaggle competitions to demonstrate your acquired skills. In addition to technical skills, Michael reports that communications skills are key to success in this field.
Core facilities are becoming a crucial component of modern research institutions. They provide scientists with access to cutting-edge instrumentation and expertise in a cost-effective way. Always driven by her curiosity, EMBL alumnus Erin Tranfield built an international career at the interplay of biological and space research which ultimately took her to Portugal where she is the Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. In today’s interview she navigates her career path while discussing what working in a core facility looks like, the skills needed and academic culture issues. Continue reading “Career profile: Erin Tranfield, Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility”
Our latest career profile is Vicente Tur, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Asphalion, a scientific and regulatory consultancy with offices in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Regulatory affairs is one of many non-research professions tightly linked with pharma and biotech industries. Roles in this area may be in-house, in the pharma industry or at consulting firms; their focus is on keeping up-to-date with industry regulations (at the national and international level), working with scientists to ensure that R&D is completed and documented in a way that will enable a product to be authorised at the end of the development process – including that the active substance and finished product are manufactured with the controls required by the Regulatory Authorities. It also involves preparing and submitting administrative documentation for the regulatory authorities.
In the interview, which can be found below, Vicente tells us more about this profession, how he moved into this area, and what he is looking for when hiring for his team.
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.
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.
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).
“Informational interviews” are one of the best tools to get insights into different career areas. They are informal 15-30 minute conversations with individuals working in a career area that interests you. The aim is to learn more about the career area, particularly to get first hand and up-to-date information that can help you better understand whether the career is for you, and how to get your first role in that field. However, as the following video, “The Informational Interview and how to do it well” from the Stanford Design Lab’s Online Course – Designing Your Career, explains – an informational interview isn’t a job interview, and should not be about directly finding a job. Continue reading “Informational interviews: 5 tips for effective career conversations”
In addition to the classical academic career, PhD and postdoc training can lead to a diverse range of career paths. However, while working within academia, it can be hard to gain an oversight of the other career options and how to transition into these roles. EMBL organizes an annual career day, to help fellows explore these questions by listening to and, more importantly, interacting with scientists who have already made this transition.
“Job fairs and career talks are a great platform not just to learn about the jobs, but also to network with people and create contacts. This is how I actually understood the jobs I later went on to apply to”. Jelena Tica – EMBL alumna & career day speaker