London Naturejobs Career Expo speakers, exhibitors and attendees share how flexibility in a scientific career is beneficial.
“Science is a multifaceted and large enterprise, and there are lots and lots of very interesting ways to contribute to science” said Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, lab leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and joint winner of the 2009 Chemistry Nobel, at the 11th annual Naturejobs London Career Expo on Oct 4th 2017.
Ramakrishnan encourages scientists to think about the wide variety of options available to them; that having a PhD in science doesn’t mean you need to follow the tenure track career path.
This podcast, through the voices of a variety of speakers, exhibitors and attendees explores this approach to career planning, and how it’s standing many in good stead.
The Career Expo demonstrates this. Many exhibitors here had once been working in academic research, heading towards the tenure track path, but are now happily engaged in other jobs.
One such exhibitor was Michaela Fuchs. She was a postdoc at the University of Sussex until November last year. In September, she attended the expo to look for alternative options. This year, she represents Envision Pharma Group as an associate medical writer.
Jonathan Fauerbach, previously a postdoc research fellow at Stanford University in California, is now a group leader in Chemistry R&D at Miltenyi Biotec in Germany, demonstrating that careers outside academia can be heavily research focussed.
Dr Esther Mellor Helliaz, previously a postdoc at Roche, is keeping her options open with regards to her future career. She moved to Roche Partnering, the company’s business development arm. She, along with a colleague, ran a workshop at the Naturejobs Expo about what it’s like to work at a big company.
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Julie Gould is a freelance science writer, editor and podcaster.