Featuring Certara Insight. Recorded as a MedComms Networking webinar. Produced by NetworkPharma.tvContinue reading “Insights into working in regulatory medical writing”
I’ve always loved the creativity and curiosity behind the ideas and questions that drive scientific research projects. When I read the grant application for my PhD, I was so excited and enthusiastic to start tackling all that the lab could throw at me. My research was in the area of biological chemistry, designing and synthesising chemical probes to study biological systems.
I came to regulatory medical writing in 2018, after finishing my PhD at the University of Birmingham, where I worked on the molecular biology of the papillomavirus life cycle and virus-driven carcinogenesis. Although I had an extremely positive PhD, surrounded by a great team, and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the lab, I had no interest in pursuing an academic career. I loved what I consider the ‘communication’ parts of my PhD – talking with biotechnology and pharmaceutical company reps, discussing science at conferences and teaching undergraduate students. I also thoroughly enjoyed contributing to book chapters, publications and teaching material.
During my PhD, I believed that I would be a researcher forever. However, on completing my thesis I just couldn’t find the right job for me. Finally, after working at a small pharma company and then as a post-doc in stem cell biology, I decided enough was enough and accepted that bench research wasn’t going to give me the work–life balance, stability and opportunities for progression that I was looking for in a career.
Before I started my PhD I knew that I wasn’t interested in a career in academia. I wanted to do a PhD and was very interested in my research field (the control of a replicative endonuclease using phosphorylation), but beyond that, academia didn’t feel like the right place for me. That’s not to say that I knew what I wanted to do; my plan was to finish my PhD, go travelling and then figure that out. In January 2020 I submitted my thesis and left for Australia. I planned to spend 6 months travelling, but instead found myself in the middle of a global pandemic on the other side of the world. I returned to the UK shortly before it locked down to work on the family farm.