Careers Service


Scientific information

Scientific information roles offer you the chance to use your scientific knowledge out of the lab. If you enjoy sharing science with different audiences then this could be for you. A range of roles exist, following below are four examples of types of jobs open to scientists from all disciplines.

Science writing

Experience of writing for a variety of audiences outside of an academic setting is the key to getting on in science writing. Any relevant writing experience will demonstrate enthusiasm for and commitment to science writing as a career. Examples of relevant experience:

  • setting up and/or writing for a blog
  • writing for the University newspaper
  • getting involved in writing publicity materials for a charity event
  • entering writing competitions

Science writing roles involve writing about science for a specific audience. It may be working as a:

  • science journalist where you’d have a broad view of science and share this with a general audience.
  • science publisher where you are involved with the editing and commissioning of scientific books, journals and periodicals.
  • technical writer where you’d write with precision to a ‘house style’.
  • medical writer where your medical-based subject knowledge enables you to take research data and produce reports, posters or marketing material.
  • science communicator, where you engage the public in science-related topics such as astrophysics (Jodrell Bank) or microbiology (Society for General Microbiology) usually working on behalf of a museum, professional society or research organisation such as a University.

Vacancies and further information:

Patents

Patent work requires a solid scientific background and attention to detail as you will be examining technical materials to determine whether it is a new invention. Roles may be linked to a specific discipline area (eg Computer Science) or cover all science discoveries. Entry to patent law may be as a patent examiner or a patent attourney traineeship which incorporates on the job training and Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys exams. Some firms look favourably on applicants with a research degree (e.g. PhD) or proficiency in French and German.

More information

Sales

Recruiters looking for sales staff want graduates who are confident communicators, self-motivated, persuasive and enthusiastic. Look for opportunities to demonstrate these skills through charity fund-raising and part-time sales work. Whilst recruiters may not specify a science degree, having one will be a real advantage if it helps you to better understand the science behind the product you’re selling.

Science Policy

Many people enter science policy after a first establishing a scientific career, often academics who advise government in their spare time!

Entry routes for graduates include the Civil Service Fast Stream which recruits science graduates into their science and engineering programmes. Graduate scientists are also recruited by government departments or national agencies such as DEFRA, Environment Agency, Health Protection Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. The Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) offer three-month internships for research-council sponsored PhDs.