Scientific Services

Work in scientific services could interest you if you enjoy applying practical problem solving, analytical and teamwork skills in challenging commercial or public sector environments. Some roles are essentially scientific consultancy. Your client might be a pharmaceutical company, a police force, or a hospital clinician. For example in the Pharmaceutical industry companies may outsource (or insource) research and other activities such as areas of the drug development cycle to contract research organisations and specialist consultancies.

Scientific consultancy

Scientific consultants offer scientific advice and problem solving to other science organisations. Specialist scientific consultancies exist such as BMT group but large, generalist consultancy firms often have a science department e.g. PA consulting. You’ll also find ‘niche’ consultancies who offer specialist services in specific technical areas. Cambridge Consultants is an example of a ‘niche’ consultancy working in product development and technology. Public sector organisations may also run part of their organisation as a private scientific consultancy; an example being the Met Office. There are also specialist consultancies supporting the pharmaceutical sector, in areas like market access, health economics and regulatory affairs. See also Scientific Communication and Scientific Information and data.

Related sectors

Getting in and getting experience

Roles in scientific services combine technical expertise and the ability to apply this to the needs of a client. Gaining relevant work experience that demonstrates your commitment to a technical discipline will put at you at an advantage. Examples of relevant experience include:

  • Undertaking an industrial placement year (valued highly by employers)
  • Technical final year project
  • Internship in a technical/scientific role in vacation time – apply for advertised work experience but also make direct “speculative approached to organisations that interest you
  • Shadowing someone in the role

The larger employers offer annual graduate recruitment programmes. Smaller and ‘niche’ scientific employers are more likely to advertise as vacancies arise.

Recruitment agencies are increasingly active in graduate recruitment. Some Manchester graduates have gained places on graduate programmes with science companies after a temporary contract found via an agency. Use agency search sites to find relevant agencies in your area.

Vacancies and further resources