What’s it like starting your career at AMRC?

Posted on May 30, 2012 by

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We’ve got a great new job going here at AMRC HQ: research and communication officer (read all about it here). As policy officer and relative newby, I thought I’d share some of my experiences so far to give you a flavour of what it’s like working for AMRC.

I started here in October having submitted my PhD thesis just in time! Having learnt early on that the lab bench wasn’t for me, I looked at science policy as a career where I could continue to use my research and analytical skills, but also write more, work with other people more and – most importantly – influence something that I really care about – the future of medical research.

Representing 124 of the UK’s top medical research charities, with a research spend of over £1bn, is a pretty big deal. I get to be involved in a lot of high-level conversations with other charities, the pharmaceutical sector and people in government. I got into policy partly because I’m fascinated by why decisions get made and here I get to see that first hand. As the hub of a large network, the AMRC is a great place to meet a range of people in different jobs and areas of expertise, and in that sense it’s a great place to start a career.

In my role I’ve worked across our organisation, covering policy, research and comms. Understanding how research is funded, conducted and evaluated has been really important and I got all that from my PhD. I also do a lot of writing for a range of audiences and on diverse topics (these blog pages are just a small part of it) and so good skills in that are vital here. To do policy well I think you totally need to be passionate and interested in it, there’s a lot to know – not just the technical stuff but also the every-day political circus. Whatever your role here, we do so much as an organisation that your job will never be repetitive.

We’ve got a broad remit covering everything that affects medical research so you get exposed to a lot of interesting new policy areas working here. We’re also a small office and I was given a lot of responsiblity early on; the team are really supportive and if you’re ambitious and able, this is the place to hone your skills quickly and gain loads of experience.

Our office is a friendly place and we share the building with the Society of Biology, Biochemical Society and Understanding Animal Research among many others. I spend a good few evenings at events further afield too: lectures, debates and special receptions, where you can meet yet more people (it’s all about networking!).

So I’d really recommend this new job if you’re looking to get into the sci com sector. You’ll get to organise lots of events (some in parliament – it’s all terribly exciting!), do loads of writing about all sorts of interesting things, and support some great charities in their work. What more could you want?

For more info on the role and how to apply, go to our website.

Posted in: AMRC