Share your sector-specific advice on where to look for jobs

(1 Post)
JoBrodie Sun 25-Oct-20 13:12:35

Hello all

I contributed a tailored version of the below to another thread but thought it might be more widely applicable - if you happen to be looking for a job in science communication that is!

There are knowledgeable people here who might suggest where interested readers could find out about jobs in their own sector, let's start a collection smile

- translating scientific / technical / medical information into plain English for non-specialist audiences, giving context. Examples might include museum explainers, science journalism, PR, TV, writing public information sheets for a health charity, creating infographics, giving talks in schools.

Allied to this is the phrase PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT (WITH SCIENCE) which can be used to mean all of the above, but also more specifically can refer to involving the public in research, often as active contributors to developing ideas, though can be focus groups too, or as participants in research trials. Getting input and sharing ideas before you go off and do research or create a new product.

Types of Science Communication jobs - a list

Types of places that employ science communicators
It's a hugely popular area so there's a lot of competition but also a lot of jobs in museums and science centres, medical charities, gov't (policy), universities (both as public engagement professionals and as researchers who also communicate / engage), media (TV, news, blogs & vlogs, magazines), learned societies. Pharma tends to be more scientific communication (researchers / industry) but they do employ people to write the patient information leaflets whic is #SciComm. People can also be freelance journalists, media trainers, content writers for organisations etc.

Types of roles
Writing, editing, podcasting, videos, graphics / infographics - general content stuff, including social media, giving talks, training researchers.

Eg medical research charities employ science communicators to explain and give context to medical research news (telling stories about it, fundraising, simply explaining the concepts involved, helping people understand their condition) - typical jobs might be in a press team or publications team. Larger charities who fund research will also employ people to manage the funding - eg finding academic reviewers for grant applications and seeing the applicants through the funding process.

Interest / enthusiasm for science, able to explain concepts. Degree in science can helpful, still listed as essential for some jobs (though I might argue that). PhD can certainly be a bonus but I don't have one. Plenty of on the job learning but sadly there are relatively few entry-level jobs. Experience can be gained by creating content on a blog / YouTube channel though, doesn't have to be in employment.

Places that regularly advertise jobs in science communication
- ones with a star star are free to join as far as I'm aware
ABSW - Association of British Science Writers
star Stem Communicators Network ink{\]]/}
star LinkedIn
Journalists' Association ink{\]]/}
star psci-com Jiscmail mailing list <- I own this one, a lot of jobs are posted here and we have 4,700+ subscribers, mostly UK but worldwide
star SciCommOps jobs announcement newsletter
star Science Communication Jobs on Facebook
Stempra STEM PR Associations
star Twitter #Scicomm Jobs

Then there's the whole world of scientific, medical or pharmaceutical publication - where the audience is fellow scientists or industry. This is scientific communication as opposed to science communication (some jobs involve a bit of both).

General jobs info
I recently wrote this blog post called Some places to find out about jobs in the UK which might throw up a few other places to trawl.

The tendering pages (selling services to the UK Gov't and, until 1 Jan 2021, to the EU) are also quite interesting, though science stuff comes up only fairly sporadically I think. (I was amazed to see a science communication job advertised there recently, the British Council was after people to train potential science communicators in Ukraine).

Google alerts
Google has also improved its search results for job hunters - loads of stuff came up when I typed health economics jobs uk into it - including a panel with 'snippets' of info about various jobs on offer and links. Possibly he's seen that already though, but others reading this might not have been aware. You can set up an alert so that it will email you when new stuff turns up.

Upskilling - free
There are lots of free online self-paced digital courses (everything from budgeting, social media marketing to learning to program) and the Gov's National Careers Service has collated examples from a variety of providers including Microsoft, Google and so on They are based in England and have an advice service, with links to info for those not in England.

Suggestion to employers
Please set things up so that redirects to wherever your company has hidden its job page. While 'jobs' can often be found in About Us they can be anywhere and people might have to search for that page. But have you called it jobs, or work, vacancies, recruitment, careers, opportunities, work for us, work for us or something else? Make it easy smile

Another suggestion for employers
#ShowTheSalary - there are really only bad reasons to put vague stuff like 'competitive' instead of a salary or range. There's a risk that doing this just means you're prioritising people who are better salary-negotiators (which could perpetuate inequalities), or that people don't bother to apply if salary info isn't quickly forthcoming. There's a campaign aimed at the charity sector.

Gosh this was long, maybe I should retrain as an editor ;)


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