How to: Scientist to Communicator Training Days

Prepared to grasp up your lab coat and enter the world of science, health and medical communications?

But not actually positive what the options are and what steps you must take subsequent?

I’m thrilled to supply my one-to-one ‘Scientist to Communicator’ training days for scientists, teachers, PhDs, postdocs or well being professionals interested by a profession in well being, medical or science communications.

As a researcher have you ever ever thought the next (secretly in fact – it’s profession suicide to categorical this stuff out loud…):

  • You’re keen on giving talks about your research rather more than doing the analysis, and marvel if it’s attainable to make a profession out of that zeal?
  • Your favorite part of analysis is making convention posters or writing papers (NOT the gruelling hours of bench-work producing knowledge & crunching stats), and you’d love to spend your days doing solely that (consider it or not, there are jobs on the market that allow you to do exactly this!).
  • Perhaps you already know your heart lies with explaining science in simple terms (are you the individual whose favourite a part of writing a grant software was the ‘for the public’ section? I do know mine was), and also you marvel if there is a need for individuals like you away from the bench?
  • Perhaps you’ve acquired a younger household, otherwise you’re thought-about having youngsters in the future, but you possibly can’t see how one can combine a successful research profession with parenthood. Do marvel if there’s some way to keep on ‘doing science’ with youngsters?
  • Or perhaps you’re just fed-up with paper publication merry-go-round, grant software course of and shrinking opportunities in analysis, and you want to explore other career choices that gained’t waste all those years of research and research.

Sound like you? Properly that WAS me back in 2006!!  I’ve created today to provide the info, advice and steerage I wish I’d had once I was working up the courage to ‘jump’ !

I’ve mentored numerous scientists and other well being professionals during the last 5 years as they’ve transitioned from the world of academia or analysis into the world of science communications, modifying, medical writing, journalism, and not-for-profit consultancy both as freelancers or employed.

I’ve now created this unique alternative to work with me one-to-one (nearly or face-to-face) over the course of a day (or two half-days) to discover the varied choices obtainable to you to transfer out of the lab into business (still doing what they love, and making a wholesome revenue on the similar time), and the exact step-by-step course of to getting there.

(I don’t consider you’ll discover anything comparable on supply tailor-made specifically for PhDs or postdocs – so I’m calling it a world-first!)


My ‘Scientist to Communicator’ Profession Training Days are five-six hour coaching periods.  Should you stay in Sydney – fabulous – I hold training days in my residence on Sydney’s Northern Seashores.

For these dwelling outdoors Sydney and internationally, I supply the identical periods over Skype & webinar (we’ll not go 6 hours straight online, as an alternative we’ll break the day up into 45-50 minute periods, then each hour then take a short break!)

There’s the choice of dividing the day into two half-days for comfort (e.g. two Saturday afternoon periods, or two evenings).

This present day is designed so that you will walk away with complete clarity to your personal transition out of the lab/research/academia and into a new life as a freelancer, self-employed advisor or employed in health, science or medical communications.


When it comes to career coaching and planning, personal intensives are by far one of the simplest ways to create huge shifts in a short area of time. You get to work on the important thing areas of your transition, contemplate the place you at the moment are, the place to you want to be sooner or later, and how you’ll get there.

I’ll share with you exactly how I made the transition from lab scientist to science author, paid speaker and sought-after ‘expert’ (and we’ll cope with using that phrase ‘expert‘ too, because as a scientist I’ll guess that time period doesn’t sit nicely with you right now).  You’ll study from me what has worked, what hasn’t, and I’ll offer you perception into how I run my business, how I win shoppers, why I weblog (and why you don’t need to), and the insights concerning the business I’ve gained alongside the best way.

When you’ve got ZERO clue of what course you’d like to head (however just know it is away from the lab), then we’ll spend the first session of the day taking a look at all the chances there are for somebody together with your qualifications, expertise, and experience. You’ll be AMAZED at how sought after scientists and teachers are in the ‘real world’ !!

On the finish of our day collectively, you’ll know precisely what you want to be working next. And even in the event you choose to stay at the bench for the foreseeable future, you’ll have a transparent plan of your career objectives and imaginative and prescient, and steps for the subsequent three to six months.


Subjects we will give attention to embrace:

  • What are the varied profession decisions on the market for PhDs and postdocs who need to cling up their lab-coats?
  • What it is best to start doing now, whereas nonetheless employed as a tutorial or working in the lab to kick-start you profession in science, well being or medical communications.
  • Freelancer or employed? How to determine whether to go it alone as a freelancer or move ‘sideways’ into employment outdoors academica/research.
  • What are the varied industries that employ science communicators?  We’ll talk about the myriad of choices open to you together with: modifying, publishing, journalism, medical schooling, not-for-profit, authorities, pharma, speaking, consulting …. (the listing goes on). We’ll talk about your future wage expectations, and what numerous industries supply.
  • When you do choose to go the freelance route we’ll talk about the first steps you want to take to begin a freelance business, how to inform individuals you’re ‘in business’, how to discover your first shopper, and how to worth your providers (quoting for work is an art and science in itself and I’ve a very specific method I’ll train on how to worth your providers so no shopper can say ‘no’!).
  • For those who do leap, do you have to start a blog? Do you want to write a e-book? Do you want to win talking gigs or go on TV?
  • Do you will have to be on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in order to network?
  • We’ll speak concerning the one social media platform you MUST construct a profile on (and we’ll begin creating your on-line profile in the course of the day).
  • We’ll take a quick take a look at your CV and speak about how you can enhance on it.
  • I’ll offer you a number of instruments  and concepts concerning the ONE essential talent you will need to study: how to cease writing and talking like a scientist!
  • Mindset shifts around ‘selling your soul’ (hasn’t everyone heard that one earlier than – in any case that’s the selection you make whenever you determine to depart research, proper?), self promotion, selling your expertise and providers, and constructing a private model (no – it isn’t just for ’22-year previous style bloggers!!’).
  • You’ll also have access to my enterprise community. Prior to now I’ve sub-contracted work out to my medical writing mentees to give them a ‘step up’ into freelance life, and I typically refer on tasks or shoppers I’m not well-suited for or don’t have the capability to fulfil. Constructing a network is crucial to your ongoing success and this opportunity to work with me and achieve access to mine is priceless.

Each day is absolutely customised to your unique wants, background and objectives.

The day is intense, but I’ll offer you my devoted attention, and access to my expertise and insights – you haven’t any concept what an exciting world of alternative waits for you outdoors the lab.



I’ll send a detailed questionnnare for me to get to know you and your needs before the one-day coaching session.


Five hours of one-to-one time with me working by means of your options (consists of espresso breaks and a working lunch).

Motion Plan:

Three to six month action plan you possibly can implement for those who determine to ‘jump’ !

Elective Comply with Up:

We will organize monthly comply with up telephone calls once our day collectively is over, to see how you’re progressing and to reply any questions to will undoubtedly arise.


9.30am:   Welcome and solidify your intentions on your day. Assessment the place you’re presently and the place you need to be.

10am – 12pm:   Training Intensive (with time for espresso!). We’ll take a look at the varied options open to PhDs and think about which business or profession path is perhaps one of the best match for you.

12pm – 1pm:   Lunch (should you’re meeting me face-to-face we’ll chill out while we eat, but in addition speak blogging, social media, and ‘putting yourself out there’)

1pm – 2.30pm:   Training Intensive together with improvement of action plan tailored specifically on your circumstances.


You can too e mail me: [email protected] to guide time for a telephone call or Skype session and we will chat further.

I had been planning to take ‘the leap’ from academia to freelance science writing for a lot of, a few years. Even after a lot of years working as a science author and editor for a government division, I nonetheless felt reticent about launching myself into the world of freelance employment. I knew I had the writing and modifying expertise, however something stored holding me again. Ought to I do one other writing course?I stumbled across Sarah’s website when (yet once more) I used to be looking for info and inspiration on freelance writing. Her path by means of academia, and her response its calls for, have been so comparable to mine that I felt like I’d rediscovered a long-lost twin. I discovered her warm and personable type of writing about neuroscience partaking, and I might see that she had successfully crafted a distinct segment for herself inside the broader area of medical writing.I realised that what I wanted was not one other qualification, but a mentor to information me by way of the points of establishing a contract business that I had no concept about—creating a pretty online presence, discovering shoppers, the savvy use of social media, setting a payment structure and how to prepare quotes for several types of work. Once I saw that Sarah was providing a ‘scientist to communicator’ one-on-one workshop I jumped at the probability. Even earlier than I had committed to the day, Sarah was extremely beneficiant together with her time and information. Now that I’ve completed the workshop, I have a clear plan of action about how to set up, market and handle my business, and how to use current science to craft my own area of interest in my area.And my subject? I’m an ecologist who writes about conservation and the setting. Sarah’s mannequin for creating your profession in science communication isn’t just for medical writers.

Dr Viki Cramer

Sarah is a wonderful mentor and I like to recommend her most highly. She has been beneficiant together with her time and provided me invaluable recommendation as I’ve been shifting my career, from being a long-time medical science researcher, to establishing freelance work as a medical writer and copy-editor. Sarah has given me an amazing introduction to such a wide range of subjects, together with: the significance of getting a portfolio, the benefits of running a blog, several types of writing, networking with medical writers, taking advantage of social media, and getting ready a quote and securing the job! As a mentor, Sarah supplies a unbelievable toolbox for anyone taking the journey ‘Scientist to Communicator’ and she or he is a pleasure to work with. Thanks Sarah.

Dr Lowenna Holt

I used to be extremely lucky to be mentored by Dr Sarah McKay in 2013 as I used to be establishing my freelance medical writing enterprise.  Sarah is a type of exceptional individuals who is sort and beneficiant together with her time and information and genuinely needed me to succeed and comply with in her footsteps.  Sarah was in a position to give me sound advice on topics resembling quoting, time management, establishing an internet site and running a blog to drive visitors to the website.  She has additionally referred work on to me and we’ve worked collectively on a number of tasks. These early jobs elevated my confidence once I was just getting established. My enterprise has gone from power to power over the past 3 years and I now repeatedly have to turn work away and am considering of increasing and subcontracting work to different writers.  I am working shut to full time (with flexibility around faculty holidays which fits me completely) and incomes considerably greater than I used to be in my final ’employed’ position. Sarah has been, and continues to be, a very inspiring mentor.  In case you are even vaguely contemplating getting into the medical writing or freelance space I highly advocate the mentoring course of.

Dr Ruth Hadfield
Mediwrite medical writing providers

Once I left academia to grow to be a medical author, I used to be scared and not sure, to say the least. I had no concept the place to start or even when I had the talents and expertise to turn out to be a medical author. I had no actual writing portfolio and my CV was tailored to educational roles and funding bodies. I knew Sarah from my days in academia and knew she had efficiently made the transition to medical writing, so I acquired in touch together with her.Sarah ended up turning into my mentor. She helped me realise that though my life up till that time was analysis, the talents and expertise I gained have been ones that have been essential to being a successful medical author. She helped me with my CV, focusing it so that it will attraction to medical writing businesses and potential employers. She suggested me on how to get apply my medical writing expertise and the way to begin an internet site and blog as a platform to showcase my type and portfolio.Once I determined to attempt freelancing, Sarah guided me by way of the entire course of, from establishing an ABN, to how to discover shoppers, and the way to determine on my rates and quote a job as precisely as attainable. Whilst freelancing didn’t find yourself being my cup of tea, I’ve successfully made the transition to medical writing, becoming a member of an company November last yr and still enjoying each minute of my new profession. I am so grateful for all the advice, steerage and help Sarah has given me and due to it the transition was less daunting and rather a lot smoother than if I had gone it alone. Thank you Sarah!

Dr Andrea Cowley