Finham Park School, Coventry. University of Manchester. Imperial College London.
A-Levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. BSc in Neuroscience. MSc in Science Communication.
Warwick Conferences, Guardian, Technicians Make it Happen, Imperial College London, University of Manchester, Notch Communications, STFC.
Impact & Engagement Officer at STFC.
Part of UK Research and Innovation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a world-leading, multi-disciplinary science organisation, and its goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.
My connections to STFC science and technology:
I work at STFC within the business and innovation directorate.
Favourite thing to do in my job: Tell stories about all the fantastic science and innovation happening at STFC
Just a sociable, positive gal from Coventry living in Manchester who has always been somewhere between art and science. I also love dancing and using my communication skills in a voluntary capacity to help my local community.
I live in Manchester with my boyfriend James and his Mum. We are currently buying our first house after eighteen months of hardcore saving, so we will hopefully have moved into our very own flat by the end of March. I also love to dance (particularly Tap and Contemporary) and go to the gym, and I volunteer with Science Grrl and my local community festival, Didsbury Festival.
When I began to question science as a possible career option when I was in my teens, I found that the reputation I had over being “a person who loves the arts” had an impact on my inability to see myself as a “science person”. I loved dancing and musical theatre as well as science, as I still do today. No one ever told me that I couldn’t do science, but, equally, I had a sense of discouragement from within me, just because of who I was, and who I was perceived to be. I felt like “people like me” just didn’t do science, so I always worried whether I would actually fit in if I pursued scientific education.
After deciding to study neuroscience (science about the brain) at the University of Manchester (actually my second choice university option after I missed out on my B in Chemistry, and so didn’t get into my first choice university) I was unexpectedly surprised to find so many people studying science who also loved (and were incredible at) dancing – and they’re still my best friends to this very day. 👯♀️👯♂️You can be artsy and love science – and I am grateful to have found a career that satisfies both of those interests – working in science communication, whilst still spending many of my evenings in the studio with my dancers.
I hope by telling my story and taking part in I’m a Scientist! I can help improve the visibility of the diverse people who do science, so more can realise that it is, in fact, for people just like them 💘
I am experienced in science communication, from press relations and social media, to science policy and public engagement.
When I studied Neuroscience at the University of Manchester I researched the links between our internal body clocks and breast cancer. During my undergraduate degree, I realised I preferred telling people about the wonder of science more than actually doing the science. So I started writing science news for my student newspaper and I hosted a neuroscience radio show with the student radio station which I LOVED. This then led me to study science communication at Imperial College London, during which I was lucky enough to do internships with Imperial’s communications team, the Guardian newspaper, Technicians Make it Happen and the public engagement team at the University of Manchester.
When I left education I started working at a science marketing agency, Notch Communications, and today I work at STFC in marketing, communications, and events! In my role I communicate about all the fantastic science and innovation happening at STFC, from space science to medical technology, and help organise and run science events.
My Typical Day
Is super varied! Lots of planning for marketing strategies, creating exciting content for videos, talking to scientists and innovators about their work, filming videos, editing leaflets and brochures, and analysing data to improve best practise.
Part of UK Research and Innovation, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and its goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.
As Impact and Engagement Officer I work with STFC to deliver its marketing strategy to promote its business and innovation activity. My role involves communicating with a range of audiences from technology start-ups to large international businesses and government, as well as building and strengthening working relationships with the media.
– developing and implementing marketing strategies for STFC’s Business and Innovation Directorate, including the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre UK (ESA BIC UK)
– planning and delivering creative social media campaigns to promote STFC’s business and innovation capabilities
– supporting the organisation and delivery of a large number of internal and external events
– working closely with entrepreneurs and start-ups to capture growth stories through written and digital media, demonstrating impact on regional and national development
– working with the media services team to create engaging marketing materials such as leaflets, posters, and social media graphics
– developing website content
– working with STFC’s central communications team on business and innovation stories and social media content
– producing equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) guidelines for the directorate in collaboration with STFC’s Head of ED&I
What I'd do with the prize money
Donate it to the charity Science Grrl so that the charity can buy lots of copies of the book 'Inferior' by Angela Siani to be giving out to young people interested in STEM!
I volunteer with a charity called Science Grrl, which is a group of people who are passionate about celebrating women in science and passing on our love of science to the next generation.
I work with the Science Grrl team to develop and deliver a program of public engagement activity for festivals and events. I also contribute to ongoing communications, including creating content for social media and writing blogs for the Science Grrl website.
Therefore, if I win the I’m a Scientist prize money, I’d like to donate the money to Science Grrl.
The money will be used to fund upcoming public engagement events, and to purchase many copies of Angela Saini’s book, Inferior, which we will be able to give out to young people interested in STEM that we engage with at our events. This choice is inspired by the wonderful crowdfunding campaign by Jess Wade which got a copy of the book into all UK secondary schools.
I personally found the book so empowering, and I’d really wish I’d read it when I was a lot younger to help give me the strength and encouragement to pursue my STEM goals. Winning this competition would mean I could give this opportunity, encouragement, and inspiration to young people like you!
If you would like to find out more about the book I’d recommend reading these short articles I wrote for the Science Grrl website before bluedot festival last year:
And remember, if you like the sound of the book, make sure to chat to me about it and I can make sure you get a copy if I win the prize money!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Outgoing, motivational, creative
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Organise a high importance media announcement where I was responsible for liaising between Scottish Government, UK Government and several major UK-based pharmaceutical companies. It was a huge success and I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders so I was very proud of myself!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Mentors during my university career, and my own love of science where I just wanted everyone to know how fab and important science is in everyone's lives!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Drama and psychology
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wasn't sure! I just knew I enjoyed science and that it would lead to a good job, and that I could still do my dance and drama as extracurricular activities.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really - the worst it got was a few break time detentions for being a bit late or chatting too much!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Another job in science communication! Maybe on projects that involve science and dance - however there isn't much out there!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I like lots! A mix of dance, indie, rap and pop. I'm going to Parklife in 2019 if that gives any clues...
What's your favourite food?
Any recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi! I got his Simple cookbook for my birthday and its just the best. Lots of middle eastern inspired veggie dishes.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Probably work at an american summer camp for 3 months when I was 19. Or when I got a scholarship to an academic programme in New York City for 4 weeks when I was 17.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Always be happy 2. Always be loved 3. Always be doing worthwhile work that changes the world for the better
Tell us a joke.
Thank u, next.