Reflecting on UK & Global Health Careers for Researchers
By Isobel E Powell, on 29 November 2019
UK & Global Health Month… let’s reflect:
As our month exploring careers in the UK & Global Health Sector comes to a close, we are reflecting on an interesting and diverse industry. Opportunities not only lie in research, medical and scientific support but also right through to outreach, charity work and public engagement. From our month of events and expanding on a common understanding of public health, it is clear this topic falls into four main categories: Protection, Promotion, Prevention and Innovations.
We reflect on these areas, what they encompass and the top tips received…
This is all about reducing the impact of preventable health conditions. Supporting the public to improve national wellbeing and prevent diseases. Top tips from our speakers?
- It’s your career path – Don’t be put off by pressure from elsewhere. If academia isn’t for you, there are loads of great opportunities in supporting health prevention organisations to improve global wellbeing whilst utilising your research skills.
- Research the industry – Not only the big public health organisations and funders are recruiting health prevention researchers, but tones of smaller organisations, charities and start-up are also looking to hire people to act on consulting bases and in research globally
This area is all about education. If your interests lie in supporting communities and improving awareness of health this could be an area to explore more. Top tips from our speakers?
- Volunteer to get a headstart – This sector is dominated by charities and NGOs. The best way to get your foot in the door is by showing a real passion through volunteering. This can be tricky but doesn’t have to be time-consuming – many organisations are looking for short term support or long term help on a less regular basis.
- Content creation is key – Skills in social media, design and writing can be really key here. If you enjoy communicating socially and creating content whilst utilising your degree knowledge to educate others this could be a good fit
Interested in epidemiology or researching into infectious diseases? Prevention is all about keeping the public safe from epidemics through research and emergency strategy. Top tips from our speakers?
- Explore your options – There are tones of options to progress in this sector and whist the tradition routes may be suited to your interests, you may find a smaller organisation supporting government work could be more your thing
- Know your passion – often these roles can be quite specialist so be sure you are interested in the subject and want to make a real difference in that area
Got a great idea to improve engagement? or change health strategy? There’s a growing trend for health start-ups so if you’ve got a great idea or are doing research in an area you think is inefficient this could be your answer. Top tips from our speakers?
- Be sure it’s for you – It is really important to be sure. This is a risky and time-consuming way to go that may not work out. But if you think you’ve got a chance to make a real change – then try it out. Check out UCL Innovation & Enterprise to find out more
- Don’t be put off by pressure from others – If you know you’ve got an idea you want to push forward and have accounted for all the risks then following your passion is central to becoming a health innovator. Leaving academia and starting out on your own comes with a lot of risks but also means you can create your own career.
So, what does this all mean fo you?
After hearing from professionals working across roles as health researchers, consultants, innovators and entrepreneurs the biggest piece we got was explore your options, explore your skills and take a chance on something different. Map out your key skills, not only your research expertise but those soft skills you’ve learnt along the way.
Explore the key skills this industry often looks for:
Fancy supporting the general wellbeing of the public? You’ll need…
- Specific knowledge & have researched specific areas of health prevention
- A passion for improving wellbeing and strong interpersonal skills
Want to work in a health promotion charity? You’ll need…
- Skills in marketing, whether that be creating promotion materials, creating content or design
- communication skills and public speaking could be key here
Want to explore health consulting? You’ll need…
- Expert knowledge of a key health area
- presentation of research in an easily digestible way and strategic management of projects
Interested in innovating, creating your own startup? You’ll need…
- An unwavering passion for your subject and a clear strategy for your idea
- top-level networking skills and expert-written skills
Finding an industry where your skills as research are valued and utilised may seem tricky but you can find roles across all sectors and industry. This is where our themed months come in to play, if you’ve decided health organisations are not for you, join us on another themed month and hear more about careers in Data Science & Data Analytics, Communications and Research, Government, Policy and Higher Education…. the list continues!
Come along to our events and find out how your skills are so transferable across the sectors and explore how you could branch out to support an organisation to develop!