Issue 16 | June 2012

People in careers

Careers From Biology

This issue of ‘Big Picture’ is a bit different to usual. We’ve scoured the UK to find people to tell us what they spend their working lives doing. We hear how biology – and the transferable skills developed through studying and doing science – plays a part in their careers today.

Whether you are a teacher looking to advise students, or a student deciding which subjects to take at school or college, choosing a university course or just curious about careers that involve science, we hope you will get valuable information, inspiration and a few more ideas about the incredible – and varied – places that biology can lead.

Download the PDF, browse through the individual articles, check out our multimedia content and consider our lesson ideas. We’ve also picked out content from other issues that we think is especially relevant.

Career advice

Get going!

Five top tips for career contentment

Dear Dr Career...

Meet our careers agony aunt

Video: Where could studying biology lead?

Follow Ahmed as he discusses career options with three people in very different roles

Careers infographic

Biology careers in the UK by numbers

Healthcare careers

Gavin Fergie, health visitor

Find out more about his healthcare career

Katy Cooper, assistant practitioner – radiography

Find out more about her healthcare career

James Batty, radiographer

Find out about James’s transition from the publishing industry to a healthcare career

Real Voices interview: Anaar Sajoo

Interview with a genetic counsellor

Real Voices interview: Alan Jenkins

Interview with a community midwife working in London

Real Voices interview: Dr Khaldoon Ahmed

Interview with a psychiatrist working in London

The science of medical imaging

How do we see inside the body?

Communications careers

Real Voices interview: Troi ‘DJ Chinaman’ Lee

Troi, who was born deaf, is the head organiser of Deaf Rave, a music party for deaf people

Dr Hannah Devlin, science editor

Find out more about her communications career

Jen Middleton, media officer

Find out more about her communications career

Elliot Lowndes, camera assistant

Find out more about his communications career

Scientific careers

Gift Nambela, molecular biologist

Find out more about her scientific career

Dr Ann Harvey, arthritis researcher

Find out more about her scientific career

Real Voices interview: Andrew Evered

Meet Andrew, a cytologist (a scientist who screens cells for cancer)

Real Voices interview: Dr Elizabeth Murchison

Meet Elizabeth, a cancer researcher focusing on Tasmanian devils

Real Voices interview: Georgine Leung

Meet Georgine, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation in London

Real Voices interview: Dr Jennifer Morgan

Meet Jennifer, a cell biologist at University College London

Real Voices interview: Dr Jennifer Rohn

Meet Jennifer, a cell biologist by day and a musician by night

Real Voices interview: Spike Walker

Meet Spike, a prolific micrographer (someone who takes photos through microscopes)

Real Voices interview: Dr Adrian North

Meet Adrian, a music psychologist based in Edinburgh

Marta Tufet, international activities advisor

Find out more about her career at the Wellcome Trust

Dr Chris Connolly

How I got into the biology of bee brains

Professor Clare Williams

How I got into medical sociology

Professor Mike Stratton

How I got into cancer genetics

Dr Samson Kinyanjui

How I got into training and capacity building

Video: Research – Pain killers

Watch this video featuring professors, postdoc researchers and PhD students talking about their research

Video: Research – No more insulin

The excitement of scientific discovery

Arts careers

James Peto, exhibition curator, Wellcome Collection

Find out more about his career

Anna Dumitriu, artist

"We all need to engage with bacteria"

Jen Wong, Guerilla Science

"Music festivals are an ideal place to share science"

Matt Parker, stand-up mathematician

"There’s a strong correlation between comedy and nerdiness"

Engineering careers

Dr David Noonan

How I got into medical robotics

Video: Engineering - Developing i-Snake®

Surgeons, programmers and engineers talk about how they created their robotic device

Political and business careers

Emma Greenwood, policy manager

Read more about her policy and business career

Dr Yen Choo, entrepreneur

Find out more about his policy and business career

Alyson Fox, head of Grants Management

Find out more about her career at the Wellcome Trust

Alexis Gilbert, Wellcome Trust graduate trainee

Find out more about his career

Louise Fellingham, management accountant

Find out more about her career

The science of zinc fingers

Learn more about these special structures found in proteins

Environment careers

Dr Hannah Rigby, environmental engineer

Find out more about her environmental career

Chris Cooke, junior brewer

Find out more about his environmental career

The science of brewing

Learn more about fermentation

The science behind the career

Video: Research – Pain killers

Watch this video featuring professors, postdoc researchers and PhD students talking about their research

Video: Baking - the art and science of bread

In this film, Paul Rhodes guides us through the process of making thousands of cakes, rolls and loaves of bread every day

Video: Research – No more insulin

The excitement of scientific discovery

Video: Engineering - Developing i-Snake®

Surgeons, programmers and engineers talk about how they created their robotic device

The science of brewing

Learn more about fermentation

The science of medical imaging

How do we see inside the body?

The science of zinc fingers

Learn more about these special structures found in proteins

Careers from biology images

In this gallery, browse some images related to these occupations - can you work out which of our case studies each picture relates to?

Activities and lesson ideas

Lesson ideas for ‘Big Picture: Careers from Biology’

Ideas for further activities you could do with your students or that you might wish to share with PSHEE teachers

Further resources and activities on biology careers

Wellcome Trust funds or supports other organisations that provide resources and advice to teachers and students exploring different careers related to biology

Fast Facts

Each issue of 'Big Picture' comes with a sprinkling of Fast Facts, fascinating snippets of information on the topic covered.

Browse through all of our Fast Facts indexed by topic