Knowledge Exchange Manager
Hayley Shaw [BSc(hons) Biological Sciences (Physiology and Pharmacology), 2007] initially wanted to be a lollipop lady. Having been encouraged into a biology degree at Leicester by an enthusiastic teacher, she assumed this would lead onto some sort of ground-breaking research on AIDS or cancer. However recognising that she actually enjoyed talking about science more than labwork this started to evolve into an interest in pharmaceutical sales. Things took an unexpected turn, however, when she visited a graduate recruitment consultant to discuss her options, and they asked her to work for them!
For a while, therefore, she worked as the middle-man linking up graduates with appropriate companies. Having interviewed something between 300 and 400 graduates and investigating the different roles they could go into, Hayley was drawn to Knowledge Transfer management.
Her first Knowledge Exchange Manager role was in the newly formed Risk Centre at Cranfield University. This is still where she works, though the role has expanded, with the unit becoming the Institute for Environment, Health, Risks and Futures. Her job involves acting as a broker between knowledge generators (the University) and a variety of clients, including government departments and industry, who want to know about specific emerging issues.
Hayley stressed the importance of recognising and taking seriously the variety of skills that students on Biological Science courses are developing during their studies. If you are interested in science communication then look for existing opportunities to demonstrate an ability to communicate complex ideas in simple ways, including blogging or running a science cafe. She concluded by emphasising the need to “know your skills and know what you love”.