Biomedicine to Life sciences content creator and strategist
Name - Nidhi Parekh (she/her)
Current role - Life sciences content creator and strategist at The Shared Microscope
A levels/ equivalent -- I did the International Baccalaureate.
Undergrad and postgrad degrees -
BSc in Biomedicine (from the University of East Anglia, Norwich) and a
Graduate Diploma in Law (from BPP University, London)
Favourite science fact - We don’t all see colours in the exact same way! [whaaaat]
Journey in 3 Words - Convoluted. Hopeful. Exciting.
What motivated you to pursue a career in science -
I always thought I wanted to positively impact people’s lives through studying medicine. I haven’t got to live that dream (yet) but definitely have had the chance to change lives with what I do now.
Briefly describe your role
I am a freelance website content creator and strategist for the life sciences and health niche. My role involves writing life sciences content that many people rely on to make important decisions about their health and wellbeing.
You recently worked in law and have now gone back to science, what was your role like previously and what inspired the change?
I really enjoyed my role in the field of law, but it didn’t seem to be making the impact I was hoping for. While I was working in law, I found some lumps on my breast (it took me forever to get them checked -- all turned out okay). I wrote more about this experience here. While working in law, I also periodically came across clients that had limited health literacy and had trouble understanding the harmful effects of smoking, or how to manage their blood sugar, for example. Together, these experiences showed me that there was a real requirement to create accessible and impactful health content to get people to understand health and medicine, and more particularly, take preventive measures to protect from certain health conditions.
How have internships impacted your career journey ?
I think internships were a great way for me to understand what it is that I like. I did an internship at the John Innes Center that was funded by the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine. I learnt through that internship that I did not particularly enjoy laboratory work. I also did an internship at a law firm in London, which I enjoyed, but through it I was able to learn the areas of law that I did enjoy - intellectual property, occupational disease, family law, etc.
What transferable skills have you found most valuable from your degree ?
My most transferable skill from the sciences has been to be able to conduct research and distinguish between good sources and bad sources. The law degree really helped hone my communication skills.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to follow your career path
You can consume as much information you want from books and courses, but none of them will teach you what real life experiences will! Just begin this “dream job” of yours and learn on the go! A little bit each day really goes a long way.
What advice would you give on networking and putting yourself out there on social media?
I definitely think networking on social media is worth it. It can help you get clients and also help build your circle - whether that be for SciComm, freelancing, or something else. You can quickly find your people on social media. If you are looking to network with people within SciComm, definitely come and drop in to our #SciCommChat sessions every Wednesday at 6pm GMT. The community is super friendly, approachable and helpful. Learn more about how you can join #SciCommChat here.
I started @thesharedscope as part of my blog for improving health literacy. This has now become a business and my main source of income - I write impactful and accessible health content for biotech and health companies, and other industries within the life sciences. The inspiration for The Shared Microscope came from my own breast cancer scare and recognizing a gap in what doctors knew and what patients understood. The long-term plan with TSM is to continue to create a place for accurate and reliable health information either for the TSM blog or for blogs of clients. I hope to do this on a larger scale, with larger health/biotech companies as well as start-up companies looking to make a positive difference.
I started @SciComm.Club to fill another need in the market - a need that science and health communicators have had for a while but has been particularly highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need more science communicators! And we need them all to talk with each other and others to improve our communication with each other and the general public. I started @SciComm.Club to create a space for science communicators and others interested in science communication to talk and learn from each other to collectively hone our skills and make our communications more effective.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years
I’d like to be working with top clients in the field while helping start-ups get to the top. I would also like to “give back” to the community by opening a free clinic for preventive health. Through this, I hope to educate people about the effect of food on our health, family planning and safe sex, and also work with a period charity to empower women to make their own period products and sell these products to help them make money.
Outside science how would you describe yourself
I’m quite a chatty person who is always looking to make a positive difference in the world.