Rhiannon (academic)


I graduated with a B.Pharm. (Hons) and then obtained a Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Science from the Welsh School of Pharmacy. I started in research as soon as I received my Ph.D. and progressed to Senior Research Fellow. I researched immunological, histological and chromatographical techniques, tissue culture and Molecular Biology. I also developed experimental models of inflammation and novel delivery systems for potential therapy of joint inflammation which were funded by The Arthritis Research Council and The Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care.

I was promoted to a non-clinical lectureship in the Rheumatology Department where I now secure funding for postgraduate and postdoctoral research through peer reviewed grant applications. I am responsible for the publication of research work and planning, developing and managing the rheumatology research group. I also set up collaborative links with industry, other Universities and departments within the College of Medicine.

Since I am still employed on a contractual basis, I have no career structure or encouragement to progress in the University setting. Eventually I would like to move away from academia and work in industry because of the security and incentives offered.

Transferable skills development

The main skills that I have developed in research and lecturing include:

  • Communication - Oral communication skills include conversing at the level of knowledge and understanding of others, using active listening skills, involving people in the discussion. Written communication skills include outlining aims and objectives, using short paragraphs and sentences to communicate points.
  • Problem solving - Analysing, evaluating and assessing relevant data and information, defining the root cause of a problem, determining the best available option.
  • Decision Making - Using own experience and that of others to move things forward, making realistic and achievable decisions, working objectively in emotional situations.
  • Working Environment - Categorising occupational risk banding, managing hazardous substances, delegating day to day health and safety matters to project staff.
  • Interpersonal skills - Managing people, building relationships, giving constructive feedback, encouraging and supporting others, developing relationships between different groups and delegating responsibility to others.
  • Teaching, Training, Coaching and Development - Establishing aims and objectives, presenting information clearly and confidently and stimulating interest.


My recommendation is to avoid contract research and to go straight into industry as most companies train graduates and doctorates to their requirements. Today I find that I have no job security and am over-qualified for many of the positions that are advertised.

Things to do now

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