Today, our featured career is ‘Research Scientist’. Research scientists apply their STEM skills directly, working in a wide variety of subjects to increase our understanding of fundamental science, develop future technologies or make existing technologies easier and cheaper to use. This might involve creating a new medical solution, developing a new fuel, finding a cheaper way to manufacture a product or looking for new medicines in tropical locations!
Dr. Heather Jeffery
Current Role: Genomics Application Clinical Bioinformatician, Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd
Undergraduate Degree: Biochemistry BSc, with a year in Industry, Imperial College London
Brief Biography: Having studied her undergraduate degree at Imperial College, Dr Jeffery went on to study her PhD at Oxford University. Dr Jeffery’s PhD involved developing a single molecule chromatin accessibility method to investigate DNA replication in yeast. During her PhD, Dr Jeffery also completed a research internship at Singer Instruments, took part in the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) for Biotechnology, and engaged in schools outreach themed on DNA.
In her current role as Genomics Application Clinical Bioinformatician, Dr Jeffery aims to develop computational approaches to answer biological questions and tackle real world challenges. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the violin, board games, and trying new things.
As a research scientist, it is important to understand how your work impacts and is informed by the needs of the sectors who apply the results of your research. The healthcare sector is hugely reliant on scientific research in order to offer new and more advanced treatments to patients, and the needs of the healthcare sector informs what research scientists focus on. Today’s activities focus on Population Health, an area in which scientists, healthcare professionals and sociologists work in close collaboration to improve quality of life.
Want to know more?
To find out more about working as a research scientist, take a look at the following explore-a-career pages:
- Oxford University Careers Service: Science R & D
- National Careers Service: Research Scientist
To explore other career options that might interest you, there are lots of tool available! We recommend starting by exploring job sectors and occupations on the following websites:
Talking to people who are currently doing a role you are interested in, organising some work experience where you can shadow someone doing this role, or reading first-hand accounts from people working in the area you are interested in can all help you find out more about a particular job!
To find out more about studying a subject at University, you can also talk to current St John’s students using Inspire Chat by clicking here!