Chuen Lee’s science communication experience with Applied Microbiology International

Chuen Lee, a third year PhD student based at the University of East Anglia wanted to use his PIPS to gain insight into careers focusing on science communication. He spent 12 weeks with the Communications and Marketing team at Applied Microbiology International (AMI), a not-for-profit organisation promoting science via science magazine, journals, awards, grants and events.

On placement, his responsibilities ranged from:

  • writing articles for The Microbiologist magazine and jobs board;
  • planning, scriptwriting and creating a documentary on climate change and soil microbiology (due out in May);
  • supporting the Early Careers Scientists (ECS) Research Symposium,
  • Google analytics and other key performance indicators for The Microbiologist website;
  • support for Applied Microbiology’s Product of the Year Award marketing strategy;
  • creating highlights from a live experiment online seminar to be published on YouTube.

Chuen enjoyed the experience of being part of a large remote functional team compared to his on-site small PhD work team. He appreciated the different perspectives and responsibilities others had with everyone working towards the same goal. He commented on how the AMI team were incredible at swift and efficient communication.

It was a hybrid placement giving Chuen the opportunity to attend team meetings in London, Bristol and Birmingham. The monthly team meetings and regular Teams chats created a tight knit team whilst maintaining a good work-life balance.

He is grateful for the teamworking, project management and commercial awareness the placement gave him. He developed his time management skills to prioritise work more efficiently, communication skills and write content which will certainly help returning to his PhD.

Chuen advises other PhD students to embrace their PIPS experience and gain a different perspective of the job world. He admits he still likes research and will pursue a career in this but is now more open to other options.