Science Writer, Medical Communications Medical Writer - Medical Writer / Senior Medical Writer / Principal Medical Writer
A medical or science writer is key member of the editorial team within a medical communications agency. A medical communications agency is tasked by their clients who are usually large pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, healthcare or clinical research organisations to develop communication strategies that will assist in the delivery of effective campaigns.
The role of a medical or science writer is to write high-quality scientific copy for the wide range of materials that a medical communications agency produces. The scientific and medical information and the language used in these documents written by medical or scientific writers will be tailored to suit the target audience, this could be patients, medical sales representatives, doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. Documents created by medical or science writers for medical professionals is usually highly scientific but often those intended for patients and the general public will also be written in clear, simple terms with minimal scientific jargon.
Materials include primary papers, Reviews, Education materials, case studies, newsletters, conference materials, websites, slide kits, posters, videos, sales aids.
Medical or science writers are required to keep updated on new developments within any given scientific field and therapeutic area, being aware of the strategies used by clients competitors and advising.
A senior medical or science writer will do all of this and may be given the responsibility of mentoring more junior members of the team, liaise regularly with clients, travel globally to attend conferences, advisory boards and standalone meetings.
A principal medical or science writer will do all of that and in addition may lead an editorial team, consult clients on publication plans and strategy, liaise with the client service and project management teams within the agency and run and/or attend new client pitches.
Skills and Experience required to become a Medical or Science Writer
- Degree in one of the life sciences (ideally PhD)
- Excellent writing skills including the correct use of grammar, punctuation and spelling
- The ability to adapt the language to communicate effectively with a specific target audience
- Understanding of scientific and medical terminology
- Attention to detail
- Good time management, able to meet deadlines
- Good communication & coordination skills, able to work with various stakeholders
- Knowledge of specific therapeutic areas e.g. oncology, diabetes can be beneficial
The demand for medical or science writers is growing steadily and medical writing can be an excellent career option for Life Sciences graduates. It can be difficult to secure an entry-level Associate Medical Writer (AMW) role, which typically has a salary in the “mid 20s”. Once you have gained some tangible experience in medical or scientific writing, especially if you specialise in a highly sought-after therapeutic area, the salary progression for medical writers is very buoyant as you progress to each next phase of your career as a medical or science writer. People tend to follow a path from Associate Medical Writer to Medical Writer, to Senior Medical Writer, to Principal Medical Writer. The salary bandings for medical writes progress significantly with each step up. Furthermore, there is a lively contract / freelance market for experienced medical or science writers, for which the daily rates can vary from £250 to £500+ per day.
In addition to being the capital city of the United Kingdom, London (aka Greater London) is one of the nine official regions of England and consists of 32 boroughs plus the City of London. London is a global city with a population of 9 million and is the most densely populated region in Europe.
London is one of the centres in Europe for cell therapy, gene therapy and advanced therapies (ATMPs). Next to Stevenage, Cambridge and Oxford, London is a major site for biotechnology innovation, pharmaceutical development and rare diseases. London is the world's leading financial centre for international business and as such the financial services industry in London, including banking, insurance, broking and fund management make the largest contribution to London's economy. Other major industries in the London region include real estate, legal, accountancy, creative industries such as fashion, design and art, media and TV, legal, construction, London tourism, pharmaceuticals, biotech and retail. In recent years many technology companies, especially those in FinTech, have set up in the area of East London known as the “Silicon Roundabout”, putting London on the map as a key area of growth.#
The vibrancy of the London life sciences cluster is reflected in the activities of various networking groups which provide regular opportunities to make new contacts via events, conferences and other meetings:
One Nucleus: Established in 1997, a not-for-profit Life Sciences & Healthcare membership organisation centred on the Greater London-Cambridge-East of England corridor. Through providing local, UK-wide and international connectivity, One Nucleus seeks to enable its members to maximise their performance.
The Royal Veterinary College (RVC): The RVC is pre-eminent among veterinary schools, and offers the highest quality in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research - meeting the growing demand for veterinary professionals and biomedical scientists. It also provides support for the veterinary profession through its three referral hospitals, diagnostic services and CPD courses.
MedCity: MedCity represents the life sciences cluster of London and the Greater South East of England. Their expert knowledge, industry experience and sector-wide perspective means they can maximise opportunities for growth and collaboration within the region and beyond.
The BioIndustry Association: The BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises in the UK's bioscience sector. Its mission is to encourage and promote a thriving, financially sound sector of the UK economy, built upon developments across the biosciences.
London has a wealth of iconic and world famous London attractions such as Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, beautiful parks, numerous world class museums, a vibrant London theatre land and global cuisine, the combination of which attracted over 19 million visitors to London in 2016. London tourism numbers have received a substantial boost thanks to the hugely successful Olympic Games held in London in 2012.
London is a great place to further your career in life sciences. If you are a looking for pharmaceutical jobs in London, scientific careers in London or want to discuss cell therapy, gene therapy, ATMP, medical device, technology, biotech or pharmaceutical job opportunities inLondon, give our Next Phase team a call. The London area is continuing to expand as a centre for jobs in science, process development, technology, software development, project management, informatics, quality, reg affairs and supply chain.
At Next Phase we help people find new jobs in life sciences across the UK, Europe and USA. This page lists some of the job opportunities in London, and if you give us a call we can also talk to you about other scientific jobs, pharmaceutical career opportunities and the latest updates in cell and gene therapy and ATMP development in the London area.