A day in the life of a scicomm officer: The Pandemic Edition

In case you missed it, we are currently experiencing a global pandemic. Many countries are still in lockdown and those who can work from home, at least here in the UK, have been asked to work from home. So, in this post I wanted to share a day in the life of a science communicator during the pandemic. But first, a little bit about my role under pre-COVID times…

I work as a science communicator for a medical research institute in London, UK. It is my job to share the latest research from my colleagues with various different public audiences but also our internal network too, as well as promote my colleagues and various other events that we may do and so on. It is a hugely varied role which I love! Most of my role actually uses all things digital – websites, social media, video production, written articles, newsletters and so on. So, I am very fortunate that in times like now I can pretty much carry on my job as usual from the comfort of my own home – minus the commute which is a huge positive! Of course there are many projects and events we were planning that involved us being together in person which have been postponed and we are looking into ways of making those digital and virtual events now too, but in terms of what I actually get up to in a working day, I haven’t been impacted very much at all. So, what about this pandemic edition then?

In this post, I share my Wednesday from this week where I was working on a few different written articles about some of the institute’s latest exciting research. It was also the first #WorkWithMeWednesday I did over in my Instagram stories – so you can follow along there each week too! You can check out other days in my science communicator life in the following:

Chapter 1Chapter 2 Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5

Let’s get stuck in then! Here is a day in the life of a science communicator during a global pandemic! How has your work changed during lockdown? Let me know in the comments below!

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First tasks of the day is my new morning routine that I am trying out. Working with an amazing coach has got me trying this and getting me more active and alert in the morning. It consists of a quick stretch, some skincare, hydration and reading something that will help my personal development. For me, that is currently a book about the science of storytelling, but could include an online course practicing a certain skill, or reading some research about science or science communication. The glasses filter blue light and help with headaches that I get when staring at multiple screens all day.

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Another thing I am trying in this new ideal week routine of mine – again thanks to my awesome coach! I always struggle to find time in the week to work on things I want to work on like everything associated with Soph talks science and my plans and dreams for it. I also always try and achieve too much in one day and have that feeling at the end of the day that I didn’t achieve all I wanted to and so it wasn’t a very productive day. This new routine is trying to manage that so we will see how it goes for the next few week. Anyway, that currently involves setting aside an hour before I start work to do something related to Soph talks science. This could be a brain dump of ideas. This could be finishing off a blog post as I am doing now, but on this occassion in was more of an “admin” thing. I have faaar too many screenshots on my phone, many of which are ideas for blog posts and social media. So, I spent an hour this morning adding those ideas into my project management tool Asana. That way I can free up memory on my phone, put those ideas somewhere where I can actually work on them productively and also collate and combine different ideas together much more easily.

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Right – time for some actual work. There are lots of new research articles that are going to be published soon from my colleagues across a range of topics. Unfortunately the actual details of which I cannot share with you yet as they are under embargo. Embargo is basically a time where the information isn’t publically available, but it can be entrusted to journalists or communicators in advance so that they can prepare any material like I am now so it is ready to be released and to promote when the embargo lifts.

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Remember that awesome coach I keep talking about? Well Wednesdays is our weekly group coaching call with this amazing woman; Holly. This week we were talking about goal setting and she introduced a whole new ways of setting goals to me. So it may be time to revisit my goals I set for 2020 and also the way I set my goals too.

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So, after a spot of lunch, it is back to the laptop screen for my next writing and editing tasks. The first was edits on a press release for another research paper. This one is still under embargo and we don’t have a publication date for it yet so I haven’t shown you that one here – but it is on some awesome and cool research. It is the piece I am most excited about writing at the moment. But for that press release I need to ask the researcher some more questions, so I have sent them off to make sure I really capture all the angles of the research and tell that story!

But after that email, it is time to finish off an article I have been writing about some research that was being published on this day. The embargo that I mentioned was being lifted at 1600 London Time, so I was pulling together any edits and comments I had from my supervisor about what I had written, but also from the researchers to make sure I had got everything correct. Then it was just a matter of uploading it to our website, scheduling it to be published AFTER the embargo lifts and then preparing any social media content to promote it too.

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And a few hours later, here it is on our website! You can go and check it out here if you want 🙂 But after a few final emails and a quick daily catch up call with my supervisor I was done with my day job for today, but I wasn’t closing my laptop just yet.

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Another part of my new ideal week routine is to continue to work on some Soph talks science things for a few hours shortly after work and then to just shut off from it. Today’s PM tasks were to prep my market research questions for some plans I’m working on behind the scenes and then also to prep my Instagram post for the following day – that involves finishing off some research for the post, writing the content, preparing my images and hashtag mining. This should make it easier to post tomorrow when all I need to do is edit the content again, format it and hit publish! And I managed to finish up these tasks even though this little monster stole my laptop’s spot 😛

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And that is a wrap! I am very fortunate that all I need to do my job remotely is a computer and an internet connection, so even though this day I have shared comes from the comfort of our new home, it wouldn’t look much different if there was no global pandemic right now. There would be a lot more trains and tubes but that would be the only real difference.

If you have any questions about anything that I have shown here or anything about my job please ask any questions below or contact me on social media. I am more than happy to share. Also, let me know how your job has changed and your work life has changed during lockdown – for better or worse – I would love to hear it and how you are doing to!

Is this what you thought a day in the life of a science communications officer would look like?

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If you enjoyed this post, then please hit like, write a comment or share it with your family and friends for them to discover the joys of science too. Or you could pin it using the graphic below. It would really mean so much to me. Or you can always subscribe to Soph talks science in the menu to never miss out on any science inspiration and curiosity ever again.


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♥ I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I am a brand ambassador for Petite Ecoliere; a company with the wish to inspire a dedication to education of girls and women, and to give back to charities helping girls all around the world. Follow this link or click on the graphic below to find an awesome little something for you or someone you love and give back at the same time!

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