Laurence Dawkins-Hall CSci, Core Research and Teaching Technician

Name : Laurence Dawkins-Hall CSci, FRSB

Job title: Core Research and Teaching Technician, University of Leicester

Professional Body: Institute of Science and Technology (IST)

Scientist type: Technician, Communicator, Teaching Scientist

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Social Media: LinkedIn

Why did you decide to apply for Chartered Scientist (CSci)?

I applied to become a Chartered Scientist, in the first instance, to validate my skills, both technical and non-technical. These are mapped to competencies and by obtaining CSci, the post nominals are a mark of competence in all of these skill areas

I was also motivated to apply because my time as a bench scientist has taught me that accreditation of Technicians had hitherto and in the main been lacking, so I was drawn to the remit of registration, in the overall context and mission goals of the wider Technician Commitment

How has Chartered Scientist status made an impact on your work or career?

I would say, it has had a profound impact on my career. My professional registration and training to become a registration assessor has culminated in mentoring positions with a number of Professional Bodies, including the Science Council itself, IST, RSB and NTDC. This has afforded opportunities to provide professional registration workshops on line, at university technician conferences, Licensed Body annual conferences and biotech company showcase events. Moreover, this in turn has culminated in election to Fellowship with both the IST and RSB; the winning of in-house awards at the University of Leicester and a bespoke job description, entailing formal allocation of time to in house mentoring at the University of Leicester itself.

What did learn through completing the application process?

The act of compiling a portfolio of work, to complete the competency form, is a useful exercise in self reflection and also facilitates CPD within my day job at the University of Leicester. It also made me think about what I am good at and where my aspirations lie in terms of future career plans, both within my substantive role at Leicester and also outside via organisations linked to the Technician Commitment and indeed wider HE and FE landscape.

What do you value most from being a member of your professional body?

Being a member of Professional Bodies has afforded opportunities to speak at public events about professional registration and the Technician Commitment. In addition, it has opened up opportunities to participate in analogous events, like training professional registration assessors (RSB) or, for example, organise and chair sessions at conferences (IST).

What would you say to any other scientist like yourself who is thinking about becoming a Chartered Scientist?

I would strongly recommend becoming CSci in pursuit of a bench technical career and particularly if you contemplate at some stage becoming a Technical Manager in the HE sector or wider industry: I say this because acquiring professional registration, whilst not a pre requisite for certain commensurate positions is certainly and, moreover, increasingly, declared as a “desirable characteristic” in job specs on job application forms.

I would also recommend becoming professionally registered as it might open hitherto “unknown doors” and create new opportunities, exemplified by my own experiences over the last 5 years, talked about above.