From Lab Bench to Science Policy

Issued: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:32:00 GMT

‌Mariana Arroja writes:

Since a young age I have been passionate about science and excited about new discoveries and their impact on society. It was only after I started my PhD that I became aware of the challenges currently faced by scientists, such as the lack of reproducible results and how this can affect scientific progression.  “How could this be reversed?” was a continuous question I had, igniting a constant critical evaluation on potential policy measures that could be implemented to shape the way research is performed.

As an MRC funded PhD student, we are given the opportunity to do a 3-month internship in science policy with the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS). The AMS is an independent institution with objectives to link academy, industry and the NHS, as well as influencing policy strategies in areas such as research reproducibility and academic accreditation.

For my application, I wrote a policy proposal focused on reproducibility in the biomedical field with emphasis on the role of funders. For instance, if funding opportunities for preclinical multi-centre collaborations were made available, it would be possible for principal investigators within the same area to establish agreements on experimental design, guaranteeing that experiments are carried out in similar experimental conditions but also allowing potential therapeutics to be tested simultaneously in various labs, which could help optimising reproducibility.

My application was successful and I could not be more excited to join the policy team at the AMS in April 2017!