Registration Case Study – Jennifer Louth

Science CouncilJennifer Louth Registered Scientist
Role: Research Technician
University of Sheffield
Department of Chemistry

Career Background

Jennifer did a degree in Biological Sciences at Sheffield University, graduating in 2001. Jennifer Louth - Registered ScientistShe then got a job in a commercial lab doing testing of water samples, gaining valuable experience of working in an analytical lab. Jennifer joined the Department of Chemistry in 2004 as a Research Technician based in Chemical Biology. Her work in this area led to working  closely with one of the academics, undertaking research using mammalian cell cultures and studying for a PhD.  She has also worked in the analytical services in the department and currently manage the elemental analysis service.

Jennifer tells us about his journey through registration

Why did you choose to go for registration?

I chose to go for registration as I felt that the vocational aspect of the award would complement my academic achievements by recognising the other areas of my job. I also feel anything that aims to raise the profile of technicians and recognise their contribution should be supported.

What do you see as the benefits of registration?

One immediate benefit of registration was that it helped me to get promoted, as my RSci status demonstrated I was working at a high level. It will be useful in maintaining my professional development as well as being of value as part of any future job applications. I hope it will also be beneficial in a larger sense as it will reflect well on the people I work with and on the University, and also help raise the profile of technicians.

What are your key skills and responsibilities?

My key areas of responsibility are the management of the elemental analysis service, the research that I undertake and the support that I give to the students in terms of maintaining labs and instrumentation. The elemental analysis lab provides a service to both internal and external clients, as well as being home to other equipment which can be used by the students once they have been trained in the technique. My research involves using a cell line to screen compounds for anti-prion activity and I also train students in the cell culture techniques. I have several labs that I look after where I am responsible for maintaining equipment and standards among the students. The key skills required are primarily communication and organisation, as well as having a rigorous approach to experimental work and analysis to ensure all work is of the highest standard. 

What sort of CPD activities you undertake and why?

Much of the CPD that I do is related to my research. I have attended conferences (and even spoken at one) and try to keep up to date with the literature. I try to attend training courses where possible, and have organised for companies to come and do hands on training in the department. I have found training offered by manufacturers to be a valuable resource as often we do not have the expertise in house.