Our Specialist Advisors are a key part of our team, offering expertise across a range of disciplines. Over the coming months, we will be showcasing their hard work by spotlighting each Advisor. In this first article, Laurence Dawkins Hall details his career path.
In 1987, I graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences and subsequently, I have practiced as a Life Scientist Technician, UK wide, in Europe and also the USA, pursuing life science research at the bench, in addition to training, supervising, teaching, lecturing and mentoring Laboratory staff, undergraduate and post graduate students on all aspects of health and safety and a plethora of laboratory techniques (molecular biology and biochemistry). This has resulted in fifteen publications in peer reviewed journals and as many poster presentations/conference abstracts, presented in person at national and International meetings and also industrial workshops. Furthermore, I am an editor for a Frontiers Journal (Infectious Diseases). My Teaching responsibilities, in particular, build upon formal Teacher Training (PGCE) at the University of Oxford in 1991.
Running alongside my core technician role at the University of Leicester, I have become involved, both locally and on a national level, with the Technician Commitment: Consequently I have gained a C.Sci award with the IST and concomitantly a Chartered Biologist award (C.Biol.) with the Royal Society of Biology (RSB).
Since 2017, I have gone on to play an active role in the University of Leicester’s, in house, Technician Commitment, providing workshops on all aspects of professional registration and increasingly I perform a similar role, on a more national platform, by providing registration workshops for the Science Council as an Applicant Support Mentor (ASM). In addition, I act as a Special Advisor to the executive of the IST on all matters pertaining to professional registration and have recently taken up a similar role at the National Technician Development Centre (NTDC), as a Special Advisor on professional registration and STEM. Concomitant with my mentoring of registrants and provision of registration workshops for both the IST and Science Council, I am a registrant assessor for all three registration awards, viz. R.SciTech., R.Sci. and C.Sci, performing this duty for the IST, Science Council and RSB alike. In the last month, I have assumed an analogous assessor role with the RSB, but in the context of the Chartered Biologist, award. I should also add that I hold a Fellowship with the IST (FIScT) and am a Registered Practitioner and, regarding the Fellowship, I have come to play a role in formulating new guidelines for Fellowship application criteria and assessment.
With specific regard to my new SA role at the NTDC, I hope, in the short term, to recapitulate these duties, by providing general advice to the NTDC on registration in the context of STEM; and also registration workshops to technicians working in affiliated partner institutes and, moreover, individual mentoring of partner technicians to improve their registration applications. Going forward I hope to contribute to NTDC formal policy on registration and STEM and perhaps organise partner institute annual meetings, with a focus on the NTDC registration activity. I shall continue these duties alongside my mentoring roles at both the IST and Science Council and provision of national registration workshops, including provision at national roadshows like Lab Innovations and for technician focussed initiatives such as Midlands Innovation.