Gege Li

Current role: Freelance writer, Chemistry World

Gege Li 500 Gege completed a placement here at Sheffield during her MSc Science Communication degree, allowing her to put her new skills into practice to develop online stories showcasing the university's research. Since graduating, Gege has completed an internship with Chemistry World and now continues to do freelance work for the publication. 

"Early on in my undergraduate biochemistry degree, I realised research wasn't the career path I wanted to go down although I still retained a huge passion for science and was keen to keep ties with the scientific community in my future endeavours. This, together with my enjoyment of writing, is what steered me towards taking the Science Communication course at Sheffield.

"It was definitely the right choice: the course introduced me to many different ways of communicating scientific research and concepts, including podcasts, videos and public demonstrations, and allowed me to use my creativity to explore various channels to produce a range of work. For my dissertation I was also given the opportunity to do a placement at the university creating online stories that showcased some of its best research to global stakeholders.

"I particularly enjoyed the journalism aspect of the course as it meant I could learn how to improve my writing and adapt my style for specific formats like press releases and news stories. This set me up with the foundations for writing a good story, a skill I think has really helped me to improve my writing and become more confident in my abilities since.

"As a whole, I feel I gained a better all-round appreciation of how important science communication is, particularly for sharing and raising awareness of how science can benefit people, and bridging gaps in understanding between different groups. This is a value that has stayed with me ever since and is my main motivator for pursuing science writing and keeping it at the forefront of my career.

"Last summer, I was lucky enough to be an intern at Chemistry World magazine, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, for two months in Cambridge. As well as getting the chance to write news and research stories on a regular basis, I also created podcasts, found ideas for stories to report and spoke with academics and researchers from across the world about their work.

"The internship gave me a real taster of what it’s like to work for a science magazine: the process of commissioning, writing and editing stories; how the content is put together in print and online; and the fast pace of the environment.

"Importantly for me, it was an invaluable opportunity to practise, refine and develop my writing skills and build up a portfolio of my work. It was great to be able to apply what I had learnt in my Science Communication degree to a working setting and, better still, for a magazine with global recognition and reach. The experience was fun, educational and rewarding, and provided me with the clarity I needed to cement my desire to be a writer.

"I currently do freelance work for Chemistry World and am actively seeking science writer and editor jobs based in London, the dream being to one day work for New Scientist magazine."