A bit about yourself
My name is Jenny Collins and I graduated with a DPhil in Clinical Medicine from Green Templeton college in 2009. I am a freelance copy editor and live in Oxfordshire with my husband and three children.
Summarise the research in your DPhil/PhD
My DPhil project focused on obesity and diabetes. I investigated the effect of a saturated fat called palmitate on human fat cells. I looked at how palmitate affected an enzyme that converts saturated fat to monounsaturated fat and how this altered cell function.
About your current job, and the path you took to get there
I currently work as a freelance copy editor. I mostly edit medical and science text books but also regularly edit journal manuscripts for a couple of diabetes journals. Copy editing wasn't a career path that I had considered but during my DPhil I won the OCDEM/Elsevier Junior Research Prize and kept in touch with Elsevier. They were looking for someone with relevant expertise to language edit manuscripts from non-native English-speaking authors and took me on. I was fortunate to make another contact who got me into books and it grew from there. I later contacted other publishers and set up a website to advertise and have been able to make copy editing my career.
About what helped you/how you decided to get into this area
I always knew that I liked the written side of research as I loved writing my thesis. After my DPhil I stayed in research as a part-time post-doc and did a small amount of freelance copy editing in my spare time. I thoroughly enjoyed the research project I was working on but after 4 years the funding ended and I made the decision to pursue a career as a freelance copy editor. This has enabled me to work the hours that suit me and balance my work/family life.
Anything extra you found you needed to know, learn along the way or wish you had done differently
I have realised the importance of networking and having good contacts. I feel this is key to how I got into my current career. Becoming self-employed was a little daunting and I would have benefitted from advice at that time.