Discover practical strategies and expert insights from our recent webinar on managing your mental wellbeing through proactive career planning and professional development, where we delved into topics such as coping with career precarity, loneliness, and psychological safety.



Clare Viney

Clare is a Chartered Scientist and Chemist with 20 years’ experience in the science community and not-for-profit sector. She is a member of the ELRIG early career professional (ECP) workgroup and is passionate about investing in future generations and those from diverse backgrounds and experiences, empowering people to realise their potential and achieve their career and development goals. Prior to her role at CRAC/Vitae, Clare was with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for 16 years in a variety of roles. CRAC is a charity and was founded in 1964. Vitae, non-profit programme of CRAC, is the global leader in supporting the career and professional development of researchers, experienced in working with governments and over 200 institutions in 23 countries. It strengthens members and partners provision through research and innovation, training and resources, events, consultancy and membership. Vitae advocates for a healthy research environment and culture that will attract and develop a more diverse workforce, believing this will impact positively on individual and institutional performance and bring societal and economic benefits.

Faye Allison

Faye Allison graduated in 2013 with a BSc in Biology and initially started her career in scientific report writing for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. She then moved into recruitment, specifically focusing on the chemicals industry in the UK. She has spent the last 9 years partnering with companies of all shapes and sizes and with candidates all over the UK and beyond to match good people with good jobs. She and her team have supported hundreds of companies to find scientific and technical talent from graduate to boardroom level, as well as supporting candidates right through their career, from graduation to management. Faye is passionate about mental health, on both a personal and professional level, so has perspectives from her own lived experience as well as advice for the wider scientific community.

Peter Simpson

Peter Simpson Consulting Ltd

Peter is widely recognised as a strategic leader of life science companies, with a track record in driving innovation, growth, and impact. He is currently Chair of Dia Beta Labs Ltd, a peptide therapeutic-based SME in metabolic disease, and of Ephyra, a sponge RNA technology company, and he runs his life science consulting company Peter Simpson Consulting Ltd. He is passionate about building high performing teams that have an inclusive mindset, harnessing and developing a diverse range of talents to deliver strong outcomes. Peter was founding Chief Scientific Officer for Medicines Discovery Catapult, developing its research capabilities, teams and strategy. In the Covid pandemic, Peter led the establishment of one of UK’s 3 national Covid testing centres, which grew to employ 800 staff and delivered ~24 million Covid diagnostic tests. Peter has eighteen years of experience in developing successful drug discovery departments and programmes within major Pharmas (MSD, AstraZeneca).

Fiona Brown

BACP-accredited psychodynamic and person-centred counsellor

Fiona works at Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City, where she offers counselling and psychosocial support to patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families.  Fiona also delivers supervision sessions and debriefs for hospice staff and is an EDI champion.  Additionally, she works within the NHS Talking Therapies Service in Hertfordshire, delivering counselling for individuals struggling with depression and anxiety.  Prior to her career in counselling, Fiona worked for 20 years in drug discovery at GSK.  Alongside her scientific roles, she led the Health and Wellbeing Forum for the Stevenage site, delivered coaching to GSK employees to enable their personal and professional development and was an EDI Champion.

Vikki Wright

The PhD Life Coach

Dr Vikki Wright is a national award winning lecturer, life coach and podcast host. She runs The PhD Life Coach, where she helps clients reduce overwhelm, procrastination, and imposter syndrome so they can achieve their goals and enjoy their lives. Her main focus is PhD students and academics, but she coaches any professional with an academic background, as we all experience a lot of the same challenges. You can find out more on her website www.thephdlifecoach.com and on her podcast, The PhD Life Coach, which is available on all platforms.

Chair – Cassie Messenger

I am currently working as a senior scientist in Discovery Biology Screening at GSK in Stevenage. Additional to my lab-based role, I recruit and train our industrial placement students and advocate for mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Having recently completed my MPhil degree in collaboration with the Cancer Metabolism lab at the Francis Crick Institute, and volunteering for the ECP workgroup and board at ELRIG UK, I want to use my networks and connections to support ECPs across industry and academia.