Science policy and patents/IP

Your scientific training puts you in a unique position for pursuing jobs in the legal profession, and even in the corridors of power. Patent attorneys need an excellent knowledge of their subject, combined with commercial savvy, a good command of the English language, and knowledge of the law. New science graduates will need to join a practice as a trainee, and will need to study the law and pass a series of exams before becoming fully qualified. That process can take several years, but can lead to a diverse and challenging career.

Meanwhile, scientists who wish to shape government policy can exploit their knowledge to help politicians make more informed decisions. You'll need to be able to advise on a broad range of scientific subjects, so you'll need good analytical and research skills plus the ability to communicate your ideas effectively.

Case study: Protecting the future

Patent attorneys work at the interface of science and law, helping inventors to safeguard their intellectual property. Elliott Davies describes a career that combines technical knowledge and commercial savvy.

Case study: Physicists without borders

Experienced physicists looking for the opportunity to get involved in international development may find the IAEA to be a perfect fit, as Michelle Jeandron discovers.

Case study: Physics for a safer world

The Home Office Scientific Development Branch offers some of the most varied scientific jobs available. And, as Colin Wilson describes, it also combines a university-like atmosphere with all the benefits of working in the civil service.

Case study: A meeting of science and politics

Government policy plays a part in determining how science is done but it also relies on expert scientific input. Benn Tannenbaum describes his experiences at the interface between science and government.

Case study: A scientific tax man

It may not win him many admirers at parties, but for Paul Barton, helping companies claim tax credits for their research is a great way of combining his diverse interests in science and policy