Laurence Naiglin holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Human Genetics and a Master’s Degree in Scientific and Technical Communication. She has +15 years of experience in the field of scientific Research. She started her career as a Researcher in academic labs and a startup company (Entomed SA). She then worked at the interface between public laboratories and private companies as Communication and Marketing Manager in the Technological Transfer Office of University of Lyon. Following this experience, she took the position of Project Manager of a research collaborative project called “Laboratory of excellence” (ECOFECT) where she provided support to the coordinators and the consortium of 36 teams for 4 years. She then joined LYSARC (The Lymphoma Academic Research Organization) and the CALYM Carnot Institute as Communication Manager in the clinical research field.
She joined Ayming in September 2019 as a Senior Consultant within the Funding and Innovation Performance Business Line, Grant & Partnership Department. Most recently she has moved over the consultancy firm BENKEI along with colleague Fabienne Brutin.
Laurence will provide support to the ABC-Salt’s Project Coordinator, Consortium and WP8 Project Management activities.
We asked her a few more questions about her history in STEM to better understand the route taken to become a consultant for ABC-Salt.
Early child hood interests. Was it clear you were going to be an academic from the outset? What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
When I was a child, I was very interested by sciences and I am still! I wanted to be a doctor but during my studies I was advised to study engineering instead. It was very difficult to get the medical competitive examination in France.
Family influences. Any guardians / influential figures in a similar industry who you modelled after? Where you the only one in your family to take this path?
Yes and No. I am the only one in my family to take this path but I would still say my mother was a great influence. She was a nurse, which is probably where my desire to become a Doctor came from. However, engineering just seemed to suit me better, so that it what I chose to pursue.
Early Career. Jobs whilst studying? First job in a relevant field? Employment high lights / setbacks to get to where you are today?
I started with a post-doctorate in Strasbourg (France) and then I joined a start-up company working on drugs made from insects. Following from that I got a master’s degree in scientific and technical communication and I joined the technology transfer office of University of Lyon where I was in charge of the communication and valorisation of research patents.
After this first experience in the communication field, I turned to project management by managing a collaborative project called “Laboratory of excellence” and worked as well in the lymphoma field for a Carnot institute.
I joined Ayming in September 2019 as a consultant for the management of European projects which is how I became a part of the ABC-Salt consortium
The role of gender in your journey. Where you always in the minority / majority? Where you encouraged or doubted or neither?
Women are quite well represented in the biology field if we compare to other scientific domains. So, all along my career I did not feel “alone” among men but the majority of leaders are men and wages are not often equal between men and women for the same positions specifically in private companies.
Sometimes it can be oppressive and I think that women who want children are disadvantaged for their career progression.
However, gender equality is becoming more commonplace in our “occidental” society and people are more and more aware about this issue
Why ABC-Salt? (This the abc-salt advert) Why is it such a great project? Perks of European Collaborative projects?
ABC-Salt is a very interesting project dealing with green energy which is an essential research field today. The members of the consortium are very nice and motivated. It is really a pleasure to support the management of this project.
European collaborative projects are rewarding as you can meet many people with different cultures, travel through Europe and be at the heart of the European innovation and science.
Knowing all you know now, what would you say to a younger version of yourself?
Competition is tough between researchers to get a position in the public domain in France. However, research can be done in private companies or through the management of collaborative projects regardless of gender. Today the place of women is growing in companies even at leading positions but there is still a lot to do to defend our rights and strive for true equality. To achieve this, we need courageous and motivated women who will not hesitate to make a scientific career and then contribute to gender equality.