Organizer: Singapore Women in Science
Date and Time: 19th May 2015, 5:30 pm
Venue: Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), Seminar Room at Neuros, Biopolis
Speaker: Dr. Pauline Tay, Deputy Director at The National Research Foundation (NRF)
Singapore Women in Science is a non-profit organization of women who are in the field of science or who inspire to be in one. The organizing committee comprising of various women in the scientific field, schedule networking sessions and talks by successful women.
Dr Pauline Tay’s talk on the evening of 19th May 2015 was on her personal journey in terms of her career. Dr Pauline is a dynamic lady and an enthusiastic speaker as well. She is the Deputy Director of The National Research Foundation (NRF) at present. She spoke about her career starting at A*STAR, then about working in IPI (Intellectual Property Intermediary) and how she finally achieved her dream job at NRF.
Dr Pauline always wanted to become a consultant, right from when she started studying in the University. She started her career with the end point in mind, that she wanted to be a consultant, specifically a biotech consultant. Her career roadmap is an interesting one with various job profiles. She kept reiterating the point that if you want to become a biotech consultant, you need to know biotech as well as how to do a business.
She was very sure that her career was her first preference always. She did her undergraduation at National University of Singapore and then went on to work as the Senior Officer at the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB), A*STAR. Then she decided to do a PhD, which according to her was the toughest part of her life, since she never really wanted to pursue research. But she decided to do a PhD to gain insight into how things work. After completing her PhD in 2007 at the IMB, A*STAR, she was a Research Fellow at same institute for close to 4 years. During her PhD and post doctoral years, she did “free” consulting for many startups and networked a lot too, building numerous valuable contacts.
Then she started working at IPI as a Senior Technology Consultant at IPI, Singapore where she managed the Medtech, Biotech and Personal Care portfolio. IPI’s assistance to clients includes technology sourcing, due diligence and matching to suitable capability partners. Finally in October last year, she joined NRF as the Deputy Director, Innovation and Enterprise, and she enjoys her work there. At present in NRF, she handles strategies and policies for innovation and commercialisation of technologies. She said that her journey is definitely not ended here and she envisages herself going back to the biotech industry one day.
It was overall an inspiring talk and interesting to find out about her career choices especially from a postdoc to a non-academic career.