An interview with Maria Alfaradhi, Scientific Team Lead at Prime Global

Firstly, congratulations Maria on your recent promotion from Associate Scientific Team Lead to Scientific Team Lead!

We chatted about what her role involves, how she got into medcomms, and valuing quality family time.

Q. How did you get into medcomms?
I went straight from my undergraduate in Natural Sciences to an MSc + PhD programme in metabolic disorders. When thinking about careers towards the end of my PhD, I decided academia was not for me, but I wanted to keep my link with science. After going to a few careers fairs, I stumbled across medcomms and it sounded right up my street. I had received good feedback from my thesis examiners on my writing style and I enjoyed science communication; a career in medcomms sounded like the perfect opportunity to marry my skills and passion. I didn’t know anyone within the industry when applying, so I researched online and came across MedComms Networking. I watched some of their webinars, went to a medcomms-specific careers fair and then got applying!

Q. Why did you join Prime Global?
I’d been working in the industry for around 5 years and had progressed well since starting as an Associate Medical Writer. I was thinking about my next challenge but not actively looking. However, when a recruiter got in touch with me about the Associate Scientific Team Lead role, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take the next step in my career. I came in for a brief chat and interview to find out more the role and about Prime Global (admittedly I didn’t know too much about it but some former colleagues had positive things to say about the company). When I received an offer, I was more than happy to accept!

Q. What does your day-to-day role look like?
I manage several publications accounts. As many within medcomms will attest, no two days are the same. After catching up on emails and making note of any new projects that need allocating within the team, my day will generally involve reviewing work from writers within the team, as well as working on some strategic projects such as updating publications plans and preparing for upcoming events/projects. Along with other senior members within my agency, I manage workload and resourcing within the team to make sure the work is evenly distributed. I also check in with my line reports to see how they are getting on and offer support as needed. At times, I’ll be asked to get involved in potential new business pitches, so I’ll spend time researching and coming up with ideas for those.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m generally an organised person and love seeing a plan come to fruition. I like the sense of achievement that comes with completing a project, particularly if it was a hard slog or something that needed our team to band together to complete within a short time frame. I find the Scientific Team Lead role very rewarding. It can be a lot to manage when times are busy, but I like working within a team and enjoy mentoring junior writers and seeing them progress.

Q. What is your area of therapeutic expertise?
I worked on various oncology accounts within my first couple of years in medcomms. Since joining Prime Global, I’ve been working within the cardiovascular, renal and metabolism space, specialising in the treatment of anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Q. What was your favourite project to work on?
Within five months of joining Prime Global, I was sent on my first onsite to the largest annual nephrology congress in the US. It was a very intense experience as we ended up supporting our client in more ways than we had expected. We ended up preparing slides for some advisory boards and an investigator meeting which our agency was not involved in planning, working late into the night. But I loved being onsite and having the opportunity to meet our clients face-to-face. I’ve really been able to develop a solid relationship with my clients and become a trusted advisor to them.

Q. If you could invite anyone to a dinner party, who would you ask and why?
I’m very much a family person and if I were to have a dinner party it would be with my big crazy family – all 12 adults (parents, four siblings and all our partners) and seven kids ? Now that we are all grown up and everyone has moved out from home, I cherish the moments we’re able to spend quality time together – even if that’s virtually for now!

Thank you, Maria! We really enjoyed talking with you.

If you think a Scientific Team Lead role could be right for you, we’re recruiting now! Check out the full job description and apply here:

Prime GlobalAn interview with Maria Alfaradhi, Scientific Team Lead at Prime Global
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