Praise

Dr Sarah McKay is the real deal.  There are many people who have jumped on the ‘brain bandwagon’ without any formal qualifications in neuroscience. Not only does Sarah have the academic quals, having completed her PhD at Oxford University, she has that rare strength of being able to translate science into everyday practice. Sarah’s sessions focus not only on boosting brain-power but aim to help people live their best lives. I can’t recommend Sarah too highly.

Dr Suzy Green
The Positivity Institute

Dr Sarah McKay has been a valued contributor to the ABC Active Memory blog. Her smart and engaging brain health articles have truly connected with our readers and enriched the overall product experience.

Lisa Siberry
ABC Active Memory

Sarah is a warm and engaging speaker. She presents neuroscience evidence in an accessible way and can convey scientific facts to a general audience without ‘dumbing it down’. Having worked with Sarah on the Neural Knitworks National Science Week project, I would recommend Sarah as a sharp and clever communicator, an expert consultant who can make sure that your content is scientifically accurate and a  great copywriter. Sarah’s input into  Neural Knitworks has been invaluable. She is great fun, more than happy to get hands-on and we are so grateful to have someone with her credentials working with us.

Jackie Randles
Manager, Inspiring Australia (NSW)

Sarah McKay is a rare find; a scientist who can write very effectively for a lay audience. At Cure Brain Cancer, we needed to turn our accounts of what is incredibly complex and sophisticated research into ‘a good read’. She not only made the more factual content accessible to a broad audience, she also created some very engaging blogs to draw people in and help generate some excitement about what is being achieved. As a neuroscientist her depth of knowledge was invaluable whether compiling a literature review, writing a blog or interviewing a senior researcher. She was also very flexible and easy to work with. If you need someone who has a foot in both scientific and creative camps, call Sarah.

Camilla Cooke
Communications Manager Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Sarah’s professionalism,  intelligence and scientific knowledge inform her approach to writing and make her a pleasure to work with. Very importantly in fundraising, they also meant we made our deadlines!

Dimity Raftos
Supporter Engagement & Care Manager, Garvan Research Foundation

Kudos to you Sarah — I’ve recommended your blog to about a zillion people… you may have noticed a gang of us signing up to hear more of what you have to say…. but it’s been said so many times by folks less credible than you.  We need a scientific / data- based voice!

Dr. Nima Rahmany
DC, CCWP

Sarah’s final plenary at the AMWA 2013 conference was just what the audience needed to hear. An honest narrative from a fellow medical writer about her journey as a blogger, evidence geek and online communicator. A rare science writer who is as powerful from the podium as she is on the page.

Dr Justin Coleman
President, Australasian Medical Writers Association

Sarah is an outstanding medical writer showing a passion for science and accuracy but also bringing a creative flare to her contributions. At short notice she helped to turn around an outstanding winning pitch supporting ghg with medical strategy and collateral pieces, as well as presenting at the pitch itself. Not only did Sarah deliver the medical work needed, she contributed more broadly as part of the pitch team. An absolute pleasure to work with.

Elly Price
Managing Director, ghg

Sarah’s enthusiasm and intellectual scrutiny would make anyone question if their true calling is in fact in science writing. As one of the non-academic speakers at the EMCR (Early Mid Career Researcher) Network for alternate PhD careers, Sarah challenged aspiring writers to take charge and just start writing. She loves her job but she only got there through taking risks and putting in hard work. Sarah is proof that non-academic careers for PhDs do not represent failure, but initiative and innovation.

Dr Heather Main
founder EMCR Network NSW and Senior Scientist Genea Biocells, Sydney

Thank you again for your time and enthusiastic input to the day, we had great feedback from all the students who attended!  Laura Barker, Organising Committee.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre
PhD students’ committee

Many thanks and you have just opened up a minefield of good websites and information with your talk. You spoke of issues I had to deal with during my PhD candidature (impostor syndrome and experiments not working = feeling of failure with candidature / method development). Also I’ve wondered for a while how I can utilise the experiences gained in both my BPharm and PhD  (and turn it into a viable career). I will have a good look at these. Once again, many thanks for sharing your experiences.

Dr Alfred Tong
Environmental Chemis

ZEST Health Strategies has engaged Sarah to work on a number of projects over several years. She has a great depth and breadth of understanding and is able to get across new ideas quickly. Her excellent scientific and medical knowledge, combined with her great writing skills mean that we know we can rely on her to deliver what we need. On top of this, Sarah’s relaxed and flexible approach makes her a pleasure to work with. We very much see her as one of our team!

Dr Alison Evans
Director at Zest Health Strategies

I was incredibly fortunate to be mentored by Dr Sarah McKay in 2013 as I was setting up my freelance medical writing business.  Sarah is one of those exceptional people who is kind and generous with her time and knowledge and genuinely wanted me to succeed and follow in her footsteps.  Sarah was able to give me sound advice on subjects such as quoting, time management, setting up a website and blogging to drive traffic to the website.  She has also referred work on to me and we have worked together on several projects. These early jobs increased my confidence when I was just getting established. My business has gone from strength to strength over the past 3 years and I now regularly have to turn work away and am thinking of expanding and subcontracting work to other writers.  I am working close to full time (with flexibility around school holidays which suits me perfectly) and earning significantly more than I was in my last ’employed’ position. Sarah has been, and continues to be, a very inspiring mentor.  If you are even vaguely considering entering the medical writing or freelance area I highly recommend the mentoring process.

Dr Ruth Hadfield
Mediwrite medical writing services

When I left academia to become a medical writer, I was scared and unsure, to say the least. I had no idea where to start or even if I had the skills and experience to become a medical writer. I had no real writing portfolio and my CV was tailored to academic roles and funding bodies. I knew Sarah from my days in academia and knew she had successfully made the transition to medical writing, so I got in touch with her.Sarah ended up becoming my mentor. She helped me realise that although my life up until that point was research, the skills and expertise I gained were ones that were critical to being a successful medical writer. She helped me with my CV, focusing it so that it would appeal to medical writing agencies and potential employers. She advised me on how to get practice my medical writing skills and how to start a website and blog as a platform to showcase my style and portfolio.When I decided to try freelancing, Sarah guided me through the whole process, from setting up an ABN, to how to find clients, and how to decide on my rates and quote a job as accurately as possible. Whilst freelancing didn’t end up being my cup of tea, I have successfully made the transition to medical writing, joining an agency November last year and still enjoying every minute of my new career. I am so thankful for all the advice, guidance and support Sarah has given me and because of it the transition was less daunting and a lot smoother than if I had gone it alone. Thank you Sarah!

Dr Andrea Cowley 
(NPS)

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