Another spin-off: where to find writing jobs that are NOT IT related

Subject: Another spin-off: where to find writing jobs that are NOT IT related
From: Mitchell Maltenfort <mmalten -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 14:10:20 -0400


Or should I say fire away? I don't know for sure if I'll launch
vigorous debate, but I acknowledge the chance.

I'm a Ph. D. in Biomedical Enginering, which is essentially a Chinese
dinner degree: one selection from the Engineering Column and one
selection from the Biology column. In my case, I;ve done Signal
Processing and Systems ID on the one hand, and Neurobiology on the
other. (Anyone curious can do a search for Maltenfort on

Long story short, I realized I'm not happy as a researcher among
researchers. I like research, I think there are some cool projects
going on in my field, but among other things I'd rather write for the
bright generalist or layperson than for the specialist.

While being a technical writer superficially seems a natural segue,
most of the jobs are by, of and for the IT industry. I know my way
around scientific programming packages like Matlab and Maple, and
write ad hoc data analysis programs in C, but I don't come from a
heavy IT background and I don't think trying to reinvent myself as an
IT person would get me terribly far. I have background to offer and I
don't want to throw it away.

Giving it some thought, I came up with a list of niches but realized I
wasn't sure how to go networking for them, I'm writing to pick the
collective brain of the TECHWR-L list on feasibility and possible

* Research Administration / Proposal Writing? I've done some homework
on this, including attending a recent conference of Research
Administrators (, and it seems a natural -- even if it
feels a bit like moving up to herding cats from having been one of the
herd. I'm alreading doing the search for Research Administrators,
Grants Administrators, and like positions on the Chronicle of Higher
Education website and others, but coming out of an academic
environment, I'm wondering if comparable positions are available in
other arenas. How could I move from being someone who has written
academic grants and journal articles to someone who writes technical
proposals and white papers?

* Technical Writing for Medical Hardware? I'd expect instrumentation,
implants and the like need technical documentation and someone who can
bridge the gap from the engineer who built it to the physician or
physiologist who'll be using it. Do companies like Siemens Medical
hire tech writers, as FT or contractors? Is telecommuting possible?

* Medical Writing for Neurology, Prosthetics or Sports Medicine? My
research was aimed at understanding how circuits in the spinal cord
worked to generate and control movement. So I know something about
the nervous system, muscle function and biomechanics.

Of course, I'm interested in other potential markets for what I have
to offer. Feel free to suggest where I should go (and let's take the
obvious "go to..." as given, and probably even redudant -- there's a
heat advisory where I live).

Thanks for your patience in reading this.


I can answer any question.
"I don't know" is an answer.
"I don't know yet" is a better answer.


New from Quadralay Corporation: WebWorks ePublisher Pro! Easily create
14 online formats, including 6 Help systems, in a project-based
workflow. Live, online demo!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Re: Need your help to face an Interview
Next by Author: Re: Another spin-off: where to find writing jobs that are NOT IT related
Previous by Thread: TOOLS: Rotate your ball
Next by Thread: Re: Another spin-off: where to find writing jobs that are NOT IT related

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads