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Careers , Nottingham

Colleague Stories: Interview with Kate Foster

Kate Foster discusses her career at Quotient Sciences

Kate Foster discusses her career at Quotient Sciences, and her experiences working at our Nottingham, UK facility.


"Quotient Sciences provides an exciting, fast paced environment to work in. The company understands individual needs and allows flexibility and is good at adapting in an ever-changing world."

-Kate Foster


What does a Clinical Performance & Compliance Manager do at Quotient Sciences?

In my role, I have responsibility for scheduling, training, compliance, and continuous improvement in our clinic. One of my goals is to ensure everyone is set up to deliver our studies confidently and in compliance with good clinical practices (GCP) and Quotient Sciences’ clinical protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

I have direct line management of our scheduling manager as well as our training and compliance team to ensure we are getting the best out of our team, to meet the needs of the business and our people. I also directly manage a team of Clinical Data Coordinators with oversight of data collection and transcription into client databases and study set up.

I have a passion for continuous improvement and seek opportunities that allow us to work smarter, not harder, in the clinic. In my role, I am always looking at where we can apply principles of Lean Six Sigma to make improvements in how we deliver projects, whether that is to reduce waste and variation in our processes, increase the quality of our programs, or to improve colleague or volunteer wellbeing and engagement.

Describe a typical day in the clinic.

No two days are the same in our clinic!

On a typical day, there is a buzz of activity starting at 7am when the early shift starts and prepares our volunteers for dosing or study procedures. Some days, we take blood samples and perform safety procedures, such as ECGs and vital signs, regularly throughout the day. Other times, volunteers will just have one set of procedures in the morning.

Once the peak of activities are completed in the morning, our team are busy looking after volunteers, setting up and preparing the clinic for the next day, taking time for training, attending study meetings, or catching up on other day-to-day tasks.

In my role, a typical day for me includes work on various improvement projects or plans for what’s coming up in the weeks and months ahead, and meetings with my immediate and wider team to provide support and advice.

How has your career progressed since joining us?

I’ve held various roles since joining Quotient Sciences initially in 2012 as a Clinical Scientist. I worked closely with volunteers on our wards and was trained up to perform procedures such as taking blood samples, ECGs, vitals, and dosing volunteers. I later took a keen interest in getting involved in preparing study documentation and progressed to my next role as a Clinical Deputy. In this role, I supported the Clinical Lead with oversight of studies, preparing documents, attending study meetings, and delivering study training to the wider team.

To expand my knowledge even more, I took a role within the Project Management team as a Clinical Project Coordinator in 2015. It was interesting to get involved in projects from start up to completion and archiving, but I really did miss working with the volunteers. I returned to the clinic in 2016 as a Clinical Lead, where I managed a team of technicians and nurses responsible for delivering studies.

I built a wealth of experience in delivering all types of studies and was later promoted to a Senior Clinical Lead with oversight of a larger team. I was also a key leader in driving more general clinic improvement projects, which led me to pursue a role focused on continuous improvement as an Operational Excellence and Performance Specialist. My main focus became driving improvement projects within the clinic, and that has led me to my current role.

What experience did you have before you worked at Quotient Sciences, and what learning or qualification have you gained in your time with the company so far?

Over the years and within the different roles that I’ve held at Quotient Sciences, I have learned so much about clinical trials and the pharmaceutical industry. I pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and following graduation, I started in my first role at Quotient Sciences in 2012 as a Clinical Scientist. For this role, a science degree was desirable but not mandatory.

I have completed training in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) protocols. GCP is critical for how trials are designed and conducted, and there are regulatory standards that must be upheld and involving areas such as documentation for the clinical protocol, record keeping, and training. I am also certified in providing Immediate Life Support (ILS). Most recently, in relation to my interests in continuous improvement, I have gained a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

At Nottingham, we also have implemented a Mental Health First Aider program, which is an internal program for colleagues. I have also completed training to be part of this program so I can aid colleagues who may need support.

What do you enjoy most about your role? And what is most challenging?

I love working in an exciting, fast paced environment. No two studies are the same and it is great to be such an integral part of the molecule journey. That said, sometimes, there’s just not enough hours in the day to achieve all that I want to achieve! But it’s great to keep busy and stay motivated, just need to be good at prioritizing!

What’s the team like?

We have a great team here who always rally to help each other and achieve great things! Our clinical team is a large team, and many of our team members work shifts so it is often challenging to get everyone together. The wider team, although we don’t often cross paths, when we do, everyone is always really friendly and approachable, and people will often go out of their way to make time for you even when they have a busy schedule.

What advice would you give to someone applying for a role in your team?

Work hard, stay focused, ask lots of questions and push yourself outside your comfort zone. Take every opportunity you get to learn new skills, listen to experts in other areas and observe what people do in other departments to gain a full understanding of the business.

What do you like most about working at Quotient Sciences?

It is a great company to work for, they understand individual needs and allow flexibility and the company is good at adapting in an ever-changing world.

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