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Alison Bishop swapped her London job to become the director of data management at contract research organisation PPD in Scotland. She discovered her new life in Lanarkshire was refreshingly different and welcoming.

Why work in Scotland?

I had been working for a small contract research organisation in London and due to the company’s size, there wasn’t really any further opportunity for me to advance my career there. I contacted someone who I’d previously worked with who had moved back to Scotland. 

She liked it there and suggested that I apply to PPD. I did and three months later I was here. I work in the Bellshill office and live in Biggar so I have a bit of a commute. But it’s nothing compared to being in London. 

Working at PPD 

I’m director of data management and work with a team that helps run clinical trials for drug companies. The aim is to get those drugs to market as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the highest quality. 

PPD covers all of the various services from working with companies to discover molecules right through to presenting data to drugs authorities and beyond. 

PPD puts a lot of emphasis on work-life balance and there are lots of opportunities in the company in Scotland. 

Living in Scotland

It’s completely different to living in London. I spent my entire time not making eye contact and trying not to talk to people in London. But in Biggar you can be stopped a dozen times walking down the street because everyone is so friendly. 

It’s a really nice change – there’s a true sense of community. I expected to feel like more of an outsider but the people in Scotland - in particular in Biggar - have made me feel very welcomed. 

My husband is from New Zealand so if we were to move it would be much further south. But we’re very settled here anyhow. 

The community gives us everything that we’re looking for – a great way of life, clean air, fresh food direct from the farmers and friendly people. I don’t have plans to go anywhere else.

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