Clinical research is an area that requires expertise in the field such as but not limited to; Medical writers, bio-statisticians, study co-ordinators, monitors, clinical trial managers, data specialists, and many more. As it is a fast-growing industry in India, there is a surge in demand for prospective candidates related to medical education or health sciences, which have the necessary education and skills. Opportunities for clinical trials are increasing day by day.
With the on-going Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it has only led to a further demand for more healthcare professionals to help the nation in its fight against it.
I believe many of us are not selecting a jo but rather the job is selecting us. Let me explain. When we finish our education, we target MNCs, and as a fresher, MNCs are challenging. Many succeed, many do not. The next step to this will be: “Whatever job is available, we will opt-in” hence the job is selecting us. Let’s go with the flow…huh?
As a student, how do you visualize clinical trials as? I remember, when I was in M.Pharm, I imagined clinical trials from a theoretical point of view. Probably because of the traditional education system. I would like you to think practically here. Which job profile suits you and what are your goals in life? You can then select your job accordingly.
Career options in clinical research are linked to the clinical research degree/ diploma, B.Pharm, M.Pharm, Bsc, Msc which one possesses. It also linked to the basic qualification / major subject the person is associated with. For example, a person having a pharmaceutical degree e.g. B.Pharm or M.Pharm with a stronghold of drug information could opt for the pharmacovigilance domain. Similarly, a doctor could work on-site ( hospital which facilitates clinical trials) or medical writing, or a biostat could go for the biostatistics department of clinical research.
Let’s have a look of job opportunities in clinical trials. These are the few options that I thought of sharing. There are other jobs as well which are available:
Clinical research coordinator
Also called research nurses, site managers and clinical study coordinators, clinical research coordinators (CRCs) are responsible for the daily operations of clinical research studies at a site (here site means where CT conduct) level like hospitals, independent medical practices, universities, medical schools, and other research companies and institutions. CRCs may provide direct care or treatment to patients participating in a study, work with the study’s principal investigators, recruit study subjects, writing source documents, and more. The background of most CRCs is in nursing, D.pharm, B.pharm, and other healthcare professions. If you are looking for CRCs’ job, you can approach nearby hospitals where trials conduct. CRCs can set the goal further for the CRA job.
Clinical Trial Assistant (CTA)
The Clinical Trial Assistant is responsible for support in meeting activities such as organizing and planning meetings (e.g. investigator-, project-, team- meetings), and provide meeting minutes. CTA also support for the correct filing and archiving of clinical trial documents, and the maintenance of study files. Provides The Clinical Trial Assistant assists in gather and the preparation of documents for clinical trial applications for submission and approval from the competent authority and ethical committees. If you are looking for a CRA job, you can approach CROs or pharma companies.
Clinical Research Associate
The clinical research associate/CRA also called a monitor or trial monitor, works with clinical trial sites to monitor studies and ensure that standard regulatory, operations and ethical standards are being followed. Clinical research associates are connecting links between the site and CROs/Sponsor. CRAs might be employed by pharmaceutical companies, government research agencies, or medical research institutes, and often travel between study sites for monitoring visits, as well as conducting virtual visits.
CRAs often obtain their clinical research experience through working as CRCs. The monitor/CRAs goes to the site to analyze the data and raise queries to CRCs or concerned stakeholders to correct the errors. Also, the data managers approach monitors for data clarification and cleaning. If you are looking for a CRA job, you can approach CROs or pharma companies. This is a good field to opt and if you love travelling then you have an added advantage. You can set your goal towards the project manager.
Clinical Data Management
It is a critical phase of a clinical trial where data is collected, analyzed, and accessed to find discrepancies and then managing those discrepancies to produce error-free data. This clean data helps in better interpretation of the clinical aspect of investigational product (drug on which the clinical trial is being conducted). The job market is good in this field in metropolitan cities. If you have good analytical skills and stronghold in computer applications, you can take this as an option. If you are looking for a CDM job, you can approach CROs or pharma companies.
Pharmacovigilance (PV or PhV), also known as drug safety, is the pharmacological science relating to the collection, detection, assessment, monitoring, and prevention of adverse effects with pharmaceutical products. (Source: Google). This is also a growing field and could be considered the basis of your interest and previous qualification.
Writing, communication and marketing professionals with a medical, therapeutic or scientific background play a vital role in research. They write materials for a trial like protocol, scientific publications, and other documents such as abstracts, posters, manuscripts, scientific presentations. They may be involved in writing, scientific documentation, patient, publicity campaigns and stakeholder communications, and more. Read an article on FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD MEDICAL WRITING.
Clinical project manager
Clinical research is a complex enterprise with teams, multiple stakeholders, tasks, and challenges. Project managers should have advanced skills in project management techniques and methodologies and apply them to coordinate all aspects of a clinical study. This position demands more than 7 years of CRA experience.
There is no single career in clinical trials. There are various job opportunities in clinical trials. I will add more job list gradually.
As a fresher, it is important to find an accomplished mentor who can give appropriate advice considering your abilities, drive, personal impact stability, etc which can open your doors.
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connect me, If you have any queries or want to know about more for opportunities in clinical trials or anything related to clinical trials. You can direct message me on Linked In.
Author : Shahenaz Karadesai