Clinical Research

If you want to make your mark on the world, consider a career in clinical research. Clinical research involves studying humans to improve the knowledge and treatment of illnesses and diseases. You’ll have the opportunity to advance medicine and provide better patient care. Clinical research jobs can be found in several different settings from universities to pharmaceutical companies. Explore the different positions, salaries, and education requirements in clinical research.

Major Areas of Clinical Research

  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Diagnostic
  • Screening
  • Quality of Life
  • Genetic
  • Epidemiological

In-Demand Clinical Research Positions

  • CR Data Analyst
    Clinical research data analysts validate the results from information that is collected in clinical trials. They ensure the information is error-free and reliable. You’ll do well in this role if you are detailed oriented and enjoy working independently.
     
  • CR Coordinator/Lab Coordinator
    A clinical coordinator, also known as a lab coordinator, is in charge of supervising medical research and drug trials. They find the patients and screen them to ensure they fit the trial requirements. They are also in charge of the materials, supplies, and overseeing the budget.
     
  • CR Manager
    Clinical research managers oversee the entire department and are responsible for directing the trial, making sure protocols are followed. They implement effective strategies during the trial and give the staff feedback.
     
  • CR Assistant
    Clinical research assistants help with the trial, collecting the data, and analyzing the results. They may be in charge of setting up the trial, getting more participants, and collecting necessary paperwork and forms.
     
  • CR Medical Writer
    A clinical research medical writer produces documents such as reports and applications related to a clinical trial. They research, compose, and edit the documents to make sure they meet the legal requirements.  
     
  • CR Registered Nurse
    Clinical research registered nurses conduct scientific medical research to help improve patients' conditions and treatment. They collect data, analyze it, and report their findings in papers.  
     
  • CR Regulatory Manager
    A clinical regulatory manager acquirers government approval for drugs, medical devices, and nutrition products. They ensure compliance with government regulations and protocols and maintain records of documentation.
     
  • CR Research Scientist
    A clinical research scientist conducts scientific research for the advancement of medicine. They work with samples and investigate diseases that help physicians diagnose and treat patients.

Average Salaries for Clinical Research Professionals

Average salaries in clinical research can range anywhere from $47,000 to $100,000 a year depending on the level of education required for the position. Here is a list of the median salaries and hourly rates for jobs in clinical research:

Education Requirements

  • CR Data Analyst 
    A clinical research data analyst needs a bachelor’s degree in healthcare information management, statistics, or computer science, and two years of experience working with data. A master’s degree is not needed but will help in job searching. An additional certification with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) will increase opportunities.
     
  • CR Coordinator/Lab Coordinator 
    Clinical research or lab coordinators typically require a bachelor’s degree. After completing a program, you can apply for certification to get a Certified Research Certification through the Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).
     
  • CR Manager
    A clinical research manager needs at least a bachelor’s degree in business management, biology, or a related area of healthcare. Prior experience in management is often preferred by employers.  A CR manager can be certified through The Society for Clinical Data Management and the Society of Clinical Research Associates.
     
  • CR Assistant
    To be a clinical research assistant you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in biology, biotechnology, or phycology.
     
  • CR Medical Writer 
    Most clinical research medical writers have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism or English. Medical writers need basic writing and editing skills plus knowledge of the clinical trial process and procedures. Many CR medical writers are Ph.D.'s or MD’s who use their expertise to write.
     
  • CR Registered Nurse 
    A clinical research registered nurse first needs to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and be licensed as a registered nurse. They also need clinical experience as an RN. Once RNs meet these requirements, they can become a Certified Clinical Research Associate (CCRA) or Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC).
     
  • CR Regulatory Manager
    A bachelor’s degree in science is needed to be a regulatory manager. Education and knowledge in law and business are useful for the role. A masters can help advance your career as a regulatory manager. And a Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) is recommended for more career opportunities.
     
  • CR Research Scientist 
    A clinical research scientist has either a Ph.D. or MD. in biology or medicine. If a clinical research scientist performs tests on patients than they must have a license as an MD.

Common Clinical Research Practice Settings

A job within clinical research gives you a wide range of different environments you can work in. You can work in research facilities, hospitals, laboratories, universities, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, and the government.

Clinical Research FAQs

What are the phases of clinical trials?
Have you ever participated in a clinical trial or been invited to? A clinical trial is done to evaluate if medications and medical devices are safe and effective. Research is completed to try new methods that lead to diagnoses and treatment of diseases. There are four phases of a critical trial that starts with phase 0. Each phase builds on the last.

Phase 0: Only a few patients and a few doses are given out. The goal is to get a quick read on if a new drug may work and make sure it’s safe to test on humans.

Phase I: The test is expanded to a larger population size of patients and giving them the highest dose that can be given safely.

Phase II: They give the new medication to hundreds of people who have the condition to determine if treatments work.

Phase III: In phase III, the new drug is tested to see if it’s better than other available options. Participants are randomized and either get the standard treatment or the new treatment. Only the physician knows which one the patient is receiving.

Phase IV: The FDA has usually already approved the new medication if it makes it to phase IV. The drugs are available for physicians to prescribe to patients. Studies can continue on thousands of people to keep learning new information.

What is a CRO?
CRO stands for a contract research organization. A CRO is an organization that offers clinical study management services for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. They oversee the entire clinical trial process from start to finish. Different types of CROs focus on specialty areas. A CRO might hire medical writers, data analysts, regulatory managers, and other clinical research roles.

Are there part-time clinical job options?
Yes. Part-time jobs in clinical research are typically less than 30 hours a week. Working part-time offers more flexibility to spend time with family, go back to school, or simply maintain a better work-life balance.

What do CROs look for when hiring clinical research professionals? 
There are several qualities and requirements CROs look for in for hiring clinical research roles. Some of the things CROs look for are passion, loyalty, and flexibility. Every employer wants employees who are passionate about the work they are doing. Loyalty is especially important to CROs because of the high turnover rates. CROs require a lot of travel so a willingness to travel and be flexible will put you ahead of the competition.

Where can I find clinical research jobs?
ProLink Staffing can assist you to find a job in clinical research. We source a variety of clinical research and other jobs in the healthcare field. Here is a list of other sources to find clinical research jobs in your area.