How to Know if Clinical Research is Right for You
At the foundation of every clinical trial are the professionals who ensure its successful execution. From start to finish, clinical research professionals play a vital role in every aspect of a clinical trial.
For instance, a CRC manages all the logistics of a study and is responsible for its day-to-day operations. A CRA oversees the conduct of studies at investigative sites to ensure that they are conducted according to the protocol. And a CTA helps design studies and provides support during the actual trial itself.
How to Know if Clinical Research is Right for You
While there is a broad range of skills and responsibilities that fall under the umbrella of clinical research, there are a few key skills and traits that are essential for anyone considering a career in this field.
A career in clinical research generally requires at least a bachelor’s degree, although many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or higher. There are a number of specific degrees that can prepare you for a career in clinical research, including degrees in health sciences, life sciences, nursing and public health.
The best thing you can do while studying for a degree that will prepare you for a career in clinical research is to get involved in as many research projects as possible. Many colleges and universities offer opportunities for students to participate in research projects, and this experience can be invaluable when it comes time to apply for jobs.
Doing so will allow you to develop the skills you need to be successful in clinical research and give you a better understanding of what the job entails. It will also allow you to network with other professionals in the field, which can be helpful when it comes time to find a job.
Anyone can learn the ins and outs of clinical research through education and training. However, there are certain skills that are critical for success in this field:
- Organizational Skills: The ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and keep track of complex details is essential in clinical research. In a research setting, one small mistake can have a big impact on the success of the entire study.
- Communication Skills: Clinical research professionals must be able to effectively communicate with a wide range of people, including patients, doctors, and other researchers. They need to be able to explain complex concepts in simple terms and present data in a way that is easy to understand.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Clinical research is an ever-changing field, and clinical research professionals need to be able to adapt to new situations and solve problems quickly. They must be able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions when challenges arise.
- Detail-Oriented: Clinical research professionals need to be able to pay attention to the smallest details. They must be able to spot errors and discrepancies in data and make sure that everything is accurate.
- Time-Management: Clinical research projects can be very time-sensitive, and clinical research professionals need to be able to manage their time efficiently. The ability to meet deadlines and keep studies on track is essential to the success of any project - especially those that involve human subjects.
How to Get a Clinical Research Job
While clinical research professionals can come from a variety of backgrounds, the pool of qualified candidates is relatively small. As such, it can be difficult to get a job in clinical research, especially if you don’t have any experience.
The best way to increase your chances of getting a job in clinical research is to gain as much experience as possible. The more experience you have, the better your chances of landing a job. There are a few ways to gain experience in the field, including volunteering, working as a research assistant, or participating in clinical trials.
Another way to increase your chances of getting a job in clinical research is to network with other professionals in the field. Attend conferences and events, join professional organizations, and get involved in the community. The more people you know, the better your chances of hearing about job openings and getting your foot in the door.
Finally, consider pursuing a degree or certification in clinical research. While not required, having a degree or certification can make you more competitive for jobs. Many colleges and universities offer programs specifically designed for students interested in careers in clinical research.
Types of Clinical Research Jobs
There are many jobs to consider in the field of clinical research. Do a bit of research on the duties of each position to see if any of them sound like a good match for your skills and interests. Try to imagine yourself in each role, and see if it is something you could see yourself doing long-term.
Here are a few clinical research jobs that are currently available:
Organic Medicinal Chemist: Develops and tests new drugs and medications.
Toxicology Researcher: Studies the effects of chemicals and drugs on living organisms.
Infectious Disease Researcher: Investigates the causes, treatments, and prevention of infectious diseases.
Clinical Research Nurse: Provides care for participants in clinical trials and assists with research procedures.
Study Coordinator: Develops and manages clinical trials.