Clinical Research Advancement
How to Advance as A Clinical Research Professional
There are several levels of advancement within a clinical research professional’s career.
- Study coordinators
- Research associates
- Clinical project managers
- Medical writers
- Case report form designers
- Research statisticians
- Clinical database designers
- Research scientists
All of these career paths have potential to make career moves. When the economy is booming it is easy to aspire to a new career and focus on changes and new challenges. When the economy is in a slump we tend to appreciate that we have a job and an income to take home. If you are ready to advance as a clinical research professional consider some of these ideas to become prepared for your next career move.
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ACRP and/or SOCRA
Become a member of a nationally recognized organization and obtain certification in the area of interest you have. Nonprofit organizations such as the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) promote clinical trial excellent by offering training opportunities, conferences, and certification. The goals of both organizations are similar: promote clinical research educational opportunities and resources to a range of professionals. Although there are slight differences between these organizations, both offer exam certification and educational opportunities that are valuable as you advance in your career.
Master’s Degree in Clinical Research
Consider getting masters in business administration (MBA) or a clinical research degree. A degree such as an MBA will enrich your portfolio and help your credentialing. You do not necessarily need the experience if you have the education and vice versa. As the profession grows, so does the interest the university and college interest in expanding and adding more clinical research programs. Once a rarity, there are several degrees offered across the United States and opportunities to each a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree.
Become Culturally Diverse
Clinical trials are moving rapidly to a global level. Explore other cultures and broaden your interests to include cultural differences. Take interest in the goals of your boss and try to align yourself with them. Learn from your mistakes and from other peoples. Listen to your colleagues to learn how they got to where they are at and what you can do to avoid mistakes they’ve made in the past. Culturally diversifying your portfolio will open the door for new opportunities.
Keep up with the new technologies such as the rapidly changing data services: Electronic data capture, trial management software, and eDiaries. Clinical trials are becoming increasingly complicated and large scale. To focus on your next career decisions try to familiarize yourself with the changing technologies. Stay current with training opportunities and learn from the expertise of your colleagues in the profession.
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