Clinical Research as a Career

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Career in Clinical Research

Clinical Research Career application of Information Technology to Medical Sciences resulted in several advancements in the field. Clinical research is one of the sub – fields of Medical Sciences that made significant progress, propelled by the support of IT.

Clinical research is applied research. It deals with determining the effectiveness of medical drugs, devices and diagnostic products through clinical trials. In simple terms, it is a series of tests conducted to verify whether a drug or device is safe and effective when it is used to treat or diagnose a medical situation. Clinical trials are conducted in various phases, ranging from trials on animals to humans.

The stages of clinical trials involve human beings, healthy volunteers and patients suffering from a particular disease. These need to be performed to the highest standards. Clinical research begins by taking approval from the Drug Controller General ( India ) and Ethics Committee to conduct the trials. The trial should be in line with the guidelines in Good Clinical Practice, a standard for clinical trials. These measures are to ensure the safety of volunteers and patients and to protect their rights.

A clinical trial is a broad procedure. The drug manufacturer ( or a Clinical Research organisation ) supplies the drug to be tested to physicians. The physician administers the drug to the subjects. He works along with representatives of the manufacturer to generate quality data on the responses to the drug by the subjects. This data is documented and sent for analysis. This process is done several times on several subjects in different places.

Clinical Research Career Opportunities :

Thanks to outsourcing by countries like US and United Kingdom, the field of clinical research is growing exponentially in India. Taking advantage of low cost and diverse population ( patients with many diseases and ethnic, diversity ), several foreign companies are flocking to India to conduct large scale global trials. This has pushed the country to the forefront of global ‘clinical research field. On the other hand, it created a huge demand for experts overseeing clinical trials across various locations. Some reports point that there is a scarcity of qualified people to work in this field. So, growth is also promising in this field.

Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Glaxo Smithkline, Astra Zeneca, Nicholas Piramal, Roche, Novartis, SIRO Clinpharm, and Wellquest are some major companies that have significant number of clinical projects running in various hospitals and medical institutions in India.

Coming to opportunities abroad, there are tremendous opportunities in Europe In Asia, Singapore is an important destination. However, to work abroad, candidates should be aware of global regulatory environment. Having a qualification that is recognized abroad, improves the prospects.

Clinical Research Job Roles :

A clinical trial involves a great deal of data collection and analysis. Supply of drugs, documentation of observations, providing support during adverse events, audits, quality assurance, are elements of the procedure. These areas are prospective opportunities of employment for those looking forward to a career in this field. Some roles available are Clinical Research Associate / Analyst, Investigator, Site Coordinator, Clinician, Project Manager, Data Manager, Programmer, Statistician and Medical Writer.

One becomes eligible to assume these roles based on ones academic background and experience. For instance, analysts should have Pharmacy or Medical Sciences background because they have to understand how a drug or treatment works on human body. A data manager should possess strong IT skills and needs little or no knowledge of medicine or pharmacy.

Skills for Clinical Research Career :

To begin a career in the field of Clinical Research, candidates must have a degree in life sciences or medical sciences. Then, they can pursue a short-term or long term course related to clinical research, based on their aptitude and aspirations.

Apart from good technical skills, ability to multi task, strong communication skills and decent local language skills are required to work in this field. Candidate must possess skills and traits specifically essential to the job role. For instance, a clinical research associate should be passionate about research. A clinical data manager should have sharp analytical skills.

More than anything else, professionals involved in clinical research should be ethical in practice. They should be committed to strictly adhering to the statutory guidelines for clinical trials. Self disciplined, self confident, self motivated, and ability to work without supervision or under remote managers, good team playing capabilities and willingness to travel are the requisites to succeed in this field.

Remuneration for Clinical Research Career :

A career in Clinical Research is lucrative. Also, career progression is quite fast. The starting salary could be around ₹ 3,00,000 per annum and may increase to around ₹ 6,00,000 per annum in two or three years. Additional perks include traveling abroad on projects.

So, if you are a student of life sciences wondering what to do next, you can pursue Clinical Research. This field, apart from satisfying your thirst to pursue sciences, gives you the opportunity to contribute to the progress of the field and help society.

Clinical Research Career Institutes & Courses :

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