Clinical Research Coordinators play a critical role in the field of medical and clinical research. They coordinate and facilitate the daily clinical trial activities by collecting data from study participants, interviewing and enrolling eligible participants, monitoring clinical trial procedure, maintaining research logs, choosing the study site, arranging any follow-up visits and ensuring that all the work adheres to legal and safety guidelines. They also provide guidance on the administration of the study including compliance, financial, personnel and other related aspects.
Clinical Research Coordinators work under the direct supervision of the clinical principal investigators (PI). They assist the PI in the execution of research plan by overseeing clinical trials of new medications and treatments. They are employed in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, research labs, educational institutions etc.
To become a Clinical Research Coordinator, the aspiring candidates need to complete a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in a field like medical technology, microbiology, public health, nursing or training as a Registered Nurse. The candidates can also earn a master’s degree in science in related areas for a better job prospect in this field. The common syllabus includes human anatomy, pharmacology, epidemiology, microbiology, healthcare ethics, statistics etc.
However, some employers prefer the job aspirants with experience in the areas of nursing, pharmaceuticals, medical research etc.
Certification and Licensure
Since a Clinical Research Coordinator requires a license in many states of the USA, the aspiring candidates need to obtain an exam-based license. The candidates can also earn certification from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).
Apart from clinical knowledge, the Clinical Research Coordinators possess wide range of skills such as excellent resource management and problem solving abilities, motivating and decision making capacities, ability to establish and maintain cordial relationship with staff members and other stake holders, pleasant oral and writing communication skills, proficiency in basic computer knowledge etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Clinical Research Coordinator remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 14% during 2012-2022. The average annual salary of a Clinical Research Coordinator was $55,440 in 2014.