As we all are aware, clinical trials and clinical research is required for each and every drug and device in order to ensure that they are effective as well as safe to use. This requirement of today's world makes the individuals to be employed into the various processes of clinical research and clinical trials and they are playing a vital role in the evaluation of new treatments. (1)
Now, India is emerging as a hub for clinical research! Therefore, the demand for the professionals in this particular field is growing in a rapid phase. Soon, there will be a huge demand for clinical research professionals thereby making it an interesting career option that holds a huge growth potential.
It is to be noted that, clinical research is set to become the next big career option in the country. A larger human resource coupled with the substantial workforce and the cost benefits has started to influence the multinational companies to set up clinical research facilities in the country. On the other hand, the prevalence of a wide range of diseases, India is being viewed as the ideal location for clinical research and clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industries. (2)
Clinical Research - A Multi-Disciplinary Approach!
So, what is clinical research? This is a field of applied research which involves the study on the effects, risks, benefits as well as the efficacy of an investigational drug. The primary purpose of a clinical research will be to evaluate the medication under investigation in order to know whether it is effective and safe to use. In addition, the clinical trials will let us know the appropriate dosage as well as the route of administration of the investigational drug. As such, these trials are carried out at various stages and are conducted either by pharmaceutical companies themselves or by the contract research organizations on their behalf. (2), (3)
Are you willing to pursue your career in this interesting field of science? This article will help you in knowing about various career opportunities in the clinical research field:
Research Positions will be a Great Choice!
In the clinical arena, the research positions would deal with the processes of drug discovery and its testing. The opportunities are wide and you can choose from the entry-level to high-level position in this particular criterion. What are the options for you in research?
As mentioned above, the entry-level job position in almost all the pharmaceutical companies will be the lab technician. I would say that, the work could be quite tedious yet a lab technician position will prove to be an excellent gateway into the pharmaceutical industry. As a lab technician, you will have to perform the following routine maintenance tasks:
- Cleaning and maintaining the laboratory glassware
- Working with the animal colonies
- Operating the laboratory equipment
- Keeping the labs functioning
In order to become a lab technician, you would require a high school diploma as the minimum qualification.
Clinical Research Associate:
If you have gained a Bachelor's or Master's degree in biochemistry or any related field and previous lab experience, then you could find your job as a research associate. Most typically, the clinical research associates would work at the bench and conduct experiments and analyze data under the supervision of doctoral scientists. If you have some lab experience without a Ph.D, then this will be the job for you!
Clinical Research Specialist:
This is the position above the research associate and is sometimes referred to as 'pharmaceuticals specialists'. As a clinical research specialist, you would have more autonomy in addition to the creative input into your clinical research when compared with the research associate.
After having received your Ph.D and completing your Post-doc, you can be able to acquire the position as an associate scientist. As an associate scientist, you would:
- Design the experiment
- Conduct the experiment
- Write up results for publication
Associate scientists would have considerable autonomy over the research being conducted. What is the next step after associate scientist? It is the scientist-A position where you would involve in running the lab. In addition, you would plan as well as execute the large scale research projects. The next step will be the senior scientist. Being in this position, you would oversee the work of various other scientists. Yes, you are no longer required to work in the lab.
Clinical Development Jobs will be Great Too!
Not only the research area; the clinical development area also would offer you with various career opportunities. What are the various career options in this area of clinical research and development?
Clinical Research Physician:
He/she is an MD who would develop as well as implement various plans for initiating the experimental drugs via the pre-approval clinical trials. As a clinical research physician, you would work on cross-functional teams in order to broaden the understanding of the following dimensions of the investigational drug under study:
Regulatory Affairs Associate:
If you are seeking for a job in science background but don't wish to work in lab, then, this is the job for you. As a regulatory affairs associate, you would complete the paperwork that are required by the regulatory agencies. Also, you would communicate with the regulatory agencies for asking questions or resolving issues.
The biostatistician job position would require you to perform the following tasks:
- Preparing analysis plans for clinical studies
- Designing tables and figures that would display clear information
- Interpreting final study data
- Writing the statistical sections of clinical study reports
Ultimately, biostatistician would report to the head of the particular therapeutic division.
Clinical Data Manager:
Clinical data manager is a person who would supervise all the aspects of clinical data. As a clinical data manager, you would specify how the metrics should be collected. Also, you would assist in standardizing the data management procedures for the purposes of:
- Internal operations
- External reporting
Medical Science Liaison:
The Medical Science Liaison would interact with physicians and scientists for the purpose of maximizing the acceptance as well as the proper usage of company products. (4)
Thus, the clinical research field has broad range of career opportunities and the field is fast growing too!