A Clinical Research Associate (CRA) is a life sciences professional who monitors clinical trials that test drugs for their effectiveness and confirms that they are safe to put on the market for consumers.
Responsibilities may include:
– Writing trial protocols
– Setting up trial sites
– Monitoring participants
– Ensuring trials comply with practice standards
– Collecting, distributing, and storing data
Where Does a CRA Work?
The day-to-day activities and responsibilities of a CRA can vary from company to company, particularly in the private sector. CRAs can typically find work within Clinical Research Organizations (CRO), pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and, occasionally, in hospital academic departments.
Depending on the organization, study size and CRA job, a CRA may be required to travel to the sites or work remotely.
What Is the Job Demand for CRAs?
Clinical research associates fall under the category of medical scientists, for whom employment is projected to increase 8% from 2022 to 2028. This is faster than the 5% average for all occupations. With an expanding population, increasing population density and the growing frequency of international travel, the spread of new and existing diseases could increase. This will increase the need for clinical research associates to help with the creation of new drugs and vaccines to combat these illnesses and diseases.
It takes strong statistical knowledge, excellent verbal and written communications skills, and the ability to work collaboratively in a diverse team.
Bachelor’s degree in life, health or physical sciences; social sciences, biology, chemistry, math, nursing, or adjacent field
Attention to detail, good data management skills, and the ability to build relationships and influence people
Good, communication, interpersonal, and customer service skills
Willingness to travel to various clinical trial sites