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How to start your career in clinical research?

There is a number of ways into the industry and numerous opportunities to enter the world of clinical trials.

Jobs in Pharma - How to start your career in clinical research?

Many pharmaceutical companies, CROs and recruitment companies working in life science sector often receive applications from candidates who do not have any clinical research experience, however their goal is to work in this area.

Prepare your CV

If you want to start your career in clinical trials you need to be realistic about the level of roles that you can apply for. If you do not have any industry experience, you are not very likely to be considered for anything above an entry level role. As with any vacancies, if you apply for clinical research jobs, make sure that you read each job description carefully and highlight on your CV relevant experience that matches the specific advertisement.

Gain first experience

It is usually a requirement for candidates to hold a life science degree - depending on the position - and typical career path is to start with a Clinical Trial Assistant (CTA) role, which is mostly administrative and support position. It is usually required to gain 1-2 years of experience as a CTA before progressing into Clinical Research Associate (CRA) function focusing on visiting sites and monitoring clinical trials. From there you can move with time towards project and team management roles, e.g. Clinical Project Manager (CPM) or Clinical Team Manager (CTM). Some candidates undertake postgraduate education and MBA courses to help their careers at that stage, too.

Look for best opportunities

Working in clinical research can be certainly a rewarding career, so it is worth investing your time into looking at your options carefully and choosing the pathway that suits you most. There are hundreds of international jobs in clinical trials from a variety of advertisers on -,8 including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device companies as well as CROs and recruitment companies specialized in life sciences.