Quintiles, the world’s largest contract research organization, produced this series of “South Park”-style videos promoting careers with the firm. CROs can be a great place to start a clinical research career because they provide exposure to a variety of clinical trial protocols and therapeutic areas. The Quintiles website includes a journal that gives an idea of how a clinical research associate spends her time on site visit and office days.
Here’s an amusing look at a day in the life of a CRA (Clinical Research Associate) on a site visit. This video is a parody, but it does give you a sense of what site visits are all about.
A CRA may spend 60-80% of their time on the road conducting these visits. Their job is to monitor the conduct of clinical trials, ensuring that research sites are enrolling patients and carrying out the trial correctly, following both the trial protocol and ICH-GCP conduct guidelines. They review a lot of documentation, check site supplies and generally watch out for problems.
When there are problems, a CRA needs to help get the clinical site staff back on the right track, and so they need to have excellent communication and negotiation skills. It can take a lot of diplomacy to get clinical investigators and their staff to change the way they do things in a busy clinic!
The sound in the embedded clip isn’t synchronized quite right. You can see a higher-quality version at the ResearchPoint site. They are the CRO (Contract Research Organization) that created the video.
You can read more about what a CRA job is all about in this earlier article.
One of my favourite motivational speakers is Dave Howlett, a former pharmaceutical sales manager (Hoescht Marion Roussel, GenSci OCF) and corporate executive (Sciax Technology, the MAGNES Group) who now gives entertaining presentations on the arts of sales and networking.
Dave suggests that you should always wear a lapel pin as an aid to your networking efforts: “People look for points of commonality with you. Where you came from. The school your kids go to. Whether you own cats or dogs. Even the pin you wear on your suit gives people an opportunity to find out what you do for fun on weekends. That invites conversation and relationship-building.”
If you love science, then Made With Molecules is a great place to find jewelery, cards and gifts that express your interest and can provide an opener for conversation at conferences and other networking events, or help your thank-you notes stand out and be remembered. They’re made by Raven Hanna, PhD, a former molecular biophysicist who left the lab to share her love of science in a different way.