A clinical trial coordinator manages medical research studies and clinical trials. They are often employed by pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment designers and other health manufacturers. Essentially they coordinate experiments and research related to medicine.
From start to finish, clinical trial coordinators manage the operational aspects of medical research studies, also known as clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment designers and other health-related manufacturers use clinical trials to test the effectiveness and safety of a new product. Individuals with experience in research and an associate's degree in applied science may land a position as a clinical trial coordinator, often called a clinical research coordinator (CRC).
|Required Education||Associate's degree in applied science|
|Other Requirements||Previous research experience|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) *||3% for all natural sciences managers|
|Median Salary (2016) **||$46,564|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **PayScale.com
General Responsibilities of a Clinical Trial Coordinator
Typically working under the direction of a scientist or medical researcher, clinical trial coordinators use media outlets, questionnaires and interviews to recruit and screen research participants. They also oversee staff recruitment and education regarding the design, length and other details of the research study. Coordinators schedule tests and experiments, make sure samples get to labs as necessary, watch over the study's data collection process and file the necessary reports regarding the study's progress.
Clinical trial coordinators collect and review data for various aspects of the medical study to check for accuracy. They also identify and may suggest solutions to data collection problems during the trial. Working closely with researchers, they help develop or review study protocols to ensure compliance with standards put forth by state and federal regulatory bodies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A clinical trial coordinator's responsibilities might also include payroll management and making recommendations for keeping the study on budget. They may work with the sponsors of a trial to extend funding or meet with potential sponsors. They typically maintain staff schedules and might also terminate staff when necessary.
Clinical trial coordinators sometimes work directly with participants, scheduling tests or dispensing medication for pharmaceutical trials. They may educate families regarding the potential pitfalls and other details of medical research projects.
Finalizing the Study
Once the research trial is complete, the clinical trial coordinator is generally responsible for collecting the final data and making sure the reports contain the information required by various agencies. While they don't generally write manuscripts for publication, coordinators often gather, sort and turn over information as required to a medical writer who creates a final manuscript regarding the study's findings.
Salary and Career Information
PayScale.com reports that in January 2016, clinical research coordinators who earned salaries in the 10th-90th percentile range took home $34,224 - $65,401, with a median of $46,564. The Academy of Clinical Research Professionals offers the Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC) credential; a minimum of education and experience is required to qualify for the exam. Certification must be renewed every two years.
Clinical trial coordinators must have great communication skills, they must be thorough and observant, have a strong understanding of research practices and understand the medical products they are being tasked with testing. It also helps to be organized, have leadership qualities and have the capacity to motivate groups in the name of science.