Overview of Online Clinical Research Certificate Programs
Programs to earn a Clinical Research Certificate are typically designed for clinical researchers, professionals in the health industry, or those that have an interest in clinical research. These programs will help to prepare students to take the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) exam. Programs like this may also help to prepare students for the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) exam.
Clinical Research Certificate programs are usually offered to students at the graduate level. Students will need to earn around 15 credits before obtaining their certificate, and this can be done in one to two years. To gain admission into a program like this, students will need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, submit their transcripts, provide a resume, and some schools may require applicants to have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework.
Clinical Research Certificate Program Requirements
Those interested in earning a certificate in clinical research can complete their coursework online. Just a few of the topics that can be covered in these programs include compliance issues, clinical data management, and designing clinical studies.
A course covering the topic of compliance issues will teach students how to make clinical trials better, along with how to measure clinical trials. The class may also cover FDA regulations and how to submit a variety of applications like the New Drug Application and the Biologics License Application. Lastly, students will discover the regulations that are in place for products like drugs, healthcare devices, and biologics.
Clinical Data Management
This is a class that will break down the field of clinical data management to help students learn about the components and common regulations. Additional topics that can be covered are documentation, security of data, database design, and data management. Students may also get the chance to practice their skills and create a data management plan themselves.
Designing Clinical Studies
Designing clinical studies is a course where students will learn about different strategic problems and ethical issues that may need to be addressed when designing a clinical study. Students may even have the chance to test their knowledge by designing a clinical research study. Other areas that this class may touch on include creating a research question, bias, sample size, and statistical analysis.
Students that enroll in a class in regulatory affairs will learn about the processes of regulating different products in the medical field. The class will also discuss international regulatory systems and regulatory systems that are in place in the United States. Before the end of the course, students will also touch on the strategies that can be used to create products and how to get permission to market those products.
Career Outlook for Clinical Research Certificate
Students that earn a graduate certificate in clinical research can pursue careers as clinical research coordinators. They get to head clinical research organizations and deal with planning, handling personnel, and keeping the organization up-to-date on regulations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes clinical research coordinators with the group 'natural sciences managers,' who collectively earned a median salary of $129,100 in 2019. Job growth for this group is expected to be 6% from 2018 to 2028, which will create 3,700 more jobs.
A different career option for individuals with this certificate is as a clinical research associate, also known as a clinical data manager. Clinical research associates work in places like labs to conduct research, manage quality control, and produce reports. These workers fall under the BLS umbrella of 'statisticians'; as of 2019, the median wage for statisticians was $91,160. The rate of growth is expected to be 31% by 2028, creating 13,600 more jobs in the field.
Individuals that choose to pursue a certificate in clinical research can take classes in areas like regulatory affairs, clinical data management, and compliance issues. Just a couple of the jobs that someone could enter into after obtaining this certificate are as a clinical research associate or a clinical research coordinator.