Research coordinators, as their names would suggest, organize research activities to ensure that the best quality research and that regulatory standards are being followed. In order to hold this position, a person must go through a training process that teaches them a variety of skills such as acting as a liaison with agencies in addition to already holding a degree.
Research coordinators handle day-to-day plans and activities for clinical research trials to ensure regulatory compliance and study integrity. They typically work with principal investigators at clinics, businesses or organizations. Education and training for these workers varies by industry, but most hold associate's or bachelor's degrees. Some business positions may require research coordinators to have graduate degrees.
|Required Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree; some jobs call for a master's degree|
|Projected Job Growth||3% for all natural science managers from 2014-2024*|
|Median Salary||$46,564 (2016)**|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com
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Research Coordinator Training
Research coordinators are trained in written and verbal communication skills, along with specific skills dictated by the expected occupational duties, which may include liaising with oversight boards and agencies, recruiting study volunteers and maintaining a study's compliance with medical research regulations. A keen eye for detail allows a research coordinator to catch potential mistakes that undermine a research project. Most employers also familiarize research coordinators with equipment and work environments.
The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (www.acrpnet.org) and the Society of Clinical Research Associates (www.socra.org) offer voluntary certifications for clinical research coordinators. The ACRP offers the Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC) certification, while SoCRA has the Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) certification. Both certifications require minimum levels of education and experience to take the certification examinations.
Entry-level vocations for research coordinators usually require completion of an associate's degree program in clinical research coordination or a bachelor's degree program in life sciences or a healthcare-related field. Some employers accept research coordinators with degrees in social science, like sociology. Businesses may require a research coordinator with a master's degree if the project requires an additional level of expertise.
Research coordinators in all specializations and at all degree levels generally take the same core courses. Courses in clinical research coordination degree programs include legal aspects of research, project management and research terminology. Alongside these technical courses, research coordinators take communication classes to facilitate their role overseeing relationships of team members on research projects.
Not only do research coordinators need formal education via postsecondary schooling. Beyond that they'll also need to go through specialized on-the-job training where they'll learn about more specific functions related to their work.