About Clinical Research

Clinical research: an exciting career path

Choosing clinical research means choosing a career path that makes sense

Clinical research is a challenging career! Service to health and society is a path of great joy and satisfaction but comes with a lot of responsibilities.

In the last 50 years, science and medicine have gone through a series of drastic changes and constant advancements that keep humanity on a road of continuous progress. They are no miracles but the result of the sustained efforts of health care professionals including clinical research professionals. For people who want to strive to improve the world they are living in, and who want the privilege to enrich others’ lives, there is a place in clinical research.

A growing market with staff shortage

The staff shortage in this industry results from the combination of the fast expansion of the clinical trial sector and the increased regulations which are both leading to consequent needs for a more qualified workforce. This is happening everywhere in the world and Africa is no exception.

Numerous studies show that strengthening Clinical Research capacity and investing in training for Clinical Research staff across the board (Clinical Research Associates (CRAs), Clinical Trial Assistants (CTAs), Clinical Research Nurses (CRNs), Project Managers (PMs)) are highly needed in Western countries as well as in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).
Training and education to improve the quality, impact and efficiency of Clinical Research are key. However, besides limited funds and missing local infrastructure, a lack of appropriately trained Clinical Research staff remains a major hurdle worldwide.

The staff shortage has been recognised as one of the main reasons for a high turnover rate in Contract Research Organisations (CRO) which today, are the main employers in this sector.

Recent market surveys confirm that employers are struggling to find enough clinical research professionals, especially CRAs to fill the positions they advertise for.

This means that the industry is not affected by unemployment; instead, competitive salaries and great career progression perspectives are available.

Wide range and huge number of job opportunities

Several disciplines are involved in the management of a clinical trial.

  • Clinical Operations
    • Clinical project management
    • Clinical monitoring
    • Clinical Trial Assistance
  • Medical writing
  • Statistics
  • Data management
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Quality Assurance
  • Regulatory Affairs

Based on the complexity or the phase of the study, other departments may be involved.