Clinical research associates are commonly considered the backbone of medical trials held by many different companies and hospitals, and there are lots of clinical research associate jobs available for qualified professionals. Since clinical research trials are held by medical professionals in many different industries, qualified clinical research associates can find jobs with pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, government medical research organizations and hospitals around the world.
Before searching for clinical research associate jobs, applicants should fully understand the clinical research associate job description. A clinical research associate monitors clinical trials of new medical technologies and pharmaceuticals. A clinical research associate job entails visiting the site of a clinical trial, communicating with the medical researchers, reviewing case reports, and making sure the clinical trial follows protocol.
The most important part of the clinical research associate job is to verify that the clinical trial follows international quality standards set for medical trials involving human subjects, called Good Clinical Practice Guidelines. These international protocols ensure that human subjects in clinical trials are treated fairly and that the newly developed medicines or medical technologies are effective. No matter where a clinical research associate works, they must fully understand these international protocols.
One of the main sources for clinical research associate jobs is government agencies. For example, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) employs many clinical research associates because researchers at the agency perform clinical trials on all new pharmaceuticals that come on the market. There are also similar international organizations that employ clinical research associates to test drugs around the world; local government agencies also commonly employ clinical research associates.
Before new medical technologies can even get to the approval testing phase, they must be developed and tested by private companies. These private companies are also a good source of clinical research associate jobs. There are private biomedical research companies, for example, that hire senior clinical research associates to develop and test new medical technologies. Pharmaceutical companies often hire clinical research associates as well to work on site and develop new drugs; some companies also offer contract clinical research associate jobs for clinical trials held by independent medical research companies. These jobs typically are temporary, lasting only as long as the trial.
In addition to government agencies and private companies, there are also clinical research associate jobs available at hospitals around the world. Many hospitals associated with a university will run medical trials to develop new medical technologies and test new combinations of existing drugs. Even privately run hospitals conduct medical trials, and they can also be a source for clinical research associate jobs.