Beginner CRA

CRA BASICS, TIPS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR ENTRY LEVEL CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES OR THOSE INTERESTED IN BECOMING CLINICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES

How to Get the CRA Job Part 2: CRA Job descriptions and Which is the one for you

When I started applying for CRA jobs I only had 6 months or clinical research experience (No monitoring mind you) and I applied to EVERYTHING. I mean it did not matter to me what the qualifications were as long as it had CRA/Monitoring in the title, I applied. Needless to say I did not get a job until a year and a half later and I know it had everything to do with the way I was applying and also to do with the added experience to my resume (I stayed at my clinical research job until I got a better one <–Recommended).

applying-for-a-j

So now that you have some experience under your belt in clinical research (See Part 1) you are ready to start job searching for that perfect CRA job. Now, I urge you not to apply for ANY and EVERY single CRA job you come across. Rather, I would like for you take a targeted approach to job searching. Here is what you should look for:

 

  1. Minimum 2 years monitoring experience. This is pretty standard as a job requirement but you do not want to apply to jobs with a requirement of more experience than this (unless you have the experience)

 

  1. On-Site monitoring 50% travel- you do not want to travel less than 50 % because you want to gain more experience starting out. The more you travel the more exposure you get to the job. Usually more travel is commensurate with more pay (but not always).

 

  1. Key Phrases and word: Under supervision; as assigned, under direction, with assistance from, assist project management. These phrases suggest that you will be reporting to a manager and will be taking direction from him/her. If you are applying for entry-level CRA jobs this is exactly what you need. You want to have someone who you can report to and seek guidance from who has more experience than you for direction when things go wrong.

 

Here are some examples of what a job description should look like for an entry-level CRA position:

 

Clinical Research Associate

  • Manage projects under direction of a Project Manager or Project Director.
  • Review progress of projects and initiate appropriate actions to achieve target objectives.
  • Organize and make presentations at Investigator Meetings.
  • Report, write narratives and follow-up on serious adverse experiences.
  • Participate in writing clinical trial reports
  • Interact with internal work groups to perform tasks according to specific timelines.
  • Responsible for all aspects of site management
  • Responsible for all aspects of study site monitoring including routine monitoring and close-out of clinical sites, maintenance of study files, conduct of pre-study and initiation visits
  • General On-Site Monitoring Responsibilities

Here are some examples of what a job description should look like for a senior level CRA position.

Senior Clinical Research Associate

  • All Aspects of site monitoring activities for assigned applicable sites
  • Serve as lead monitor for a protocol or project and may assist in establishing monitoring plans as assigned.
  • Review progress of projects and initiate appropriate actions to achieve target objectives.
  • Training and supervising cross functional site personnel on study related procedures for the duration of the study.
  • Tracking enrollment activities to ensure sites remain on track with site commitments. Develop contingency plans to ensure commitments are made
  • Organize and make presentations at Investigator Meetings.
  • Report, write narratives and follow-up on serious adverse experiences.
  • Participate in the development of protocols and Case Report Forms
  • Participate in writing clinical trial reports
  • Interact with internal work groups to perform tasks according to specific timelines
  • Act as contact for clinical trial supplies and other suppliers (vendors) and act as primary contact for CROs
  • Responsible for all aspects of study site monitoring including routine monitoring and close-out of clinical sites, maintenance of study files, conduct of pre-study and initiation visits
  • General On-Site Monitoring Responsibilities
  • Serve a liaison to resolve medical safety issues
  • Proactively identifies potential issues and develops corrective/preventive action plans.
  • Key contributor to TMF and country level documents
  • Contributor in the preparation for audit
  • Manage site level and region level budget
  • Identify country level issues

 

As you can see, the senior level position comes with added responsibility. The job description for the Senior CRA position has a requirement of 6-7 years of drug development experience, of which 5 years are of site monitoring experience. The role includes study design and management. This position is a hop, skip and a jump away from being a project management role.

 

Can you see how this can be a stretch for a beginner?

 

I hope this post helps you take a more targeted approach to applying to CRA jobs.

 PS: Please sign up to receive tips I cannot share in a public forum here

-Sara

Advertisements

One comment on “How to Get the CRA Job Part 2: CRA Job descriptions and Which is the one for you

  1. Elias
    July 20, 2014

    That’s interesting. Thanks for the tip, will definitely look out for these variations when applying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: