job opportunities as a CRA

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Comments (46)

sunil in Brampton, Ontario

87 months ago

Dear,
someone will tell me job future of this position?

thanks

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Burned Out in Spokane, Washington

83 months ago

Hello Sunil,

The future of the CRA/ site monitor occupation may be different in Canada than in the USA. Here in the USA the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not been impressed with the quality of monitoring at investigational research sites since 1999. They have recently indicated that the quality of monitoring of clinical research sites is steadily declining. The FDA believes this may be happening because the rapid turn over and burn out rate of CRAs is less than 2 years. This means the industry is constantly replacing CRAs who have some experience with new and inexperienced CRAs. Hence, the CRA workforce is largly comprised of people who have a heartbeat instead of people who are skilled which keeps the quality of site monitoring low.

I am telling you this because if the FDA should ever really take control of how clinical research sites are monitored in the USA, then, there will be major changes in the occupation of a CRA here in the states. But in Canada, doesn't the Ministry of Health oversee the quality of monitoring?

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Chris R in Phoenix, Arizona

83 months ago

by rapid turn over and burn out rate what exactly do you mean? people getting tired of traveling so much?

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kev in Brooklyn, New York

83 months ago

Chris R in Phoenix, Arizona said: by rapid turn over and burn out rate what exactly do you mean? people getting tired of traveling so much?

repetitive work..think as a paper work sweatshop labor in a cubicle only that this cubicle is different everyday and at a different site and yes, the traveling is ok at first, but once you get a family, it becomes difficult.

most cras hired these days are all previous bio majors who decided to not persue medschool or postpone it...after 2 year or so, most of these cra feel they have enough exposer to help their med school app...thus they leave for a better future or to other companies with higher wages

thus the high turnover rate...theres a reason why CROs are always looking for new CRAs

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Burned Out in Spokane, Washington

83 months ago

Chris R in Phoenix, Arizona said: by rapid turn over and burn out rate what exactly do you mean? people getting tired of traveling so much?

Hello Chris R,
There are a host of reasons causing the rapid burn out of CRAs. Amongst them are:
-Travel - In addition to the actual nightmare of traveling, there is the scheduling of the travel, the writing of expense reports, and for some of us constantly being in a different time zone. The travel alone is another 40 hour work week.
-Extreme Multitasking- The new description of CRAs as "Total Site Managers" has given employers the opportunity to overloaded CRAs with tasks that employers (especially CROs) expect CRAs to perform all at once. I will try to find the reference to a recent article about all of the expectations of CRAs. Although this article appeared to be written by someone who was not actually a CRA, the big picture of the article is true. CRAs have too many hats to wear and you burn out from trying to do everything.
-Ethical Dilemmas- The ethical dilemmas are profound. Just one
of these dilemmas is that you have to decide between keeping your employer happy by meeting their impossible production expectations or do you keep yourself happy with the satisfaction that you are doing quality work that lives up to the "intent" of the federal regulations instead of the "word" of the federal regulations. Believe me choosing to perform quality work will not get you promoted at a CRO. But if you prize promotions over the satisfaction of doing a job well, than perhaps the position of CRA is for you. There are many other ethical issues that I do not have the space to discuss.
In short, CRAs have to make many sacrifices and "give up their being" to performing CRA work. Also, go to the Health Blog at Wall Street Journal and read the comments about the article on the Merck Scientist found dead in the lab.

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Chris R in Phoenix, Arizona

83 months ago

Are these issues becoming more prevalent now or have they always been part of a CRA's work? Is the work done at the sites just incredibly repetitive and mundane? What sort of "impossible production expectations" do you have to deal with?

Appreciate the input

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Burned Out in Spokane, Washington

83 months ago

Dear Chris,

The issues are becoming more prevalent because the CROs have been allowed to "define" the roles of the CRA. Like nurses, CRAs need to somehow find the power to redefine the job. CROs are increasing in numbers so the problems will continue to get worse. As more and more relatively untrained people (some newly trained CRAs)become project mangers who focus on productivity and efficiency ratings instead of the "intent" of the law the problems will increase. Drug companies want to be the first to get their product to market. CROs sell their services to drug companies by proposing they can be the fastest and least costly service. Ultimately, it is the CRA that is paying for the price for trying to comply with the CRO marketing of fast and cheap service. At this time there is no associations, or federal agencies that will stop it.
CRAs have not grouped together to make a change because people think of the position as a "stepping-stone" to bigger titled positions within large pharmas instead of a valid occupation.

By the way, a well kept secret is that study project managers at CROs are paid large incentives, in addition to their paychecks, for meeting very tight timelines and for making sure the projects are completed within the study budget. Due to these very large monetary incentives, project managers are very keen on tracking the efficiency ratings of CRAs. They will push us to beyond full-speed to get their incentives.

Ultimately, the rush to complete clinical research trials means that more and more bad drugs are being approved by the FDA and more and more patients are being hurt or die. It used to be very rare that an FDA drug marketing approval would be revoked. However, it is now a very common place occurrence. I am not against making money, however, it should not replace quality.

I admire nurses for being able to elevate their jobs to a more respected occupation. However, it took them much work and time to make changes.

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Chris R in Phoenix, Arizona

83 months ago

Very interesting... I really had no idea that the CRA position is a stepping stone to being a project manager, whatever else... How long does it typically take to advance from a CRA position?

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shruthi,pune in London, United Kingdom

83 months ago

Hello,
I have completed my M.Sc in biotechnology and now am towards my completion of a postgraduate diploma in clinical research. I wish to join as a CRA and can anybody help me out for finding a relevant job.Please instruct me and inform me wherever an opening is there.I have an experience of 2 months but not in clinical research field.Jobs anywhere in pune,mumbai or bangalore will be great.thank u..

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Heather in Spokane, Washington

82 months ago

Hi Just a thought...
I am a 13 year very seasoned traveled CRA. I am 46 and just recently ceased the travel. I find issue with the 2 year burn out that is repeatedly menetioned. This seems to reflect the gen x- y whatever they call themselves group. My peers are all in their 40s to 60s and doing fine. Maybe besides "people with just heartbeats" , the lazy and weak should consider a starbucks 30 hour week to accomadate the huge burden. This is not an easy industry and many of us do work hard and are very compliant with ICH/GCP guidelines for well over a decade. This wimpy "burn out" nonsense...is just nonsense. I say get out or do the job you were hired to do! The pay is great the opportunities abound, the whinners maybe need to rethink their capabililites and motiviations.

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EHT in New York, New York

82 months ago

It is not nonsense. It is the truth. People who are NOT used to the travel, can get burned out. It is not about complaining, just giving a correct depiction of how this industry CAN be and what you MAY be in for. Everyone has their own experiences and own dificulties, so just becuause you THINK it is so, does not mean it would be the same for everyone. I know tons of CRAs who have 30 some sites and spread across therapeutic areas in several states, so if they feel like whining, who the hell are you to say they shouldn't?

It is a stupid thing to say that people 'whine' about the truth of this industry. You do get burned out if you travel all the time. Plain and simple.

You mentioned...'The lazy and the weak'... very broad term here. So - you are saying what exactly - that those who meet 'your generation X definition' should all work at Starbucks - is this an official endorsement? Oh, I get it, that if a CRA complains in the slightest that the travel is getting to them, then they are 'weak' and should look for other jobs and question their capabilities in their profession? All because they complain about traveling.. hummm.. you have a very weak argument here sister.

I am surprised that 13 years in the industry did not breed you a better attitude.

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Burned Out in Spokane

82 months ago

This is to Heather in Spokane,

From your comments it is hard to believe that you have been a CRA for 13 years and have been successful. Part of the job of a good CRA is to get along with other people and your post did not demonstrate that you are able to do accomodate the views of other people. You actually sound more like a pharmaceutical sales rep or a coordinator that has recently become a CRA. If you had been reading the recent articles and (old articles) during your 13 year tenure you would know CRA burnout is worsening. The burnout rate is quite profound -travel is just part of the problem. However, as travel becomes more difficult it increases the burnout rate. I am in your age group so don't tell me that everyone in your age group (peers) are doing fine. I remember being able to go to a site and adequately monitor to ensure subject welfare, the integrity of the data, and the progress of the study. The job has gotten more than tough - it has become almost impossible to do everything required in a limited amount of time.
Be truthful with yourself and the folks looking to become CRAs. If you are one of the very fortunate few who do not travel and have just 5-6 sites and 1 protocol to manage than count yourself lucky but don't ridicule others for being truthful. The job of a CRA goes beyond tough because of people like you who have it easy that promote themselfs and then dictate what other CRAs should be doing. With so much experience you should be an advocate and a teacher not someone who sits upon a throne and judges others.
The work horses of the CRA industry should be able to complain, and complain very loudly. Perhaps changes will be made. I am surprised that as a wise and experienced CRA that you don't know to complain about the PROCESSES not the PEOPLE.
I am not impressed by you nor would I hire you as a CRA. Also you need to learn to spell, I can only imagine what your reports look like.
Master's degreed CRA

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Marco in Hopewell, New Jersey

81 months ago

I am about to be hired as a CRA for a major CRO.

Quick Question: The traveling req'd is 80%. Can i expect to fly out on Monday and be back by Thrusday evening. (Please don't bash me. I'm a newb looking for info. I got really lucky and landed this job)

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xtian in Nantes, France

80 months ago

this is linked with all relevant appointment.
in any case you will have 4 days out!

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Yves in Calgary, Alberta

78 months ago

Hi Burned out,

Thanks for sharing your industrial experiences I found it very helpful for those who intend to go into this field. I recently completed a PhD in pharmaceutical Sci and are thinking a career change, possibly CRA. However, after reading your comments about the current situation, I can't help worrying if becoming CRA is a right thing to do. What are other career options for CRA if they wish to make a career change? Is it possible for CRA to move to FDA for policy making or for CRA to participate in an instituational review board? Can you also share what is the difference working under CRO, contract or hired by big pharma?

Any advice is appreciated!

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Yves in Calgary, Alberta

78 months ago

Hi Burned out,

Thanks for sharing your industrial experiences I found it very helpful for those who intend to go into this field. I recently completed a PhD in pharmaceutical Sci and are thinking a career change, possibly CRA. However, after reading your comments about the current situation, I can't help worrying if becoming CRA is a right thing to do. What are other career options for CRA if they wish to make a career change? Is it possible for CRA to move to FDA for policy making or for CRA to participate in an instituational review board? Can you also share what is the difference working under CRO, contract or hired by big pharma?

Any advice is appreciated!

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Ava in Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri

78 months ago

Seeking advice! I am an RN and DVM in a country in Europe, currently I live in the US. Want to become a CRA. What are the possibilities and where you will advice to try since everybody wants experience ?! I heard they are companies that hire and educate you but you sign a 2 year contract. Any ideas ? Please, I need more concrete advices, Thank You !

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Ernesto Lizardi in Mexico, Mexico

76 months ago

Hello! Nice to know all your comments.
The fact is that it would depend in the work distribution. For some companies, the regulatory department, Quality Assurance, Finance, Start up office etc, do all the job. For others,it is done for the CRA only, that's the main problem. I would suggest to analize your FTE assigned to your projects taking in account all the activities that you are handling. (Ej.- traveling, reports, preparation, documentation, etc. This would need to be discussed with your manager. The turnover afects the Qutality of the Protocols, and reduce the benefit of the data.
have a great day!

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Brandi in Houston, Texas

76 months ago

I have been searching high and low for information on getting a CRA position for my fiancé (as he badly wants this position and has been searching as well). Here's the dilemma: He has a MS degree in Biology and BS in Health Science along with some credit hours for BS for Nursing. He was intending to go to Med School; however although his passion is medicine, he prefers getting involved in the clinical trial process. My question is: "Where on earth can he get his foot in the door at??" He's located in San Antonio, TX and I have been searching high and low. If anybody have any contacts, information, leads, etc. to refer to us we would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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John in Houston, Texas

75 months ago

Brandi in Houston, Texas said: I have been searching high and low for information on getting a CRA position for my fiancé (as he badly wants this position and has been searching as well). Here's the dilemma: He has a MS degree in Biology and BS in Health Science along with some credit hours for BS for Nursing. He was intending to go to Med School; however although his passion is medicine, he prefers getting involved in the clinical trial process. My question is: "Where on earth can he get his foot in the door at??" He's located in San Antonio, TX and I have been searching high and low. If anybody have any contacts, information, leads, etc. to refer to us we would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Hi Brandi

You don't mention his work experience, I am assuming he has been in school getting these degrees and not working in the research field. What happened to medical school? Have him apply at PPD in Austin. Better yet, get his butt in med school.

Good Luck

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heather in Spokane, Washington

75 months ago

I agree with the last person. More school loans may be impossible to get at this time. Based on actual work experience he probably needs to earn his way up the ladder, in the trenches so to speak and a big CRO (as traumztizing as that can be) may be the way to go. This economy is hitting everyone in various ways and I fear not many have the luxuries we once had in getting te desires of our heart professionally right now. I have the limitations of travel and am a very exp contract CRA who at this point just want a paycheck and that is the desire of my heart and my daughters tummy. Good luck. Think realistic unless you have a healthy trust fund that is not invested in the US market!

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jb995 in Southfield, Michigan

72 months ago

Hello, I have 6 years of experience as a pharmaceutical rep, and 3+ years exp as a medical meeting manager. I am looking to transition into CRA work. I am finding it difficult to find training programs that are economical with the option to take one course at a time (Since I have no CRA experience, I'm assuming I need to take a training course). Its also difficult to know which training company is reputable.

I've perused the KForce, DIA, Execupharm, Kendle and a few other sites for general info. Would anyone mind making suggestions on the best path for me to take with regard to training, prep, etc to land a position? I prefer online training or no more than 3-5 days if instructor led (I'm in MI). Thanks in advance!!

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John in Houston, Texas

72 months ago

These training courses are good for learning GCP guidelines and the basic functions of a CRA. You will see a lot of people who spend a lot of money on these courses and still looking for a CRA position. It is a catch 22. Most companies want a CRA with at least 1 - 2 years experience, so how do you get experience???

Your best bet is to get a job as a clinic research coordinator. Do an awesome job and build a great working relationship with the CRAs that monitor your site. This will get you good experience in clinical research and the contacts to find a job as a CRA...good luck

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Sandy in San Diego, California

71 months ago

jb995 in Southfield, Michigan said: Hello, I have 6 years of experience as a pharmaceutical rep, and 3+ years exp as a medical meeting manager. I am looking to transition into CRA work. I am finding it difficult to find training programs that are economical with the option to take one course at a time (Since I have no CRA experience, I'm assuming I need to take a training course). Its also difficult to know which training company is reputable.

I've perused the KForce, DIA, Execupharm, Kendle and a few other sites for general info. Would anyone mind making suggestions on the best path for me to take with regard to training, prep, etc to land a position? I prefer online training or no more than 3-5 days if instructor led (I'm in MI). Thanks in advance!!

There is no work out there as a CRA, contract or perm, good luck to all of us. ; (

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Are You Kidding Me in Spokane, Washington

71 months ago

Do you really believe that a 3-5 day course will train you to be a CRA. I have been a CRA for over 20 years and you are the type of person that I am constantly cleaning up your monitoring messes. It takes much more training than what you think. With the availability of CRA jobs down the tubes and hard to find for experienced people like myself - your plan is really annoying. Please reconsider.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME

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Are You Kidding in Spokane, Washington

71 months ago

jb995: Your comments to me were abusive and aggressive. Your self-rightousness is shown in your judging the happiness and unhappiness of me is uncalled for and way out of line, It had nothing to do with the issue. You will never in a million years be able to compete with me as a CRA and I am not afraid of you. I am just tired of cleaning-up behind people like yourself. I wonder why your so-called CRA Manager friend has not gotten you a CRA job? Perhaps, it is you who are unhappy?

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KC Temple in Towson, Maryland

71 months ago

jb995 in Southfield, Michigan said: Hello, I have 6 years of experience as a pharmaceutical rep, and 3+ years exp as a medical meeting manager. I am looking to transition into CRA work. I am finding it difficult to find training programs that are economical with the option to take one course at a time (Since I have no CRA experience, I'm assuming I need to take a training course). Its also difficult to know which training company is reputable.

I've perused the KForce, DIA, Execupharm, Kendle and a few other sites for general info. Would anyone mind making suggestions on the best path for me to take with regard to training, prep, etc to land a position? I prefer online training or no more than 3-5 days if instructor led (I'm in MI). Thanks in advance!!

You are MI? Check out the MSU course nursing.msu.edu/cracrc.aspx
I took it last year and it was great. It qualified for unemployment reimbursement here in MD - may be it would in MI as well? I am working now because of it. Good Luck

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Johnette in Detroit, Michigan

71 months ago

To KC Temple....Yes, I am in MI. Wow, thats great that it qualified for unemployment reimbursement in MD. That would be very helpful if MI offered that as well...I will have to research that. I had not heard about that MSU course, so thanks a lot. Someone also recently mentioned Eastern Univ for their program too. I will be looking into both of them. Many congrats on finding work!! If you think of any other info that may be helpful, feel free to pass it along and I appreciate you sharing:)

~ Johnette

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KC Temple in Towson, Maryland

71 months ago

Johnette:
Contact Juliet at appliedqualitysolutions@yahoo.com She's the program director and helped me with the unemployment filing. She could probably give you info for MI. She can also give you more info about the certificate.

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Johnette in Detroit, Michigan

71 months ago

Wonderful! Thanks so much for Juliet's contact info. I just sent her an email and am waiting to hear back. I'll let you know how things go. Thanks so much again for the tips and leads.

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Johnette in Detroit, Michigan

71 months ago

KC Temple in Towson, Maryland said: Johnette:
Contact Juliet at appliedqualitysolutions@yahoo.com She's the program director and helped me with the unemployment filing. She could probably give you info for MI. She can also give you more info about the certificate.

Hi again. I spoke with Juliet and MI does offer unemployment tuition reimbursement and this certificate program at MSU has had students who have received 100% reimbursement. I will begin the application process for the reimbursement program tomorrow (fingers crossed). Juliet was extremely nice and helpful. Your information has been a tremendous help! Thanks and continued success to you.

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Mark in Richmond, Virginia

71 months ago

In reference to the 'FDA not being impressed with the quality of monitoring at investigational research sites since 1999 They have recently indicated that the quality of monitoring of clinical research sites is steadily declining."

I'd like to use this reference in an article that I'm writing. Do you know where I can find the source? This is interesting and
great feedback.
Thanks.

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Burned Out in Spokane, Washington

71 months ago

Mark in Richmond,

The information is readily available. I would need to dig out my Thesis paper called "Unveiling the CRA Conflict of Interest Dilemma". I am glad that you find the topic of poor quality monitoring interesting but it is not a new topic. However, it is a discussion topic that CROs and sponsors continue to squash and try to bury. Therefore, I am very wary about your article subject and the real need for the information. Where will your article be published? When will it be published? What is the true subject of the article?

Here are some suggestions. There have been many articles written about the poor quality of service provided by CROs, perhaps you should find them. Also, go to Medzilla and read the forums written by CRAs. We are a very abused group of people and the FDA has allowed this to happen. Contact the FDA and ask them about the data they collected in 1999.

Most likely the regulations regarding the monitoring of studies is going to be rewritten and sponsors will not be allowed to be self-monitoring. This will surely shake up the CRO industry which abuses CRAs. Be looking for CRAs to be given more enforcement powers and more of a voice in how monitoring gets done. Watch out CROs the monitors that you overworked, underpaid, and treated like pions, are finding their voice and will be able to enforce proper, legal, and ethical study conduct in the future. To improve monitoring the profit motive needs to be removed. There are many people out there who have become very wealthy from selling the services of CRAs and who do not want to see any changes and are starting to squirm. Mark I hope you are not trying to block the movement to stop CRA abuse and the improvement of site monitoring?

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Sagi in Detroit, Michigan

66 months ago

Johnette in Detroit, Michigan said: Hi again. I spoke with Juliet and MI does offer unemployment tuition reimbursement and this certificate program at MSU has had students who have received 100% reimbursement. I will begin the application process for the reimbursement program tomorrow (fingers crossed). Juliet was extremely nice and helpful. Your information has been a tremendous help! Thanks and continued success to you.

Hi Johnette
I am interested in this program at MSU.To file unemployment tuition reimbursement what is the procedures that you have gone through.Because i never employed any where
and want to start my career in clinical research.

how was your certificate program .Did u get tuition reimbursement.are u working now.

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Johnette in Detroit, Michigan

66 months ago

Sagi in Detroit, Michigan said: Hi Johnette
I am interested in this program at MSU.To file unemployment tuition reimbursement what is the procedures that you have gone through.Because i never employed any where
and want to start my career in clinical research.

how was your certificate program .Did u get tuition reimbursement.are u working now.

Hi Sagi,

You should contact the Michigan Works office location for the area where you live in Michigan. When you speak to someone, tell them you would like to apply for the No Worker Left Behind program for tuition reimbursement. You may want to start on their website at www.michiganworks.org. and review the information on the program there as well. Although it's a lot of paperwork and steps, the Michigan State course is covered. I wish you the best in your efforts and good luck!

Johnette

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JIJO PAUL in Billerica, Massachusetts

66 months ago

hi,

I am a Post Graduate in Pharmacy Practice (6 YEARS PHARMACY DEGREE ) and with four years experience in the field of Drug Development - Clinical Trials as CRA and Sr.CRA for Global and national Trials with Multi National CROs. in a foreign country.

I am presently in USA as permanent resider to USA (GREEN CARD)and searching for a CRA opening any were in USA (if possible in MA).I am well knowledged about the life style of CRA and has extensive knowledge in GCP and FDA requirements.I also enjoy traveling.

Kindly any experienced people in the forum can give reference and help me to enter in this field in USA.

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JIJO PAUL in Billerica, Massachusetts

66 months ago

hi,

I am a Post Graduate in Pharmacy Practice (6 YEARS PHARMACY DEGREE ) and with four years experience in the field of Drug Development - Clinical Trials as CRA and Sr.CRA for Global and national Trials with Multi National CROs. in a foreign country.

I am presently in USA as permanent resider to USA (GREEN CARD)and searching for a CRA opening any were in USA (if possible in MA).I am well knowledged about the life style of CRA and has extensive knowledge in GCP and FDA requirements.I also enjoy traveling.

Kindly any experienced people in the forum can give reference and help me to enter in this field in USA.

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Sagi in Detroit, Michigan

66 months ago

THANKS JOHNETTE.

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drlhermann@phoenux.ch in Uerikon, Switzerland

49 months ago

Searching for Scientifically Experienced Employee Scientist /Psychologist/ Clinical Research Associate or Medical Doctor

From the idea to the drug – you support us in the development

We are a small development platform in Switzerland developing Non Abuse Medications. As a small team, working in an international network with international universities, CROs, pharmaceutical companies and patent attorneys, we are looking for support in the implementation of development projects.

In collaboration with the medical / scientific director of the company you are involved in the development of new drugs from the concept to the clinical trial. Your responsibilities include collaboration in the preparation of study documentation for authorities and for clinical studies of proof of concept studies to large clinical phase III studies. You will also supervise and audit these studies working with an associated CRO in Germany. You will be introduced and supported in these tasks by the team in order to develop more and more responsibility, to be enabled to take on own projects at a later stage.

We are a young and growing team. To realize the possibilities we can offer to a candidate in this dynamic situation, we expect from you a certain entrepreneurial spirit. A general hands on attitude in all situations is expected from you. We require fluent English, good computer, team spirit in a multi-professional team, responsibility and organizational skills. Ideally study and publication experience would be an ad on.

Due to the variety of activities we are aware that there will be a period to familiarize yourself with these diverse tasks and the whole team will be there as a support in your tasks in the beginning. We do welcome explicitly applications from graduates and young professionals as a training on the job opportunity.

In case of relocation necessities we will support you in visa and accommodation questions

Phoenux AG www.phoenux.ch Email: contact@phoenux.ch

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christine in Central District, Hong Kong

46 months ago

hello
I am graduated with M.B.,BS from southeast asia. I am willing to do CRA in the states. How can I get job or internship training in the U.S. What make me eligible to get hired as CRA in the U.S.

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Katie in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

46 months ago

Marco in Hopewell, New Jersey said: I am about to be hired as a CRA for a major CRO.

Quick Question: The traveling req'd is 80%. Can i expect to fly out on Monday and be back by Thrusday evening. (Please don't bash me. I'm a newb looking for info. I got really lucky and landed this job)

Hello Marco,

Yes, CRAs really do have to travel that much, but you won't be flying only two flights- usually you'll have to go to at least 2 different doctor's offices in a week. My typical work week is:

Monday: Get up at 3:30am to catch a flight at 5:00.
Get a rental car and drive to the site to get there by 9:00am and monitor until 5pm.
Drive back to the airport and get on another flight.
Get another rental car and drive to the hotel.

Tuesday: Monitor from 9 am-5pm
Drive to the airport and catch another flight
Get a another rental car and drive to the next hotel.

Wednesday: Monitor from 9am-5pm
Go back to the hotel.

Thursday: Because I usually travel from East-> West and due to time changes, it typically takes a whole day (8-10 hours) to travel home. I do all my reports on the plane on the trip home.

Friday: In office day. I turn in my reports, make corrections that my line manager requested, turn in regulatory documents, do expense reports and book more travel.

On average, I work no less than 60 hours a week. Sometimes during data deadlines, you have to travel out on Sunday and you won't get home until Saturday afternoon.

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Sam in Los Angeles, California

45 months ago

Hello, I was wondering what a typical career path for a CRA is like.
I am interested in learning more about the field and wondered what type of positions CRAs move up to, or what other fields CRAs can switch to if they no longer want to stay in the field.
Can anyone offer some insight? Thank you in advance for your help!

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Dave in East Hanover, New Jersey

45 months ago

Sam in Los Angeles, California said: Hello, I was wondering what a typical career path for a CRA is like.
I am interested in learning more about the field and wondered what type of positions CRAs move up to, or what other fields CRAs can switch to if they no longer want to stay in the field.
Can anyone offer some insight? Thank you in advance for your help!

Great question Sam. There is some opportunity to move into trial management, but is rare for CRAs that are home-based. I have been a CRA for a long time and would like a change. I did do some trial management recently and have thought about going back to that if got the right offer.
I would like to see responses to your question about "what other fields can a CRA switch to"

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blueheaven in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

I have been a CRA and currently work at a large CRO as a project manager/study manager. I can tell you our work day is just as long if not longer than our CRAs and I do not get large incentives just constant pressure to do more even though most weeks I work 65-70 hours. It is a tough time for CROs and for the pharma industry in general.

CRa career path generally starts as a study coordinator or clinical trial assistant. In house monitoring is a good place to start too. Then move on to CRA work. If you move up the ranks and are willing to take on extra work in 4 yrs or so you could be a clinical team lead or an assistant clinical project manager or a CRA line manager.

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Tuba in London, United Kingdom

41 months ago

Hi everyone,
I have a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and seven years experience as a CRA. I was working as a CRA-II at Turkey office of an international CRO company until last year. I quitted the job last year because we have to move due to my husband's job.

I would like to know if it's possible to find a work in clinical research in US or UK as a foreign citizen and non native English speaker. Do you think that the companies are willing to be sponsoring my visa?
I heard that there are lots of laid-off CRA due to economic crisis. Do I have any chance to find a job with my qualification?

I will be really appreciated to hear your advices and comments about the issue.

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Hallie in Bronx, New York

41 months ago

Hi,

You are correct: the US is struggling and there were a LOT of layoffs, but it's getting better and te recruitors are starting to call again. I think it is certainly possible, but it'll be a struggle until your English writing skills improve. As of right now, there were far too many errors in your post for you to be writing monitoring reports or doing document translation. Just take some classes and keep applying until the right company comes along for you.

Remember: you should never have to pay anything or pay for any sort of training to get a job in the USA. If you are ere asked for $, you can be sure it's a scam.

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