Hong Kong CRA Experience in Canada/USA

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Comments (19)

Chow in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

63 months ago

Hi all, I am educated in Canada and became a CRA in Hong Kong (trained by an international CRO) for 2.5 years already. What are the chances for me to find CRA jobs in US/Canada, considering the fact that I have minimal local regulatory knowledge? Would that be a huge concern for employers? I know GCP and have on-site experience.

Thanks.

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Phoebe Parker in Toronto, Ontario

63 months ago

I went through exactly the same thing.

Your chance really depends on the view of prospective employer. Some specifies North America monitoring experience; while it's not much a deal to others. Either or, make your resume sounds like, but not lying, you've monitored in North America.

Also, odds of landing an interview is better if resume goes straight to prospective employer rather than head hunter. Agents usually bounce back your resume before reaching their clients.

Local regulation is not rocket science. You can study both TPD and FDA online.

Feel free to drop me an e-mail at phoebe.yw.lam@hotmail.com

Good luck!

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lem in Hamilton, Ontario

62 months ago

Since you already have monitoring experience, I would think that should not be of a concern. And again, brushing up on TPD and FDA regulations would definitely be a plus. Completing certifications from ACRP or SoCRA would indicate your competence levels within these areas. Perhaps you can looking into completing those.

I would like to ask, for both Chow and Phoebe, how I can break into a CRA role in HK. I have been working for 2 years as a CRC in Toronto. I have experience working at a site and with monitors but not actually monitoring. I have also completed a Grauduate Certificate in Clinical Research and recently completed the SoCRA exam. What kind of skills, qualifications or experience are HK employers looking for? How can i break into the market? I would just like more information on the general clinical research industry in hk.

Thanks!

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Phoebe Parker in Toronto, Ontario

62 months ago

Hi lem,

Try www.jobsdb.com.hk, they have quite a number of job posting there. Back in my time (5 yrs ago), monitoring experience is not a must but an asset. It may differ now a day. Most importantly, you need to be fluent, in writing and conversational, in Chinese (cantonese, knowing mandarin is a big plus) and English. You need to know your GCP and some clinical research basics. Currently there are Covance, Quintiles, and Paraxel as CROs, plus other pharmas in HK.

Feel free to email me if you have a specific question about CR industry in HK.

Phoebe

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Chow in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

62 months ago

I believe it is easier to find CRA or RA position in Hong Kong as the Asia market is currently expanding rapidly. I have met CRA who doesn't know any Chinese to be in this industry in Hong Kong, as everybody in this industry can communicate well in English (of course, being able to speak the language can smooth things out a bit). Also, overseas education is a plus for most employers. As you do not have actual monitoring experience, you may begin as a RA and work your way up - takes around a year. However, the pay and benefits can't compare to that in North Ameria, not to mention heavier workload as well.

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lem in Hamilton, Ontario

62 months ago

Thank you both for your responses. It's definitely helpful to have insider insight on the clinical research industry in HK.

Chow, do you mind if I contact you through email for more detailed questions regarding CRA/RA job hunting in HK? I will be making a short trip to HK next week and was wondering if you had any contacts I could possibly get in touch with for any type of information interview. Please do email me at vincey.chiu@gmail.com

Thanks again.

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Chow in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

62 months ago

Most CRO/Pharma hire through referral and job search agents here so one thing you could do is to check out jobs at www.jobsdb.com.hk, like phoebe has suggested, and to note down all those agents that post these jobs and contact them directly. You can chat with the agents to see what the market is like now.

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JM in Central District, Hong Kong

61 months ago

I have previously interviewed for a CRA position with one of the main pharmaceutical companies. I hold a GCP cert, a postgrad cert in clinical research. Everything went smoothly and I was at the second interview, until they asked me to do a written chinese test! (I'm fluent in both Eng and Cantonese, but not written chinese, since I was educated overseas since junior school)
but they seem to be pretty strict about language abilities.

I intend to keep searching. But wondering what the job prospect and salary range is like (from starting to managerial level). Chow, might you know?

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Lam in Richmond Hill, Ontario

61 months ago

Thanks all of you for providing such informative details about the industry.
I am also currently looking for opportunities in HK as CRA. I am fluent in speaking and writing cantonese, with a master degree and CRA certificate (not yet cerified as CCRP). I would like to know how many years of experiences do they normally look for? and What kinda of salary range am I looking at? as most of the employers would like to know your salary expection before they even start interviewing with you.

Thank you very much

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L.Chow in London, United Kingdom

52 months ago

Hi Guys
I am currently finishing my PhD in Biomedical Sciences in the UK. I have no experience in clinical research. I was just wondering if I stand a chance of landing a job as CRA? Thanks

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Hugh in Singapore, Singapore

51 months ago

Hi L. Chow,
There are quite a lot of clinical research positions in London. Some of them are run by NHS trust, Wellcome trust and even Imperial College. They organize training quite often. I have trained a little bit at there as well.

However, my training is not enough for getting a position. Probably, I will move to this career soon.

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L.Chow in Nottingham, United Kingdom

51 months ago

Thanks Hugh,

I was wondering if you know the situation in Hong Kong. I am very keen to go back home for good. I guess oversea experience would be an advance and also I suppose it's easier to get a clinical research position in the UK. The training you mentioned, is it for staff only? I will definitely look into that. Also, I don't know if I have an advance having a PhD, although my PhD is not clinical relevant.

Thank you

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Hugh in Singapore, Singapore

51 months ago

I was IC student at that moment. That's why I could attend without any registration either payment. However, as I recognize, they are opened to the public since these are only some basic training. I highly recommend you to start your clinical work in UK. Personally, I may start it in Singapore. I think I am having the same question as you. I have no idea whether PhD holder is beneficial to get a better position in this field. But I think at least you will have chance to have basic offer if you can show you fit to it. Hope this helps and thank you for your reply.

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Wai in Central District, Hong Kong

50 months ago

Hi everyone,

I am also interested in joining the clinical research in Hong Kong , however find it quite hard to get into the industry. I have my PhD in biomedical science with years of basic research experience only. Tried to apply for CRA, but no reply at all. Are there any chances to get one without relevant experience?
Is it necessary to have any cert for it?

Thanks.

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Hugh in Singapore, Singapore

50 months ago

hey Wai,

I share the same experience with you. I was told having a PhD will be overqualified to be a CRA.

I have tried to contact someone who are working on some clinical research in QM. What I got is there is no portal that you can directly pop in. But there is a gateway. someone want can shift to the clinical research field after finishing the MPH in HKU.

I know there is a similar program in CU. you might like to have a look.

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LC in London, United Kingdom

47 months ago

Hi Wai,

Do you have any luck breaking into the industry?

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Ginnie in Auckland, New Zealand

15 months ago

Hey Guys,

So good to be able to find this chat!

I am also seeking a CRA job in Hong Kong right this moment. I currently live in New Zealand but I was born in Hong Kong. I have a PhD in Pharmacology and since graduation I have been an Oncology Clinical Trial Coordinator for a year.

I have applied for many CRA jobs in HK but I haven't had replies to many. It does look like the CRO and big pharma are looking for people with experiences and won't consider anything else, which is a real shame.

I want to comment on the overqualification of PhDs applying for CRA roles; I think if you are willing to take a pay cut then it will probably put you in the same position as other canidates. But I have noticed the career advancements of head CRA or regional managers and found that many, but not all of course, holds a PhD. So to me it isn't all doom and gloom. I some times feel like this PhD has disadvantaged me to getting into entry positions but we shouldn't feel this way and I believe someone out there will recongize the hard yards we have put in and give us a chance!

In saying so, I have been invited to a second interview for a CRA position :)
Just not sure how big of a pay cut I should put forward tho.
At this stage I am tempted to ask for $35000 HKD a month...
The question I want to put out there is, AM I ASKING FOR TOO MUCH?!

If someone can anwser me that will be great!

Thanks for sharing your journey with others who are looking to be a CRA.

Stay positive people!

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CT Rx in New York, New York

15 months ago

Ginnie,

Please keep us posted on your interview process for a CRA position in HK. By the way, are you interviewing for a CRA position with a pharma or a CRO? I would say, pharma pays a little better than a CRO (at least from my encounters here in the U.S).

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EE in Azusa, California

9 months ago

Anybody know what is the salary range for Sr. CRA in Hong kong? How about for CRA manager (Clinical team manager)?

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