Duke Clinical Research Institute Employee Review

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So much untapped potential!!!
Clinical Trials Specialist (Current Employee) –  Durham, NCJanuary 12, 2018
Overall DCRI is a great place to work - the benefits are reasonable, the work/life balance and schedule flexibility is great, job security and discounts are good and the overall company culture is supportive - as an ARO they don't engage in a lot of the cut throat, run you over with a mac truck non-sense I have seen at CROs that lead to burn out and well paid, but demoralized and jaded staff. I give DCRI a lot of credit for doing more than most companies to foster diversity, inclusion and cohesion among staff and for encouraging fun in the work place.

The problem is that there is so much potential for this company to be exceptional on so many fronts, but they consistently fail to fully tap into that potential - whether it is forgetting to leverage the skills of their staff, taking on too many poorly organized/poorly funded and poorly written study protocols, being slow to improve and modernize work processes so that they are more efficient/less redundant, etc. and less error ridden or offering enough opportunities for EVERYONE to grow and move up the career ladder.

So, many people have left simply because they hit a wall in terms of career advancement/mobility and financial compensation. I can't tell you how many times people have said, I love my co-workers, I love the company and it's mission, I don't want to leave, but they aren't utilizing me properly and I have to move on and find something where I can have an impact and grow.

In the end, this leads to mostly younger people leaving, the people with advanced degrees/certifications and the people with a generally
  more... higher subset of skills and or investment in the quality of the work - and as a company, if they want innovative, new and energized staff who are going to push for and achieve bold things in the world of research (as they say), they can't continue to be OK with all of their entry level and mid-level staff who are aching for a chance to be heard and utilized leaving. The people under 35 stay for a few years (1-3), get experience or connections and then they move on because they feel like they can't implement their ideas, contribute in novel ways and or expand in their therapeutic areas of interest. What you have left over are the people who are OK with being in the same role, doing the same things for below market/ below industry pay for 30 years (which in turn suppresses the pay of everyone else when you have someone who has been in a role for 20 years and only makes $50,000/yr) and who are just waiting on their retirement check and the benefits duke offers for college tuition to pay for their kid's education. What you end up with are the people who are complacent and less interested in change and the big ideas DCRI has for it's future.

Until DCRI decides that it can do more, is willing to expand its roster of clinical research positions, expand its roster of therapeutic areas and work to keep the employees that are still bright eyed enough to care about the quality and direction of their work, they will continue to be a company that gets high marks for what they try to do and what they claim they to want to be, but will keep hemorrhaging the people who could be helping them make it a reality.

Lastly, DCRI is unique in that they have "thought leaders" - these are doctors and other high-level professionals who are actively involved either as PIs or advisers on the trials we have. Although they are great resources, I have also heard a number of people in management and leadership positions, who's job it is to make sure that the operational/logistical aspects of the trials and the resourcing are in order, regularly find their hands tied and can't do their jobs in the most effective manner because everyone cow-tows to the thought leaders. So, to avoid office politics and fall-out, management gives into requests or wants of the thought leaders that aren't always feasible or that don't always make sense for a given trial or task...as one can imagine, this doesn't always bode well for the staff working on said trial or for management who at some point has to answer for the progress, mistakes, planning or timelines of a given trial.

In the end, DCRI could have it all. But they seem to be OK with trying to convince people that mediocre pay, decent benefits and the company culture outweighs being challenged, outweighs progression and outweighs making enough money to actually use all of that vacation time you've accrued...to take a vacation.
Healthcare benefits, retirement, PTO and sick leave, college tuition assistance, discounts at local businesses, access to seminars/lectures and learning materials, lots of employee appreciation/recognition
Must pay for close parking ($85-$100 per month), not a lot of room for growth depending on your role/department/area of interest
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Very nice place to work. I am apeople person and enjoy being the #1 contact.
Receptionist/Switchboard Operator (Current Employee) –  Durham, NCApril 22, 2019
I am a contractor with Duke Clinical Research Institute working for RICOH. DCRI people are wonderful to me and we have bonded with a few that are truiy a joy to work with. However, since being with RICOH there is alot of miscallulations and not fairness when filing a complaint. There is going to be a large layoff and it is effecting all DCRI employees. I am the receptionist and have been hear almost 4 years. I am able to park for free and I live very close for traveling purposes.
Plenty of Pros
nothing really
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Awesome employer with complex technology hierarchy
Senior Manager, Information Technology - Svc & Ops (Former Employee) –  Durham, NCApril 18, 2019
Awesome engagement with clinical research and have taken efforts to ensure that each team understands their role in the research process. The teams are encouraged to suggest improvement and each suggestion is evaluated and approved/deferred based on the potential for improvement (with caveats). Technology and technology management is a complex machine requiring prioritization and alignment with other "Duke" entities. It made for exciting times and thoughtful challenges!!
Old-school employer that believes in employees
Old-school environment sometimes resistant to innovation
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