Clinical Research Coordinator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Clinical Research Coordinator, or Senior Clinical Research Coordinator, is responsible for overseeing clinical trials or studies to test the effectiveness of new drugs or biotechnology. Their duties include sorting through applications and choosing qualified candidates, monitoring the health of each participant throughout the trial and compiling a report to summarize the success or failure of a particular drug, technology or medical procedure.

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Clinical Research Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities

A Clinical Research Coordinator is responsible for a variety of duties including the following:

  • Overseeing the trouble-free running of clinical trials
  • Collecting data obtained from research, coding and analyzing it
  • Managing budgets set aside for research
  • Communicating with participants regarding study objectives
  • Administering questionnaires and monitoring participants to ensure they adhere to the study’s rules
  • Liaising with laboratories regarding research findings
  • Monitoring the study to ensure that it complies with protocols, is ethically-conducted and follows regulatory standards
  • Maintaining research records of study activity, including case report forms, drug dispensation records or other regulatory forms as per FDA guidelines
  • Directing the collection, labeling, storage and transport of all specimens
  • Making sure that all equipment and supplies needed for the study are in-stock and in good working order

What Does a Clinical Research Coordinator Do?

Clinical Research Coordinators typically work for hospitals, medical research facilities or clinical agencies to prepare and lead clinical trials. They work closely with other clinical professionals to ensure that clinical trials adhere to laws and regulations. Their job is to make sure that each participant has the correct medical history to take part in the trial. They also communicate with participants before the start of the trial to answer questions and address concerns. They may also be responsible for applying for grants and acquiring funding to conduct clinical trials.

Clinical Research Coordinator Skills and Qualifications

To be a good Clinical Research Coordinator, a candidate should have the following skills:

  • Medical and scientific knowledge: A Clinical Research Coordinator doesn’t have to be a doctor, pharmacist or scientist, but they do need to have some knowledge of this field. They should understand the basics of biochemistry, pharmacology and chemistry to make decisions without constantly having to check with researchers.
  • Analytical mindset: A Clinical Research Coordinator needs analytical skills to collect and interpret data, taking note of patterns or outcomes that those in charge of the trial need to be aware of.
  • Background in research: Being a Clinical Research Coordinator requires an in-depth knowledge of the research process. A Clinical Research Coordinator must know how to set up a trial and collect and interpret the data.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: This position often requires interaction with researchers, participants and stakeholders, so the ability to communicate and solve problems is essential.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills: This is needed to actively communicate the requirements of the trial steps to participants and to liaise with laboratory staff and managerial staff.
  • Outstanding organizational and managerial skills: Since clinical trials require the coordination of large and complex trials, multiple participants and large amounts of data, a Clinical Research Coordinator must be very organized and have good managerial skills.

Clinical Research Coordinator Salary Expectations

The average yearly salary for a Clinical Research Coordinator is $48,906. This salary estimate is based on 735 salaries submitted to Indeed by Clinical Research Coordinator employees and collected from job advertisements over the past 36 months. This salary estimate is based on a Clinical Research Coordinator position with 1-3 years of experience.

Clinical Research Coordinator Education and Training Requirements

A Clinical Research Coordinator needs a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some jobs require a bachelor’s degree in clinical research, nursing or a related field. Other jobs require an associate degree and on-the-job training. A certified Clinical Research Coordinator must have a bachelor’s degree in clinical science research or a master’s degree in nursing and an RN license.

Clinical Research Coordinator Experience Requirements

A Clinical Research Coordinator should have at least two years of experience. Experience can be gained through research studies conducted while earning their degree or from volunteer research work at medical-related charities. 

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Frequently asked questions about Clinical Research Coordinators

 

What is the difference between a Clinical Research Coordinator and a Clinical Research Associate?

Clinical Research Coordinators and Clinical Research Associates both work to organize and monitor the progress of clinical studies or trials. Still, they differ in their level of seniority and scope of job responsibilities. For example, Clinical Research Coordinators oversee clinical trial personnel, including Clinical Research Associates. They delegate tasks to Research Associates and act as a point of communication for questions or concerns throughout the clinical trial. In Contrast, Clinical Research Associates assist Coordinators by sorting through candidate applications and monitoring the progress of the trial onsite in the Coordinator’s absence.

 

What are the daily duties of a Clinical Research Coordinator?

On a typical day, a Clinical Research Coordinator checks their email and voicemail messages to see whether they received responses from potential funders, trial candidates or medical professionals. Throughout the day, Clinical Research Coordinators communicate with Associates and other personnel to collect data from ongoing trials. They also speak with representatives from pharmaceutical companies to determine to learn about new drugs or vaccines that need testing. 

Clinical Research Coordinators use downtime in their office to review candidate applications for upcoming clinical trials and narrow down their selection based on several criteria necessary for all trial participants.

 

What qualities make a good Clinical Research Coordinator?

A good Clinical Research Coordinator has a passion for medical research and a desire to help others. They also commit to maintaining safe and ethical practices within clinical trials. Further, a Clinical Research Coordinator has excellent written and verbal communication, enabling them to advocate for funding and compile study reports to influence the use of pharmaceutical drugs and biotechnologies in future medical practices. Clinical Research Coordinators also have experience handling a budget and prioritizing purchases to maintain an effective clinical trial.

 

Who does a Clinical Research Coordinator report to?

Clinical Research Coordinators typically report to the Principle Investigator of a clinical trial or study. They may also report to a Clinical Research Manager or Clinical Director depending on the hierarchal structure of their facility.

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