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Clinical Research Associate (contract)
  • Job type: Contract
  • Location: Edison, New Jersey
  • Salary: Competitive
  • Description Clinical Research Associate (contract) We're looking for a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) for a 12 month contract assignment! The CRA will be responsible for providing statistical, scientific


A clinical research associate (CRA), also known as a clinical monitor or trial monitor, is responsible for running clinical trials to test drugs for their effectiveness, benefits and risks, in order to ensure that they’re safe to bring to market. CRAs are usually employed by either a contract research organisation (CRO) which works on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, or directly by a pharmaceutical company, and may work on new or existing drugs. Clinical research associate are generally involved in all stages of a clinical trial, including identifying and setting up an investigational site, initiating, monitoring as well as closing down the trial. Clinical trials are varied and can include trials on patients with a disease, trials on healthy humans, and studies conducted after the launch of a new medical product or drug to monitor safety and side effects.   

Job Specification, Salary, Outlook

Clinical research associates facilitate the collection, storage and distribution of data obtained during clinical research trials. To ensure that trials meet various clinical objectives and comply with existing regulations, CRAs may analyse data, deliver presentations, create reports, explain procedures to participants, monitor individual test cases, and use reference material to conduct further research.   

The role also involves maintaining databases of patient information, gathering data used in grant proposals, budgeting and drafting correspondence. Clinical research associates are generally employed by pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, scientific research organisations and government agencies.  

So, how much do clinical research associates earn? It depends on several factors, but the average salary for software engineers in the United States is $63,010 per annum, with a range of $39,651 - $92,137. Factors that affect the level of the salary of a CRA include job location, medical technical skills, on-the-job experience, and academic background. In the UK, an average salary of £30,825 per year can be expected, with a range of £23,907 - £39,519.     

Job Description

Clinical research associates collect and organise data obtained during trials and studies conducted in fields, such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. They process and coordinate results gained from long-term testing of medical procedures, products and drugs. They also assist other professionals with clinical studies; this may involve sourcing participants and coordinating studies. CRAs are often the professionals who study the potential effects of a trial to observe if there would be any harm to the patients, and present their findings to the wider team.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Developing, writing and presenting research protocols
  • Monitoring and overseeing the research throughout its execution, including regular visits to the research site
  • Ensuring all unused and extra supplies are carefully managed
  • Designing data collection forms
  • Coordinating with the committee which safeguards the wellbeing, safety and rights of all clinical research subjects
  • Setting up clinical research sites
  • Closing down the clinical research sites upon completion of the research
  • Assessing and identifying the suitability of facilities for the clinical research site
  • Managing the regulatory authority applications and approvals that oversee the marketing and research of drugs
  • Selecting/identifying an investigator who will be responsible at the research site for the conduct of the research
  • Liaising with investigators or consultants/doctors on conducting the research
  • Providing training to site members to trial-specific industry standards
  • Writing visit reports, collating and filing trial reports and documentation
  • Archiving study correspondence and documentation
  • Discussing results with medical statisticians who write technical research reports
  • Preparing final reports and manuscripts for publication

Key Skills & Qualifications      

To become a clinical research associate, it’s necessary to hold an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in life sciences (e.g. microbiology, biology, toxicology, pharmacology, or biochemistry), nursing, or medical sciences (such as pharmacy, anatomy, medicine, immunology or physiology). Obtaining a PhD may further improve your prospects. 

Required job skills

  • Knowledge of medical terminology and the clinical research process 
  • Excellent capability to coordinate and/or monitor clinical research 
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills to convey complex ideas 
  • Solid interpersonal and organisational skills 
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Able to cooperate and collaborate with colleagues and teams
  • Understanding of electronic data capture and data processing functions
  • Understanding of current ICH/ GCP guidelines applicable to the conduct of clinical research
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally
  • Computer literacy and knowledge of popular software and office packages 

Job Trends  
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts faster than average job growth for medical and clinical laboratory technicians, a classification that is similar to clinical research associate (CRA) professions, between 2014-2024.  

Clinical Research is an excellent employment option for life science, pharmacy and medical graduates, offering good career progression and senior opportunities for those with experience. Similar roles include Biological Technician, Veterinary Technologist and Technician.