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A Clinical Trial Manager is responsible for the oversight of clinical trials and the operational management within a clinical development program. These professionals co-ordinate new and ongoing clinical trials and ensure the completion of study deliverables. 

Job Specification, Salary, Outlook

Working as a senior Clinical Trial Manager involves a wide remit of duties. As the core part of this role, you’ll be leading programs to trial and develop new or existing drugs. The duties will include finishing research programs within budget and deadline, whilst complying with ethical and regulatory requirements. 

A career as a Clinical Trial Manager (CTM) is demanding and challenging. CTMs provide leadership in clinical trial activities and are responsible for managing the planning, maintaining an overview of ongoing clinical trials, tracking of the clinical monitoring process, and the administration and implementation of clinical trials. A clinical trial manager acts as a guide to clinical trial assistants and clinical research associates (CRAs). With experience, clinical trial managers can progress to more senior roles such as clinical project manager. 

So how much do Clinical Trial Managers earn? It depends on a number of factors, but the average salary for CTMs in the United States is $98,111 per annum, with a range of $64,851 - $140,241. Factors that affect the level of the salary include job location, employer, technical skills, subject knowledge, education, on-the-job experience, and academic background. In the UK, an average salary of £37,311 per year can be expected, with a range of £25,859 - £61,391.   

Job Description

A Clinical Trial Manager is responsible for managing the overall clinical trial process by implementing effective strategies for the company. They’re in charge of implementing and reviewing trial results using the clinical procedures. Clinical trial managers interact with clinical members, review the trial progress, and make changes to the trial processes and structure as required. They also analyse data based on trial results, creating detailed documentation, and interpret research information.  

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Overseeing the day-to-day management of the trial
  • Assisting in hiring and identification of appropriate third-party study vendors and contract research organisations (CROs) 
  • Ensuring the timely recruitment of trial participants with subsequent effective and efficient data management processes  
  • Ensuring studies are carried out according to the SOPs, study protocol, regulations and study-specific procedures and manuals 
  • Monitoring progress of the trial to ensure compliance with and adherence to the project plan and to identify, measure and rectify problems 
  • Selecting, identifying, and monitoring performance of investigational sites for clinical studies 
  • Recruitment, training, supervision and appraisal of trial team members
  • Establishing procedures to ensure adherence to administrative requirements and trial protocols  
  • Developing and maintaining good working relationships with study staff and investigators 
  • Assisting with the third-party vendor and clinical research associate training on practices and protocols 
  • Planning and conducting regular investigator meetings 
  • Monitoring discrepancies and investigating queries 
  • Managing and negotiating payments and budgets
  • Acting as the point of contact for internal and external agencies

Key Skills & Qualifications      

A bachelor’s degree in life sciences or a closely related field is expected as a minimum level of qualification for an entry-level position. 

Required job skills

  • Thorough understanding of the drug development process 
  • Ability to use initiative, multi-task, prioritise, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines 
  • Demonstrable team-working skills and ability to work independently
  • Systematic and clear thinking
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Autonomy for taking decisions and actions 
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Solid skills in negotiation, organisation and decision making
  • Extensive knowledge of clinical trial regulations 
  • Influential and assertive communication skills
  • Good record keeping skills
  • Conflict management and people management skills

Job Trends 

Clinical trial managers can find work with a variety of organisations and companies, including pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, government-based organisations, clinical research organisations, and nongovernmental agencies. After gaining experience as a clinical trial manager, many individuals go into project management, overseeing a department or team of associates. Further progression to a director of clinical trial and research role is possible, with significant experience.