Career Development

What Does a Clinical Research Coordinator Do?

Find out what a clinical research coordinator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a clinical research coordinator.

Clinical research coordinators are the liaisons between pharmaceutical companies and clinical trials. They are the people who coordinate all of the activities involved in running these trials, from designing them to recruiting participants to monitoring their health status throughout the process.

Clinical research coordinators often work with a team of other medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other researchers. Their job is to ensure that every clinical trial runs smoothly and that every participant receives the best possible care during their time in the trial.

Clinical Research Coordinator Job Duties

Clinical research coordinators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Managing the research budget by tracking expenses and requesting reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs
  • Preparing study materials such as consent forms, brochures, and other written materials for distribution to participants
  • Assisting in recruitment efforts by identifying potential participants and helping them sign up for studies
  • Managing the clinical trial process to ensure it complies with regulatory standards and is consistent with ethical principles of human experimentation
  • Coordinating with clinical staff to schedule appointments and ensure that the trial runs smoothly
  • Recording clinical data and results during the study
  • Maintaining compliance with regulations regarding safety procedures, patient privacy, and other research ethics issues
  • Managing patient medical records and other data during the study
  • Preparing study materials such as consent forms, brochures, and other written materials for distribution to participants

Clinical Research Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Clinical research coordinators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type and size of the company they work for. They may also receive bonuses, commissions, and other forms of compensation.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of clinical research coordinators is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies seek new drugs, clinical research coordinators will be needed to oversee the testing of these products. In addition, clinical trials are increasingly being conducted outside of hospitals, which will increase demand for clinical research coordinators in these settings.

Clinical Research Coordinator Job Requirements

A clinical research coordinator typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require clinical research coordinators to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology, health science or medical science. Some employers may accept a related associate’s degree. Some of the courses you can expect to take in a bachelor’s program include research methods, ethics, research design and statistics.

Training & Experience: Clinical research coordinators receive on-the-job training in the form of an orientation period with a new employer. During this period, they learn about the research facility’s policies and procedures, including how to use the computer systems and the organization’s research protocols.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not always required for clinical research coordinators, they can be useful in finding a job and increasing an employee’s earning potential.

Clinical Research Coordinator Skills

Clinical research coordinators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Administration: Administration skills allow you to manage and oversee research projects. This can include managing budgets, scheduling and overseeing the research team. Clinical research coordinators may also use their administration skills to manage the research data and files.

Budget management: Clinical research coordinators are responsible for managing budgets for their projects. They may be responsible for tracking expenses and ensuring that the research team doesn’t spend more than they have. They may also be responsible for submitting invoices for research-related expenses.

Technical writing: Clinical research coordinators often write reports and correspondence for their team. They may also be responsible for creating training materials for new team members and maintaining records of research data. Strong technical writing skills can help you complete these tasks effectively.

Detail-oriented: Clinical research coordinators must be detail-oriented to ensure they follow all protocols correctly and accurately. They must also be precise when recording data and documenting research results. This is important to ensure the research team follows the right treatment protocol for each patient and to ensure the research team follows the right treatment protocol for each patient.

Decision-making: Clinical research coordinators make many decisions throughout the day, including which research projects to prioritize, how to handle unexpected situations and how to communicate with research subjects. Making effective decisions can help you save time, improve productivity and ensure the safety of research subjects.

Clinical Research Coordinator Work Environment

Clinical research coordinators work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and research institutions. They typically work full time, and some positions may require evening or weekend work. Clinical research coordinators may be required to travel to different locations to attend meetings or to visit research sites. The work of a clinical research coordinator can be stressful, as coordinators must pay close attention to detail and be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to handle the emotional stress that comes with working with patients who are ill or who have died.

Clinical Research Coordinator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how clinical research coordinators work. Clinical research coordinators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Projects Will Be Outsourced

The trend of outsourcing clinical research projects is growing rapidly as pharmaceutical and biotech companies seek to reduce costs. This means that clinical research coordinators will need to be prepared to work with outside contractors and be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Clinical research coordinators who are able to work well with outside contractors will be in high demand, as they will be able to manage projects more efficiently and effectively. In addition, they will be able to provide a higher level of customer service to their clients.

Rising Healthcare Costs Will Force Faster Clinical Trials

The cost of healthcare is on the rise, and this is forcing pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical trials more quickly in order to get their products to market.

Clinical research coordinators will need to be prepared for this trend by ensuring that their teams are able to work quickly and efficiently. They will also need to be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously in order to meet the tight deadlines that are now common in the industry.

Rapidly Changing Technology

Clinical research coordinators need to be aware of the rapidly changing technology in order to keep up with the latest advancements in their field.

As technology changes, so too does the way that clinical research is conducted. This means that coordinators need to be familiar with new software and tools that are used in the research process. They also need to be able to use technology to communicate with research participants and collect data.

More Focus on the Patient Experience

The patient experience is becoming increasingly important in the medical field, as patients are looking for more personalized care. This trend is leading to a greater focus on the patient experience in clinical research, which means that clinical research coordinators will need to develop new skills.

As clinical research coordinators are responsible for creating a positive patient experience, they will need to learn how to manage expectations, communicate effectively, and provide support throughout the research process. This will require a deep understanding of the patient’s perspective and the ability to put the patient’s needs first.

More Smaller Companies Will Emerge

As the pharmaceutical industry becomes more competitive, smaller companies will begin to emerge as a more viable option for drug development.

Clinical research coordinators will need to be prepared for this shift, as they will likely be the ones responsible for working with these smaller companies. They will need to be able to adapt to the changing landscape and be able to work with a variety of different teams.

Larger Companies Will Consolidate

As the pharmaceutical industry becomes more consolidated, larger companies will need to consolidate their clinical research operations. This means that clinical research coordinators will need to be able to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment where they are responsible for multiple projects simultaneously.

Clinical research coordinators who are able to work well under pressure and manage multiple projects will be in high demand in the coming years. Those who are able to develop strong relationships with key stakeholders will be especially successful.

How to Become a Clinical Research Coordinator

A career as a Clinical Research Coordinator can be both exciting and rewarding. It is a great way to help people, while also working in the medical field. There are many different ways to become a Clinical Research Coordinator, but the most important thing is to have a passion for helping people.

There are many different paths you can take to becoming a Clinical Research Coordinator. You can start by getting an associate’s degree in clinical research, or you can get a job as a research assistant and work your way up. You can also become a registered nurse and then specialize in clinical research. No matter which path you choose, it is important to have a passion for helping people and for the medical field.

Clinical Research Coordinators play an important role in clinical trials. They help ensure that the trials are run smoothly and that all of the participants are safe and taken care of. They also collect data and report on the progress of the trial. Clinical Research Coordinators are essential to the success of any clinical trial.

Advancement Prospects

The best opportunities for advancement will be available to those who have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field and several years of experience working in clinical research. Those with a master’s degree or doctorate in a health-related field will have the best opportunities for advancement to management positions.

Clinical research coordinators who are interested in management can advance to positions such as clinical research manager or director of clinical research. Those who are interested in research can advance to positions such as principal investigator or research scientist. Some clinical research coordinators may become college professors.

Clinical Research Coordinator Job Description Example

The Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) is responsible for the coordination and implementation of clinical research studies. The CRC works with the Principal Investigator (PI) to develop study protocols, identify potential study participants, and ensure that all study procedures are followed correctly. The CRC also collects and manages data, and ensures that all regulatory requirements are met. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a clinical research setting, and will be detail-oriented and organized. He or she must also be able to work independently and be able to take initiative.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as a liaison between the research team, study sponsors, and patients
  • Schedule and confirm patient appointments, procedures, and tests
  • Verify patient insurance and eligibility for clinical trials
  • Obtain informed consent from patients participating in clinical trials
  • Educate patients about clinical trial procedures, medications, and expectations
  • Monitor patients during clinical trials for adverse reactions and compliance with protocol
  • Collect and document patient data according to protocol
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date patient records
  • Prepare reports for the research team and sponsor
  • Assist with the development of new clinical trials
  • Recruit patients for clinical trials
  • Train new clinical research coordinators

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline
  • 2+ years experience working in a clinical research setting
  • Working knowledge of federal regulations governing clinical research (21 CFR Part 11, etc.)
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications, especially Excel
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher in a scientific discipline
  • 4+ years experience working in a clinical research setting
  • Certification as a Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) or similar
  • Experience with electronic data capture systems (EDC), such as Medidata Rave
  • Familiarity with statistical software programs, such as SAS

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