Career in Clinical Research

Clinical Research branches off into various categories at the entry level. The most common entry-level position is that of a Clinical Research Associate (CRA). The role of a CRA is varied.

  • They are key participants in the design, implementation and monitoring of clinical trials
  • They shoulder the responsibility of planning and implementing all activities required to conduct and monitor complex clinical trials and ensure that Good Clinical Practices are followed.
  • They assist in preparation of presentations and manuscripts of scientific meetings and technical journals and attend scientific/professional meetings and training courses as appropriate.


Perform statistical programming, design, and analysis for clinical trial projects. Planning, coordinating and providing statistical analyses, summaries and reports of studies is also a part of their job profile.
In addition they are responsible for New Drug Applications and Biological License Applications submissions.

CRM are Clinical Research Managers,They supervise design and writing of protocols, case report forms and informed consent forms for clinical trials. They ensure that Case Report Forms are reviewed in a timely fashion and submitted to the data management group. There are other posts too such as Clinical Research Coordinator, Business Development Manager, Clinical Research Investigator, Clinical Data Manager etc.


  • There is high demand for trained professionals in this field; the pay package is impressive at the entry level.
  • Freshers can expect a pay packet of around three lakhs or more per annum.
  • If you have a master|s degree backing your qualifications, then the amount is almost doubles.
  • Clinical research is an industry where experience counts, thus the longer you are in this field; higher the salary you can expect.

Growth Prospects

There are various growth opportunities along the way for those willing to learn. For those interested in serious research work, a PhD is the ideal solution. There are post graduate degrees and diploma’s offered by various colleges which come in handy to enhance one’s career prospects. Specialization in branches of pharmacy, life sciences, biochemistry will be useful. Studying further will also help one in bettering their current job profile. For instance doing a masters will enhance the job prospects of a CRA to become a Project Manager. Similarly a PhD in a related discipline is needed to become a Medical Director. According to industry reports, India is the second largest pharmaceutical market in Asia growing by more than nine per cent annually. According to a report, there are more than 50,000 jobs in clinical research in India .Lack of experience is no longer a hindrance, and companies are hiring from other streams too. With the influx of multinationals setting up research facilities here, the industry is poised to grow exponentially.

Where to study?
Academy for Clinical Excellence (ACE)

Website http://
It offers courses like Clinical Research; From Theory to Practice, clinical Research and GCP for investigators, Quality assurance in clinical research etc.

Institute of Clinical Research (ICRI)

Website http://

It offers the following courses

  • Two year full time - Masters in Clinical research + MBA
  • Two year full time - MSC in Clinical Research
  • Part-time post graduate diploma in Clinical Research (1 year)
  • PhD in Clinical Research.

Bombay College of Pharmacy

Website http://
Offers Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral programme of study in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Cliniminds - Academy for Clinical Research Training & Management

Institute offers wide range of clinical research courses; diploma programs in Pharmacovigilance; Quality Assurance in Clinical Research; Biostatistics; Investigators; GCP Training; Monitoring and several other programs