Rohit Dubey

What is the career prospects and future for the Clinical Research Industry?

by Rohit Dubey
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RE: What is the career prospects and future for the Clinical Research Industry?

Avadhut Desai
Avadhut Desai
Verified Career Expert
Career Counselor / President at Foresight Foundation
  • Kolhapur

Clinical research is a booming industry which offers rewarding career options to the aspirants. It plays a vital role in introducing new drugs and improving health statistics. In India, the scope of clinical research is raising its global standards to introduce new medicines to cure various illnesses. In the upcoming years, India is going to become a global hub for clinical research. Various established firms are taking initiatives to place students professionally in this field. Clinical research is conducted at various affiliated academic medical centers and research centers. They provide quality learning ecosystem which involves networking sites, pharmaceutical companies, emerging technologies, managing data and various operational factors related to this field. One can also find various job opportunities in the larger pool of medical aspirants in metro cities.

What is Clinical Research all about?

Clinical research is a side-stream of healthcare sciences. Clinical trials are the main part of clinical research. It determines the safety and effectiveness of medicines, equipment, diagnostic products etc prior to release in the market. Sometimes, people get confused between clinical research and clinical practice. The difference is, one is to collect evidence to establish a treatment, while lateral is used to establish treatments itself. Clinical research is referred to the complete bibliography of a drug, device or a biological test. There is a huge requirement in Clinical Research in India which can be discussed as follows:

The clinical trials market worldwide is worth over USD 26 billion and the industry has employed an estimated 2,10,000 people in the US & over 70,000 in the UK, and that form one-third of the total research and development staff. There are more than 2,50,000 positions vacant globally & salaries vary in the region of approximately USD 40,000 per annum for a Clinical Research Coordinator. A career in Clinical Research offers excellent job opportunities in USA, Europe, Singapore & India. India is going to be the hub of clinical trials.


Areas of this field:

Clinical research is having a wide scope for various career prospects in different areas. One can find various career options depending upon his area of interest and type of clinical research. One can apply in the follow fields:

  • CRO(Contract Research Organizations)
  • Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Medical Device Companies
  • Biotechnology
  • PRO (Patient Recruitment Organizations)
  • Clinical data management
  • Medical writing
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Central lab
  • Regulatory affairs
  • Logistics and courier services
  • Research sites
  • Auditing of clinical trials
  • Government Agencies

Minimum Eligibility:

One, who holds a bachelor degree in Science, can carve a niche in the fields related to clinical research. After graduation, one can explore his career in this field having subjects such as life science, medicine, bioscience, and pharmacy. Bioscience students can also opt for genetics, botany, zoology and biochemistry subjects to venture into this field. 

One who has 2-3 years of working experience is always preferable in this field.

Required Skills:         

Clinical research is a field which requires some specific skills which one need to develop to choose this field as a career option.

  • Public dealing
  • Capability to extract work
  • Soft skills
  • Capability to adapt various cultures
  • keen observer
  • a keen eye for details

Opportunities by profession:

  • For Doctors: Principal Investigators / Co-investigator / Medical Advisor / Drug Developers / Regulatory Affairs Manager / Clinical Research Physician


  • For Paramedics, Pharmacists & Life Science Graduates: Medical Writers / Clinical Research Associates / Site coordinators / Clinical Research Manager / Drug Development Associates / Clinical Data Management / Pharamcovigilance Executive / Clinical Trail analyst / Drug Reviewer / Drug Safety Physician & many more


  • For Management Professionals: (with Life Science/Health Science background) Business Development / Clinical Project Management / Clinical Research Management / Regulatory Affairs


  • Some of the regular recruiters: Accenture, Cipla, Clinigene, CliniRx, Clinisys, Cognizant, Excel Lifesciences, Global Spectrum, Jubilant, iGate, Indegene Life Systems, Manipal Accunova, Neeman, Nicholas Piramal, Novartis, Panacea, Quintiles, Ranbaxy, Sanofi-Aventis, Siro Clinpharm, TCS & more


  • Clinical Research Associates: To monitor clinical trials, ensure compliance with clinical trial protocol, checks clinical sites activities, make on-site visits, CRFs


  • Clinical Research Investigators: Conduct BA/BE studies, writing / revising SOP, review of protocols, investigators brochures, ICF & CRFs Protocol, CRF & ICF preparations plans and conduct of BA/BEIER/IRB affairs-GC.


  • Study Coordinators: Provides safety & protection while collecting & managing the study data.


  • Data Manager / Biostatistician: Design, study & predict the seriousness of the disease, seriousness of disease, evaluate new treatment and effectiveness of medication, participate in research design, data collection, choosing & implementing appropriate methodologies, interpreting the results.


  • Regulatory Affairs Managers: Review & registration of documents, evaluation of technical data, liaison with regulatory authorities.


  • Clinical Trials Auditors: Conducts audits for regulatory function within the trial department to assure compliance with GLP/GCP in accordance with established FDA regulations and company policies & standard operating procedure.


  • Clinical Research Managers: Manage, supervise, train, mentor clinical research staff, approve investigator’s study, budget & contract, review & approve regulatory documents, develop protocol, approve CRFs, review study data


  • Business Development Manager: Identify potential clients; establish business relations, responsible for meeting new clients, following up on leads, market research.


  • Drug Safety Associate: Manage & relay drug safety information, maintain current knowledge of global drug safety regulations, summarize clinical safety data, write narratives with medical input, report SADRs to Regulatory Authorities, participate in training on drug safety issues & another task under drug safety.


  • Medical Writer: Documentation, manuscripts, abstracts, external communication tools


  • Clinical Data Manager: Ensures the accuracy & consistency of data prepared for regulatory bodies for reporting purpose.


  • Others: Auditors, Quality Assurance, Patents & IP Related position


Better career options with ICRI:

India’s first book on clinical research and pharmacovigilance was launched by ICRI. It is the first institute to launch a Ph.D. in Clinical Research & the first international & national conference in clinical research was also conducted by ICRI in India. ICRI has conducted major corporate training workshops at companies such as Dr.Reddy’s, Apollo hospital, Panacea Biotech, IPCA LAB helping us to know the latest trends and practices in the industry. ICRI has partnered with leading organizations such as Singh health, AHA, DIA, UKIERI for various research & training initiatives.

Most of the professionals working in clinical research & pharmacovigilance industry are ICRIians, therefore you will be the preferred candidate for the job. 100% placement with ICRI and starting salary of ICRI’ians is 4 to 7 lacs rupees per annum. ICRI has associated its name with over 2500+ different industry partners in various hospital and research related fields all over the world


Remuneration at various prospects:

In Clinical research Industry, the pay scale depends upon the education, job profile and expertise just like other sectors. Here is the estimated monthly salary package at different levels:


  • At an initial level, one can earn around INR 10k – 20k, he can build his work profile as a CRC/CRA/PVA/RA.
  • After getting 2-years experience, one can earn between INR 25k to 40k, he can get job having work profile as a Senior level of CRA/PVA/RA
  • After 3-years of experience, INR 35k – 60k can be earned, he can work as a Project manager/ Team Leader/QA
  • After 5-7 years of experience, the pay scale can be high somewhat between INR 80k – 1lakh, he can get a job for the managerial posts such as CRO/QA/PVA/RA
  • Lastly, after gaining 7 to 10 years of experience, one can easily earn up to 3 Lakhs INR, he can work as a Director or Vice-President in various medical organizations.

Future prospects:

India is the second largest pharmaceutical industry in Asia. There seems a rise of approximately 10% of the career prospects annually in the upcoming years. Various multi-national companies are offering their research facilities in India, which result in an exponential rise in the clinical research industry. As per a study, the expected rise will be more than 50,000 in career options related to the clinical industry. After completing graduation, one can get a job at entry level positions. For higher posts, Master's degree is required and somewhere specific certification courses are required. Those who are willing to do deep research, Ph.D. is the ideal solution for them. Along with the education fulfilments, a good hands on is mandatory to be in this field. One can start his career as a Clinical Research Associate, followed by the Project Manager and even Director of the clinical department. Hard work, practical knowledge, and effective communication skills can lead one towards an edge of Clinical Research Industry.

RE: What is the career prospects and future for the Clinical Research Industry?

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