A clinical research coordinator or CRC works directly under a principle investigator and helps with a number of tasks. For those who enjoy overseeing personnel, financial work and facilitating other such tasks, then becoming a CRC is ideal. Like other jobs in this field of work becoming a clinical research coordinator requires a few things. Here are 6 steps that can help with how to become a CRC:
Getting the right degree
While anyone who has finished their studies up to the tertiary level can qualify as a CRC, those with degrees that relate to the job have an edge. With this in mind look into finishing a course that is related to science or health. For those who have already completed their education in a different area, taking up an additional short course or extra subjects in these fields may help. Although not a requirement, a post graduate degree may be of big help.
Increase your skills
Being a clinical coordinator requires a lot of organizational and technical skills. For those who are not yet well versed with using the computer and specific programs, it would be good to brush up on this. Taking seminars and courses on improving organizational skills will also be beneficial.
A certification is not always a requirement to becoming a CRC however it can be very helpful to become certified. Aside from assuring employers of your abilities it can also make it easier to find a job. Check your area for organizations which offer certification. There may also be online sites for this. In many cases an exam and a testing fee must be paid. For some organizations the certification they offer is recognized worldwide, so it can be used no matter where you are.
Like other jobs in this field, experience plays a big role in how to become a CRC. For those who are just starting out, the best way to gain the needed experience is by getting jobs that are related. Working in a pharmaceutical company or in a research lab is a good start. Volunteering for research will also help you become exposed to the job. Testing facilities are also a good place to start off since these usually work closely with research institutes.
Keep your skills up to date
Iin a field where new things are constantly being discovered it is important to make sure that the skills you have are also constantly renewed. Having a degree or a certificate should not be the end of the learning process. Grab the opportunity to keep your knowledge and skills up to date by attending conferences and seminars that are in line with the industry. You can also stay updated by joining organizations which cater to CRC’s.
Build a network
Who you know is just about as important as what you know. Whenever possible make the right connections and build strong relationships with people who work in the same field. One of the best ways to meet people from the same industry is by attending functions that are related to the field.
Find the right references
In line with building a network of connections it will also be good to put together reliable references when you are in the midst of learning how to become a CRC. By having the right people listed on your resume as references it will be easier to find a job. Look for people who have authority or are trusted in the industry who can help put in a good word or two for you.
After at least 6 months working as a CRC, you will have the basic experience required to apply for a position as a clinical research associate. Several CRA’s once started their career in clinical research as a CRC.