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Medical Research Associate

Career Highlights

  • Career opportunities in several fields
  • Health care background required
  • Excellent career advancement

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Career Summary

With each new discovery and technical innovation the field of medical research continues to expand. The diversity of medical research makes it impossible to create an across-the-board career profile for what a medical researcher is and does. However, it is one of the most intriguing careers of all careers including the medical industry.

Medical research includes:

  • Bone & Muscle
  • Brain & Nerve
  • Cancer
  • Digestive Diseases
  • Endocrine & Metabolic
  • Genomics & Proteomics
  • Hearts, Lung, & Blood
  • Infectious Disease
  • Kidney & Urological
  • Transplant Research

Within each research field lays an entire new set of career titles. While most are similar from one medical research field to anther, each will have its own area of expertise and responsibilities. A Study Coordinator or Clinical Research Coordinator is the individual working for the investigator or a academic institution who handles most of the administrative responsibilities of a clinical trial.

Here are some other responsibilities of a clinical research associate:

Serves as a primary liaison between the investigational site and the clinic project sponsor.

A Clinical ensures site compliance with the study drug protocol and FDA regulations.

Makes certain that the scientific integrity of the data collected is protected and verified.

Reviews all case report forms and compare them to source documents.

A clinical research associate (also called a CRA) will have a health care background both career experience and educational developments. About twenty five percent of CRAs have a nursing degree while others have science experience that includes a medical background.

An experienced CRA can advance their career into that of a

  • CRA Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Compliance Manager
  • Safety Manager
  • Clinical Research Trainer
  • Business Development Manager

As you can see, a CRA has a variety of responsibilities. In a nutshell a clinical research associate (CRA) assist in communicating findings to the research community as well as assisting with the design, preparation, planning, implementation and review of a clinical trial to ensure it adheres to regulatory and ethical standards. CRA's also.




Requires a degree in

  • Nursing
  • Medical Assistance
  • Medical Administrative Specialist

Career Skills

  • Administrative Management
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Detail Oriented
  • Excellent Organization

Additional Information



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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.