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Science-based careers you may not have thought of: Clinical Research

Science is undoubtedly a brilliant subject to study and discover. It can lead to myriad careers, but which is a perfect fit for you?

Enter clinical research. As a healthcare science that ascertains how safe and effective drugs, devices and diagnostic products are, it’s the perfect industry for bright and talented science aficionados to get involved in. If you’ve got a degree in science, bio-medicine, nursing or pharmacy, you could be the ideal candidate for a Clinical Research Associate position.

Known as a CRA, this role is an excellent stepping stone in the clinical research field, giving professionals an experience of a corporate environment as well as a strong connection with science. It’s a rewarding career with plenty of demand – but what’s the next step?

CRAs can move on to become Clinical Trial Managers or Clinical Operations Managers, but there’s also the opportunity to take lateral steps into slightly different fields. Take inspiration from some of ICON’s own team members, whom recently spoke at the DIA 2016 Annual Meeting which was held this summer in Philadelphia, PA, 40 miles from ICON’s US Headquarters in North Wales, PA.

Bill Byrom, Senior Director, Product Innovation

Bill is currently a Senior Director within Product Innovation at ICON, but he started his clinical trial career as a Research Associate before moving on to become a Clinical Trials Statistician and then a Clinical Research Associate. After moving on to a Senior Clinical Research Associate position, where he directed key phase I and II clinical trials and selected and managed clinical trial service vendors, he began to take steps in a new direction to further develop his career. After a stint in marketing and business management, he entered a new phase of his career in product strategy and innovation, bringing up more than 25 years of experience in the Pharma industry. He’s a prime example of the many twists, turns and exciting developments a career in clinical research can take.

Mike Minor, ICON Peri-Approval and Observational Research

Like Bill, Mike has plenty of industry experience, with more than 30 years’ experience leading Phase I-IV and non-interventional research under his belt. Now serving as ICON Peri-Approval and Operational Research’s Senior Vice President in Global Head Operations and Strategic Planning, he started his career as a Senior Clinical Research Associate before taking on roles as diverse as President, Managing Director and a range of VP roles within ICON. He has a balanced perspective of sponsor/provider roles and his range of clinical and corporate positions show how just how far you can take your clinical research career.

As the lifeblood of ICON, CRAs are vitally important to our organisation and indeed the industry as a whole. They are at the heart of our clinical trials and are highly valued within the company. What’s more, CRAs can go on to become many things, whether that’s a more senior CRA within a CRO or a Vice President of a major clinical research company.

Whichever direction you want your career to take, we’re here to help make it happen. Check out our current Clinical Operations roles here.
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