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Everything you need to know about clinical trial management

Posting date: 05/05/2023
Author: Inside ICON

Clinical trials are cutting-edge research studies designed to evaluate medical interventions, including surgical and behavioural procedures and products. In Ireland, they must be authorised by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and the National Office for Research Ethics Committees (NREC).


These studies play a crucial role in developing new treatments, including diets, devices, or drugs, and allow scientists to monitor patient response, efficacy, and side effects before a new treatment launches on the market.

Governments all over the world require stringent clinical trial data before approving medical interventions. As a result, clinical research organisations (CROs) are in high demand, as they conduct clinical trials and report on their findings. An effective clinical trial requires a skilled and experienced management team, often working for trusted CROs like ICON.

The most important aspects of clinical trial management

Every clinical trial requires a dedicated trial manager who is solely focused on overseeing the team and ensuring overall success. They often work alongside the clinical project manager, though their duties are distinct. Here are some of the most important aspects of a career in clinical trial management.

Preventing bias in reporting

Clinical trials must remain free from bias. This is not the same as ensuring the medical intervention is found safe and effective – the trial manager must stay neutral and commit only to the data. Therefore, trusted companies such as ICON follow stringent trial management guidelines, including blinding, to prevent bias and ensure that the results are neutral and accurate.

Keep the project organised and on schedule

Clinical trial managers must have excellent time management skills and planning capabilities, as they are responsible for keeping the trial on schedule. Even when employee morale dips or the results are unfavourable, the clinical trial coordinator must be able to lead and motivate the team. After all, the results could be unusable if the time-sensitive schedule is not followed.

Overseeing project design and identifying errors

Project planning is an essential aspect of all clinical trial management jobs. Despite this, some CROs prefer to bring trial managers on after the project has been designed to save costs and reduce their staffing budget.

However, this often prevents the clinical trial manager from identifying serious errors in the project design right from the beginning. As they are familiar with a clinical trial's daily process, they can pinpoint critical flaws in a study’s practical aspects.

Ensuring the trial is correctly documented and evaluated

Most importantly, clinical trial managers oversee all other nurses, apprentices, and lab technicians to ensure that the trial has been correctly documented and evaluated. Without these vital processes, the entire trial would have been for nothing, as the medical company would not be able to use the data.

Working with a diverse team of people

One of the most important skills needed for clinical trial manager jobs is excellent intrapersonal skills, as you’ll work with a diverse array of different professions. On a daily basis, you’ll need to communicate with clinical trial nurses, clinical research associates, lab technicians, doctors, patients, and admin staff, as well as representatives from the commissioning company. Therefore, the ability to relate to and collaborate with people from multiple backgrounds is a must.

Simply put, a successful clinical trial requires an experienced, professional clinical trial manager to take the reins and keep the trial on track. As the industry is rapidly changing and adopting pioneering technology, AI, and virtual trials, it’s an exciting time to start or advance your career.

Clinical Trial Management careers at ICON

Are you looking for a new challenge in a professional and innovative setting where you will be supported to grow in your clinical trial career? ICON should be at the top of your shortlist. ICON is the world's leading clinical research organisation (CRO) – working with ICON will immerse you in the most complex healthcare challenges and give you the chance to overcome them.

Now is the time to browse clinical trial vacancies and take the next step in your career with ICON.

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