Clinical Research: A lucrative career option
A common dilemma faced by Life Science graduates is what to do after they have done graduation. Usually the option is to go for PG in same subject and then do teaching but that again requires one to do B.Ed/M.Ed if you want to progress .Teaching jobs are hard to come by and does not pay well. One needs to think a newer avenue that takes less time to get educated and earn in a progressively sustainable way. One such lucrative option is choosing your field in Clinical Research .Those that aspired to be associated with noble world of medicine but couldn’t get it have another chance to work in hospitals and help the humanity to survive by choosing to be in the sunrise industry of clinical research. India now has very robust mechanism in place to promote clinical research and drug trials among international pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations. This requires trained professionals who are well versed with Good Clinical Research Practices and here comes the role of Life Science Graduates.
Clinical research is the study of drugs and medicinal systems on humans, both patients and volunteers to find out both how safe it is as well as what its adverse effects are. It is challenging not just in its vast sphere of work, its responsibilities towards its patients, but also exciting in that this work is ultimately aimed at helping patients with better and more effective medicines, at cheaper prices.
Considering that it is a highly specialized field, a course in clinical research would help an aspirant to get a strong foothold in the industry. As it deals with the human immune system and drug management, the field is ideal for doctors and nurses, and students who have graduated with life sciences like biology, zoology, botany and pharmacy. Students with statistics and mathematics as a background, too have immense opportunities in the field as they would be in the super specialized stream of data management and analysis, which has to do with number crunching – number of patients, drugs, collation of reports and analyses before finally concluding the trial.
What are the growth prospects and pay-scales?
Initially, students start off as a Clinical Research Coordinator/ Clinical Research Associate/ Pharma Co vigilance associate (PVA)/ Research Associate (RA) and earn around Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000/month.
After acquiring an experience of 2 years, they go on to the next level of becoming a Senior Clinical Research Associate /PVA/RA earning something around Rs 25,000 – Rs 40,000/month.
With an experience of three years, they precede to the next level i.e. Project Manager/Team leader/Quality Assurance (QA) associate. At this stage, they earn around Rs 35,000 to Rs 65,000/month.
The next stage is that of a Manager – Clinical operation /QA/PVA/RA which requires an experience of 5-7 years. As a manager clinical operation, individuals can earn something between Rs 80,000- Rs 1, 00,000/month
Lastly, individuals end up acquiring the position of a Director or Vice-President with an experience of 7-10 years. At this level, the pay scale goes up to Rs 3, 00,000/month.
Academy for Ethical Clinical Research Training (AECRT)
AECRT is the only Government recognized institution in Nagpur to impart quality education in clinical research since last 10 yrs. It’s one year semester pattern post graduate diploma in clinical research is recognized by Maharashtra Board of Technical Education ( MSBTE) It’s the only institution in Nagpur to be attached to a multispecialty hospital which has live clinical research protocols running in its various clinical departments for hands on training.AECRT also runs a part time 6 month course for working professionals with classes held on every Sunday. To know more about career in clinical research via film and counseling contact AECRT Office, Next to Getwell Hospital & NRPL Lab, Khare Marg Dhantoli by seeking appointment on phone 9822751454 .
…Dr. Rajesh Swarnakar