How to Get a CRA Experience

How To Get CRA Experience

Want to get a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) job in ANY organization?

Well, you’ve landed in the right place.

There are a ton of CRA jobs out there. But there is one major concern most employers have with entry-level candidates.

Employers want applicants to have relevant CRA experience. Your resume doesn’t even make it to the hiring manager’s desk because you don’t have two years of CRA experience.

How are you able to get CRA experience when they don’t really teach you to become a CRA in college?

  • You’ve gone through four years of college education and have a degree engineering, science or management
  • You’ve spent years working as a foreign doctor or even had your own private practice as a clinician
  • You’ve successfully completed a certification in clinical trial management

You certainly have the right skills for a CRA role. But you’re finding it almost impossible to get your foot in the door.

And let’s be honest. Most people in clinical research learn how to be a CRA on the job. Through some mysterious way, they get hired and trained to become a CRA.

In this article, I’ll share with you everything I know that will help you build your clinical research resume. Pick 1-2 opportunities from this list below and follow all the steps in my BEAVER Method – Get A Clinical Research Job and you’re golden!

Ultimately, my goal is for you to get a paid CRA job in any organization of your choice.

So let’s get started

Hospital or Clinic Volunteer

Hospital Volunteer

This is my favorite strategy to get CRA experience. It’s also exactly how I got my first break in the industry.

Believe it or not, most large hospital or clinics have an official volunteering program. The volunteer program mainly geared towards retired individuals who want to give back to the community. But that doesn’t mean you can’t qualify.

There are two ways you can volunteer at a local hospital or clinic. I’ll cover each one in-depth.

Traditional Volunteer

This is the type of volunteering role where you’re cleaning hospital beds and putting new sheets after the patient leaves.

Or you may be tasked to move patients from the emergency room to the radiology department for a CT scan or X-Ray.

Or you may be simply stuffing envelopes with letters to hospital donors.

There is no research involved. However, these internships are equally for someone who has close to zero experience in the medical field.

Such volunteer roles are quite easy to secure. All you have to do is fill out the volunteering application form to indicate your interested and availability to serve as a volunteer. Make sure you fill the forms accurately.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to commit at least 4-6 hours each week and be willing to serve the community and patients. It’s not about you or your desire to get CRA experience. It’s about the patients.

You volunteering application will be accepted in a few days. Next, you’ll be asked to complete simple medical exams to ensure you’re a safe human being with no diseases that pose a threat to the patients.

Once your test results are in and you’re all clear, you’ll get volunteer badge and become an official volunteer.

It’s really that simple.

Now you’re wondering, “How does being a hospital volunteer help me become a CRA?”

My short answer: The foundation of any clinical research job is to serve patients.

By working closely with patients, physicians and nurses, you’re unknowingly absorbing clinical knowledge that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do so.

You’re also building a valuable skill of being able to work with doctors and nurses. These are the same individuals that serve as site investigators and research coordinators on clinical studies.

Once you’ve been a traditional volunteer for 3-4 months, you’ll have relevant clinical experience that you can list on your resume.

You want the recruiter and hiring managers to get a sense of how your volunteering work had an impact on the clinical practice, the things you learned or observed and the influence you had on patient’s lives.

Clinical Research Volunteer

I consider this as a special and lesser known volunteer path.

Many practicing physicians have a deep desire to conduct research. But they don’t end up publishing research papers or presenting at conferences.

Why?

Because seeing patients is a full-time job. For instance, a family practice physician in the United States has to see a minimum of 18-22 patients in an 8-hour day. This leaves little or no time to conduct research.

The doctors don’t have enough time on their hands to write a protocol, make an IRB submission, review medical records or charts, or perform analysis on the clinical data.

But this is where you come into rescue. Follow these five simple steps and get relevant clinical research experience.

Step 1: Determine which therapeutic areas you’re interested in. If you’re not sure, I’d recommend cardiology, oncology or diabetes.

Step 2: Next, you want to identify doctors working in those specialties. You can find these doctors by looking at the local hospital website.

Step 3: After identifying potential doctors you want to work with, send each of them a personalized email an expressing your interest in being a research volunteer.

Step 4: After a few email exchanges and probably an in-person interview with the doctor, you’ll land with you dream clinical research volunteer role.

I’ve actually followed this exact process and was able to get one publication and one presentation on neonatal care.

Step 5: Once your research paper or presentation is complete, you can add it to your resume and brag about it to recruiters and hiring managers.

Intern at a Fortune 500 Company

Bipharma and Medical Device Company Logos

Most of us understand the value of an internship. It’s a great way to get relevant clinical experience and probably making a bit of money on the side.

Internship at a Fortune 500 healthcare company such as Pfizer, Abbott, Merck, Apple and even Google (yes, Apple and Google have healthcare products) can be a very rewarding experience.

These are also most sought-after internships. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get in.

Pros/Cons of Internship Roles at Fortune 500 Companies

Pros:

  • Excellent clinical training opportunity. You get to learn and implement standard operating procedures, application of GCP in real-world studies, working with cross-functional teams and more
  • You will most likely get paid for your time as an intern

Cons:

  • A structured application process requires advanced planning. You will generally to apply 9-12 months prior to the target internship start date
  • The internship program is mostly geared towards full time or part-time students
  • Highly competitive (but hey, competition can make things better)

Resources: Fortune 500 Healthcare Company Internship and Coop Programs

Here is the current list of Fortune 500 companies.

You can apply filters such as “Industry – Pharmaceuticals” to identify healthcare companies.

Links to a few Co-op and Internship Programs at Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical Device Companies

Johnson & Johnson

Pfizer’s US Summer Student Intern Program

Merck’s career program for interns, coops and recent grads

AbbVie’s US Student Internship Program

Gilead Sciences Internships

Eli-Lilly Student Opportunities

Amgen Internships and Coops

Bristol-Myers Squibb Internship Programs

Biogen Internship and Coop Programs

Abbott Internships and Development Programs

Work at a Healthcare Start-up

healthcare startup

This strategy is an extension of securing an internship role at Fortune 500 healthcare companies.

When most people think of jobs or internships, multinational corporations come to the top of our mind. However, the Fortune 500 list is limited to the top companies.

There are thousands of other companies that operate in the healthcare space but do not make it to the Fortune 500 list.

A quick search on Angel.co revels that there are at least 18,956 healthcare startups. This list doesn’t even account for established companies that don’t make it to the Fortune 500 list.

A position at a healthcare startup that sells medical products or services is an excellent opportunity to not only learn more about healthcare space but have a greater impact in society.

Here is why I think a healthcare startup will love you:

  • Most start-up companies are resource strapped. Resources could be money, time, or people. Therefore, if a startup can acquire an extraordinary talent such as yourself, they can save one or more of these resources
  • Most start-ups are trying to grow and spread their message. If you can contribute towards the company’s goals and help them get one step closer to the finish line, they have no choice but to fall in love with your passion and commitment towards their organization.

Pros/cons of working at a healthcare startup

Pros:

  • You get to wear different hats at a healthcare start-up. One day you’ll be working on a new clinical trial and the next day you’ll be packing boxes to ship medical products to a clinical trial site. Such experience is of much value to companies hiring for CRA positions
  • You’ll be presented with opportunities to work on important problems. If you can jump on these opportunities and show that you can execute and deliver results, you can accelerate your clinical research career
  • Unlike Fortune 500 healthcare companies, start-ups are lesser known to job seekers. This makes it relatively easy to secure an internship, full-time or part-time position

Cons:

  • Your work objectives may not be as structured as a Fortune 500 company. You will probably be on your own and will need to figure things out by asking questions to people or finding clinical resources on government websites such as FDA.gov.
  • There won’t be an established internship application process. You’ll need to email and call the CEO or head of clinical or R&D to get your foot in the door
  • Your role may not be limited to clinical research. You’ll be expected to work on non-clinical tasks or goals
  • You may or may not get paid. It depends on what you can negotiate

Resources: Working for Healthcare Startups

My favorite resource to research healthcare companies is biospace.com. It is a comprehensive list of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies. Similarly, you can look up healthcare companies on angel.co.

Just start going through the company websites one-by-one, find out the CEO or vice president of clinical and begin contacting them for potential internship opportunities.

I know it’s a tedious process.

Plus there is a fear-factor of sending cold emails to people you don’t know. That’s precisely why very few people are doing this.

But if you want to become a CRA, this is your best shot to become one.

Work for a Clinical Research Site or Site Network

clinical research site

Similar to a volunteer at a hospital or clinic, you can apply to work at a clinical research site or a clinical research site network.

To begin, let’s get some definitions out of the way.

A clinical research site is a location where a clinical trial is conducted.

It is generally a place where the site investigator and research coordinators see potential and current clinical trial patients, store regulatory binders, maintain patient medical records, place where CRA performs monitoring activities and more.

A research site can be independent, standalone office or part of a larger hospital system.

Many current clinical research professionals, which includes CRAs, started their careers as a clinical research coordinator (CRC) at a trial site.

Hospitals and clinics are looking for CRCs to enroll clinical trial patients, perform medical chart review or perform tasks such as data entry in clinical databases. This experience is in many ways the foundation of many CRAs in the industry.

It is important to note that although many CRCs are Registered Nurses (RN), you don’t need to be an RN to become a CRC.

On the other hand, a clinical research site network, is a network of sites and it means just that.

Sites will form networks or belong to paid networks to reduce fixed costs such as marketing and business development, provide a consistent experience to trial sponsors and CROs, and/or meet the highest level of clinical research standards.

Pros/cons of working at clinical research sites or site networks

Pros:

  • One of the best ways to understand the inner workings of a clinical research site
  • Opportunity to work with multiples sponsors, CROs and patients. You’ll not only gain valuable experience but also grow your network, which can ultimately help you secure a full-time CRA job
  • Highly sought-after experience for companies looking for CRA or CRA assistant candidates

Cons:

  • Given the academic and research-driven focus, internship stipends or salaries may be lower than industry jobs (sponsor/ CRO)
  • If you’re an intern, you may not be able to work directly with patients due to privacy reasons or site policy. Instead, you’ll be assigned menial jobs such as filing regulatory documents or subject case report forms, all of which you should undertake with pride

Resources: How do you find a clinical research site?

Finding clinical research sites is a bit tricky.

For independent clinical research sites, you’ll have to rely on Google search or word of mouth.

Search of the terms “clinical research site + [your city/state/country].” If the site has a web presence, you will likely find them.

Large hospitals, particularly medical schools, are involved in clinical trials and have a clinical research department.

You basically contact the director of their clinical research or human resources (HR) department and ask them about career opportunities in their department.

Resources: How do you find a clinical research site network?

There are quite a few site networks but the sites that participate in these networks are sometimes not publicly available.

Why?

Well, because some site networks charge sites a flat annual fee to belong to their site research network or the site network charges sponsors get access to their sites. Someone has to pay for this information, it’s either the sites or sponsors.

Clinical Research Network has a public listing of sites in their network. You can reach out to some or all of these sites and ask them about potential career opportunities in research.

Center Watch also has a list of sites by geographic location

Research Match is an NIH funded initiative that connects patients and researchers. There are some big institutional names here. You can reach out to any of these sites and see if they are looking to hire or get volunteer help.

Platinum Research is another website where you can find a list of site research networks. Click on the “company websites” to get information on research sites in your area.

Work at a Site Management Organization (SMO)

Similar to other career options we’ve discussed so far, working at a SMO is a great way to secure CRA experience.

A SMO is responsible for managing day-to-day trial management activities at a research site. Simply stated, the role of the SMO is to fill the gaps at a site.

For instance, a site may not have a dedicated research coordinator. This is where the SMO comes in play. Some sites have their own preferred SMO whereas other sites may be assigned a SMO by the clinical trial sponsor or clinical research organization (CRO).

Working at an SMO is in many ways similar to working at the site as described earlier.  12 – 24 months of SMO experience will generally be sufficient to meet the “two-year” CRA experience most sponsors or CROs require.

Pros/cons of working at a SMO

Pros:

  • Lesser known career opportunities, so your chances of getting hired are quite good
  • Opportunity to truly understand the challenges faced by clinical research sites. This experience is valuable for anyone interested in becoming a CRA
  • SMOs are more common in Asian countries such as Japan, India, Taiwan, and China. If you’re looking for international clinical research experience, this might be one the best ways to get it

Cons:

  • US-based SMOs are not as common and it can be challenging to come across a SMO closer to where you currently live
  • Many SMOs are regional as they serve sites in their area

Resources: How to find a Site Management Organization?

Below are a few U.S. based SMOs

CMX Research Partner

PMG Research

CSSi Lifesciences

Consolidated Clinical Trials

Work at a Clinical Research Organization (CRO)

clinical research organization

A CRO provides clinical research services to sponsors. They are also known as Contract Research Organizations.

Today CROs are more popular than ever. Many Sponsor companies, large and small, don’t have the in-house clinical expertise to conduct a study. This is where a CRO comes into the picture.

A CRO provides the Sponsor the clinical resources i.e. people needed to execute on a clinical strategy. By hiring a CRO, the Sponsor isn’t stuck with permanent headcount, should they decide to abandon a medical product or terminate a clinical trial.

CRO size and specialty can vary. For instance, there are niche CROs that only serve certain therapies, regions, or types medical products such as a CRO specializing in medical device research.  

Pros/cons of working at a CRO

Pros:

  • More likely to hire individuals with little or no clinical research experience
  • Opportunity to work on multiple therapeutic areas, medical products, and Sponsor companies
  • Many CROs offer on the job training programs to help you with your professional development

Cons:

  • Service-based nature of CROs can lead to a stressful work environment when working with demanding Sponsors
  • CRO personnel assignments are generally reviewed and approved by Sponsors. You may not get to work on your dream project if a Sponsor things you are not qualified, especially if you’re a newbie
  • Pay for entry-level positions will likely be low. But if you truly care about CRA experience, the pay shouldn’t matter when you’re starting out. Build CRA relevant experience and then take on another opportunity within or outside the CRO
  • Job descriptions may list a minimum two-year experience requirement, but I encourage you to apply to these junior level positions such as CRA assistant or clinical site coordinator/associate

Resources: How to find a Clinical Research Organizations?

Below are a few global CROs for you to consider:

IQVIA

PPD

PRA Health Sciences

Covance

ICON

PAREXEL

Medpace

Another option for finding CROs is First Clinical’s Supplier Directory, that lists several the companies that provide contract clinical research services.

Intern at a Government (Regulatory) Agency

regulatory agency

Government agencies play a crucial role in clinical research. They review and approve medical products. Their primary concern is patient safety.

Such organizations include the US Food and Drug Administration, competent authorities in the European Union such as Germany’s BfArM or China FDA.

Government laws and regulations form the foundation for any company wanting to obtain medical product approval for commercialization. The laws and regulations also apply to service-based companies such as CROs and SMOs and clinical trial sites conducting research.

Every clinical organization must follow the law and stay compliant. This is what makes working for government agencies exciting. You can learn things that truly matter when it comes to clinical research. You can then apply these learning as you advance in your clinical research career.

Pros/cons of an internship at a Government (Regulatory) Agency

Pros:

  • You’ll learn a lot about health care regulations, patient safety and how decisions are made inside government agencies. This is an incredibly valuable experience to have early on in your career
  • Highly regarded among CRA hiring managers and recruiters

Cons:

  • Many opportunities will be unpaid or may come with a small stipend. If your primary objective is to gain valuable research experience, taking on volunteer opportunities within government organization is a great way to build your resume
  • Certain organizations may require you to be a citizen of the country you’re interested in working for

Resources: Government (Regulatory) Agencies

Check your local country, state, county or city website to find out which department or division of the government is responsible for overseeing healthcare projects such as clinical trials.

Food and Drug Administration has an unpaid student volunteer program. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this program is open for non-US citizens including permanent residents and visa holders.

You can also volunteer at FDA field offices, so you don’t need to relocate to Maryland. But if you can work at the FDA headquarters, that is probably the best as you’ll have access to more people and resources.

Other notable government or government-funded organizations are as follows:

Work For A Nonprofit Focused On Healthcare Initiatives

healthcare nonprofit

Nonprofit organizations existing to fill gaps that the private and public sector do not or are unable to address. Nonprofits are mission-driven organizations.

There are thousands of nonprofits in the United States that are focused on healthcare initiatives and medical research. Such nonprofits include clinical research associations such as Association of Clinical Research Professionals, and American Heart Association.

Many people looking for CRA experienced are focused on CROs and Sponsor companies. But there are many lesser-known nonprofits that are looking for people like to you to work in the healthcare sector.

Your first job at these nonprofits will probably not a CRA position but you’ll gain valuable experience that will allow you to transition to a CRA position in the future.

Pros/cons of an working at a nonprofit

Pros:

  • Nonprofits are generally looking for motivated individuals to support their mission
  • Prior clinical research experience won’t be required in most organizations
  • Excellent opportunity to take on meaningful work that isn’t focused on the financial bottom line. For-profit organizations are primarily driven by money and the work itself may not be as fulfilling

Cons:

  • A nonprofit may not be able to afford high salaries. You may be given a stipend or just enough money to survive

Resources: How to find Nonprofits with Healthcare Initiatives?

  • First Clinical has one of the most comprehensive clinical research association directory listing. Many of these industry associations are probably nonprofits. Just start going through these associations one by one, reach out the Executive Director of each of these organizations and inquire about volunteering, full-time or part-time opportunities
  • Guidestar is the world’s most comprehensive database for nonprofits. You can search for nonprofits in “Medical Research” or “Health” category and sort by “Gross Receipts”. If you start with organizations that have funding, they are more likely to hire you for a paid position
  • Similar to Guidestar, there is Charity Navigator, where you can perform an Advanced Search for nonprofits in the Health → Medical Research category
  • Health Finder, which was developed by the Department of Health and Human Services has a listing of nonprofit organizations in the healthcare field

Invest In Your Learning

clinical research training

One of the best ways to get CRA experience is to invest in your learning. You can take on a certification program with organizations such as ACRP or SOCRA.

There are also paid and free online courses that you can take with ACRP, free GCP certification with NDAT CTN Training, or clinical research courses on Coursera.

However, knowledge through certifications or courses in and by itself is not sufficient to get a CRA role. You need to “learn” through practical experience.

You can also consider attending or volunteering at clinical research conferences hosted by companies such as ExL events, CBI events, ACRP or SOCRA. Such conferences allow you to network with like-minded people, which in turn creates opportunities for you and everyone else attending these events.

Finally, I would do a disservice to this article if I did not mention the important soft skills you need to master on your way to becoming a CRA. Some of soft skills include negotiation, active listening, not complaining, empathy and self awareness.

Conclusion

We’ve covered 9 different ways you can gain CRA experience. Pick 1-2 opportunities from this list, and pursue them with your full focus and energy.

  1. Hospital or Clinic Volunteer
  2. Intern at a Fortune 500 Company
  3. Work at a Healthcare Start-up
  4. Work for a Clinical Research Site or Site Network
  5. Work at a Site Management Organization (SMO)
  6. Work at a Clinical Research Organization (CRO)
  7. Intern at a Government (Regulatory) Agency
  8. Work For A Nonprofit Focused On Healthcare Initiatives
  9. Invest In Your Learning

Apply the foundational principles I share in the BEAVER Method – How to Get A Clinical Research Job and you’ll be on your way to getting your dream clinical research position in any organization.

What are you planning to do next? Let me know if the comments section below.

21 Thoughts on "How To Get Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Experience"

  1. Extreme Night Owl
    October 31, 2017

    Very good information. Thank you!

    • Kunal Sampat
      November 1, 2017

      Thank [email protected]@extremenightowl:disqus Let me know if you have any specific questions. Happy to help.

  2. Gunturu .Neeharika
    December 5, 2017

    Hi kunal, I’ve been reading articles about volunteer research work online and I just got ended up here. Firstly, thanks for this simple and detailed information . I’m an ent surgeon from India but settled in Sydney as my husband is an Australian citizen. Im on my visitors visa now for next 5 months and I do want to utilize this time gaining experience in / learning research work while waiting for my medical registration here in Australia. I want to enrol as a volunteer in clinical trials or research work and I’m new to this area so, it would be great if you could help me with this ( any idea about opportunities in Sydney) .Thanks neeharika .

    • Kunal Sampat
      December 21, 2017

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Glad to hear you find the information useful. I’m happy to help you and will send you an email with details.

  3. Adina
    January 1, 2018

    Hi Kunal,
    Thank you for your great information.
    I am a medical school applicant doing my msc in medical physics. I was thinking of part time joining a clinical research group as well. I also would love to publish some papers on clinical research area as well. I am very skilled in data analysis and working with people. My background is biophysics and math. Do you have any idea how I could go about that?
    Thank you,

    • Kunal Sampat
      January 3, 2018

      Hi Adina, Thank you for reaching out. Yes, I think there are many ways for you publish papers in clinical research. One recommendation I have for you is that you reach out to some medical doctors that are actively conducting clinical trials at a teaching hospital near your home. You can then collaborate with them on a research project as volunteer. Since you’re proficient at data analysis, you can help the medical doctor collect and analyze clinical data. This can be retrospective data. The doctor will know where to publish etc. and he/she will add you as an author on the paper. This is how I got my very first paper in clinical research. Hope this helps. Let me know if I can answer any additional questions.

  4. Pradeep
    January 29, 2018

    Hi Kunal,
    I am research professional with experience of 8 yrs in clinical trials in laboratory, quality assurance and recent role which was in data management /administration. (volunteer).Despite of such a strong professional experience can’t get a break through in the field. Because of recent volunteer role get some interview calls but don’t have ethics application experience holds me back. I am desperately looking and applying for clinical research assistant role but could not get it.Have a good references too but don’t know where I’m lagging behind as feedback of interviewers says they have more experienced candidates who has recently done the program or role. Kindly share some advice. Thanks . Pradeep

  5. Neha
    August 27, 2018

    Hi kunal,
    Thanks for these important tips. I am graduate as dentist from India and then i completed my post graduate diploma in clinical research from Institute of Clinical Research India. Post completion of this course, I had 6 months training as clinical research manager at a CRO and then worked as CRA at PGIMER, Chandigarh, India on an oncology trial for 6 months. Currently I am on visitor visa in Melbourne, Australia with my husband who is PR here. I want to utilize this time in some training or education for 3 months as i cant work on visitor visa. Kindly guide me with best of your knowledge and experience. Email is [email address removed]

    • Wasim Kamate
      August 27, 2018

      Hii Neha, we too have completed MDS and postgraduate diploma course in clinical research in Maharashtra India..Please guide me further as to what can I do to get experience in clinical research and post of clinical research manager in India, more comfortably in Maharashtra. Please guide us on email: [email protected]

  6. Wasim Kamate
    August 27, 2018

    Hi Kunal,,, Please guide me….I am Dr. Wasim Kamate, MDS with postgraduate diploma course in clinical research in Maharashtra India..Please guide me further as to what can I do to get experience in clinical research and post of clinical research manager in India, more comfortably in Maharashtra

  7. preeti
    September 10, 2018

    thanks for sharing great article with us
    keep doing great work

    • Kunal Sampat
      September 10, 2018

      Thank you, Preeti

  8. Anisha
    September 28, 2018

    Hi Kunal! Thank you for the valuable information.Prior to reading this article, I graduated with a bachelors degree in science and have been trying to get clinical research coordinator positions but to no avail. Hence I took up a clinical research internship with a Therapeutics company that focuses on immunotherapy for cancer.I figured getting experience from this internship would help me with attaining a CRC position in the future. I have thought long about whether what I did was right as I know I won’t be fully focusing on research after this internship. Your article has truly given me hope 🙂 Thank you!

    • Kunal Sampat
      October 21, 2018

      Glad to hear Anisha. Don’t give up hope but take action towards your goal. Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.

  9. Di
    October 13, 2018

    Wow what an incredible resource and well written article. I thank you very much Kunal!

  10. KG
    October 23, 2018

    Hi Kunal,
    I am a Commerce graduate and I did MBA in Finance and Supply chain management in 2011. I have changed my area of expertise a couple of times ranging from Banking and Finance, Retail, HR (compliance) and then ventured into data science in 2016 with a certificate in Big Data. I have been literally struggling to get a break in clinical SAS programming since this is my area of interest for a Full-time career option. I don’t know where to start. I appeared for an interview at PPD in March but did not clear it. I am due to appear for Clinical SAS programmer exam in the month of November but I am finding it extremely difficult to study the subject matter. I want a break in a CRO asap but dunno how and where to start. PPD had said that they are going to come up with a fresher opening where adequate training would be given but there has been no response. Please guide me. Many thanks. KG

    • Kunal Sampat
      November 4, 2018

      Hi Koyel,

      Thanks for reaching out. A couple of things to consider:
      1. I would reach out to the hiring managers at the various companies and jobs you’re interested in and feel qualified. You’ll need to use LinkedIn to find hiring managers. It is important that you contact people who are responsible for making hiring decisions. Don’t contact recruiters.
      2. Get super organized around your job search. Focus on 10 job openings at a given time. You should consider creating a spreadsheet that lists this jobs and the name and phone number of the hiring managers. Then call those hiring managers and let them know you want to work for them. Get their advice and listen to their feedback. If you hear “no’s” change your job search strategy based on the hiring manager’s feedback.

      To summarize, you need to focus on 10 positions at a given time and talk to the hiring managers. Your goal should be to get a “Yes” or a “No” from them. Don’t rely on PPD only.

      Goodluck

  11. Koyel Ghosh
    October 24, 2018

    Hi Kunal,
    I am writing to you to inform you that I am struggling to get a break in CRO for the last six months. I am BCom graduate and I have done MBA in Finance. I have experience in varied fields ranging from Finance, Banking, Retail, and finally Data science. I worked as a data scientist in a startup for 3months and I decided to pursue Clinical SAS as a career option. I have taken various training online Edex and Course-Era. I also completed certificate training from NIH and secured 88%. I am due to appear for clinical SAS exam in November. I am finding it extremely hard to secure a job in clinical SAS given the fact that I don’t have a life sciences background. Getting an internship is also so difficult. Please guide me.

  12. Yanet
    November 7, 2018

    Hi Kunal,
    Thank you very much for this incredible article, I’m a Foreing Medical Doctor and I have more than 2 years working as a CRC, I want to became a monitor,what do you advise to me to do.??…
    I would appreciate it very much!!..

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