How to start your clinical career

The role of a Clinical Trial Associate, some times known as a Clinical Trial Administrator or Clinical Trial Assistant can vary between company to company. A CTA vacancy is an entry level position into the clinical industry, which can often be quite difficult to move into however many large pharmaceutical company’s and clinical research organisations (CRO’s) offer entry level CTA positions. Entry level positions are mostly very competitive so it is important to make an impact with your application in order to stand out to the company.

The responsibilities of a CTA vary between different companies, but the CTA position is an office based support role. Some of the main responsibilities include the following:

  • Update and maintain clinical trial management systems, whilst maintaining and managing essential study documents like TMF, patient information sheets, informed consent forms and SOP’s,
  • Collect and monitor files according to SOP’s, ICH and GCP regulations,
  • Planning and setting up study and investigator meetings, having a presence in these meetings to provide support, study reports and any necessary documentation,
  • Monitor performance within given timeframes using clinical systems,
  • Communicate across clinical departments, providing support to senior members of staff such as Project Manager’s and Clinical Directors as well as supporting clinical teams as a whole,
  • Organisational and general administrative duties such as filing and minute taking.

The natural career progression from a Clinical Trial Associate is to move into a Senior CTA, Clinical Trial Coordinator (CTC), Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC), Clinical Research Associate (CRA) Junior Project Manager if you were to remain within Clinical Operations. Although many people remain as CTA’s, becoming what is known as a Career CTA or a CTA Manager, remaining for all or much of their career as a Clinical Trial Associate.

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