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When I completed my degree in Biomedical Science from Deakin, I had no idea what a Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) did, or that they even existed. Now two years later I find myself immersed in an exciting and challenging career as a Research Coordinator at Quintiles, a leading global CRO.
Quintiles conduct more clinical trials than anyone else in the world, we have offices in 57 countries and around 20,000 employees worldwide. As a CRO, Quintiles are contracted by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, which we call Sponsors, to conduct clinical trials for a diverse range of pharmaceutical products in many interesting therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, oncology, respiratory and diabetes.
My job at Quintiles is to monitor and support the sites where our clinical research is carried out, such as hospitals or medical centres. Clinical trial staff at the sites are given a study protocol from the Sponsor, which they must follow when enrolling and treating patients participating in the research. Quintiles then monitor the sites to ensure patient safety, to verify that the protocol has been followed, and that good quality data is collected for our Sponsors.
As a research coordinator I’m office based and monitor sites via telephone, I also answer a helpdesk number that sites can call if they need help with the clinical trial. Quintiles also have Clinical Research Associates (CRA) who travel around Australia for on-site monitoring, if you enjoy travelling a CRA role may interest you. I would recommend a career in clinical trials to anyone who enjoys a challenge, has high attention to detail, likes working in an office environment, and enjoys talking and interacting with a diverse range of people.
When I consider my career in clinical research and then look back to my studies at Deakin, I conclude that the most useful units I studied were Physiology A & B, Physiology of Disease, and Health Information & Data. During my course I also went on an exchange to a university in the US for one semester, this was a great way to improve social skills and communicate with people from different cultures, very useful when working for a global organisation.
Quintiles offers the opportunity for staff to relocate to other offices both within Australia and around the world and have recently created opportunities for 6 month secondments within the Asia Pac Region.Quintiles also have an excellent in-house training program to assist employees in their work and facilitate career progression within the company.
If you are interested in a career in clinical trials, or would like to find out more about Quintiles, please visit the Quintiles website.