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Become A Clinical Research Director

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Working As A Clinical Research Director

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $144,046

    Average Salary

What Does A Clinical Research Director Do

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Duties

Natural sciences managers typically do the following:

  • Work with top executives to develop goals and strategies for researchers and developers
  • Budget resources for projects and programs by determining staffing, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate scientists, technicians, and other staff members
  • Review staff members’ methodology and the accuracy of their research results
  • Ensure that laboratories are stocked with equipment and supplies
  • Monitor the progress of projects, review research performed, and draft operational reports
  • Provide technical assistance to scientists, technicians, and support staff
  • Establish and follow administrative procedures, policies, and standards
  • Communicate project proposals, research findings, and the status of projects to clients and top management

Natural sciences managers direct scientific research activities and direct and coordinate product development projects and production activities. The duties of natural sciences managers vary with the field of science (for example, biology or chemistry) or the industry they work in. Research projects may be aimed at improving manufacturing processes, advancing basic scientific knowledge, or developing new products.

Some natural sciences managers are former scientists and, after becoming managers, may continue to conduct their own research as well as oversee the work of others. These managers are sometimes called working managers and usually have smaller staffs, allowing them to do research in addition to carrying out their administrative duties.

Managers who are responsible for larger staffs may not have time to contribute to research and may spend all their time performing administrative duties.

Laboratory managers need to ensure that laboratories are fully supplied so that scientists can run their tests and experiments. Some specialize in the management of laboratory animals.

During all stages of a project, natural sciences managers coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They work with higher levels of management; with financial, production, and marketing specialists; and with suppliers of equipment and materials.

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How To Become A Clinical Research Director

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education

Natural sciences managers typically begin their careers as scientists; therefore, most have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a closely related field, such as engineering. Scientific and technical knowledge is essential for managers because they must be able to understand the work of their subordinates and provide technical assistance when needed. 

Natural sciences managers who are interested in acquiring postsecondary education in management should be able to find master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in a natural science that incorporate business management courses. A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy. Those interested in acquiring general management skills may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Some natural sciences managers will have studied psychology or some other management-related field to enter this occupation.

Sciences managers must continually upgrade their knowledge because of the rapid growth of scientific developments.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. While employed as scientists, they typically are given more responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Eventually, they may lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects before being promoted to an administrative position.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not typically required to become a natural sciences manager, many relevant certifications are available. These certifications range from those related to specific scientific areas of study or practice, such as laboratory animal management, to general management topics, such as project management, and are useful to natural sciences managers regardless of the organization being managed.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences, such as scientists, policymakers, and the public. Both written and oral communication are important.

Critical-thinking skills. Natural sciences managers must carefully evaluate the work of others. They must determine if their staff’s methods and results are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Natural sciences managers lead research teams and therefore need to work well with others in order to reach common goals. Managers routinely deal with conflict, which they must be able to turn into positive outcomes for their organization.

Leadership skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to organize, direct, and motivate others. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their workers and create an environment in which the workers can succeed.

Problem-solving skills. Natural sciences managers use scientific observation and analysis to find solutions to complex technical questions.

Time-management skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to do multiple administrative, supervisory, and technical tasks while ensuring that projects remain on schedule.

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Clinical Research Director Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Research Director 3.4 years
Research Manager 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Director 4.5%
Manager 3.3%
Fellow 2.5%
Top Employers After
Director 6.9%
Consultant 5.2%

Do you work as a Clinical Research Director?

Clinical Research Director Demographics

Gender

Female

53.5%

Male

42.2%

Unknown

4.3%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Asian

11.2%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

5.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Clinical Research Director Education

Schools

Johns Hopkins University

11.1%

University of Phoenix

8.9%

Boston University

6.7%

George Washington University

6.7%

Walden University

6.7%

Washington University in Saint Louis

4.4%

University of Memphis

4.4%

University of Pennsylvania

4.4%

University of Kentucky

4.4%

Emory University

4.4%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.4%

University of Nebraska Medical Center

4.4%

University of West Florida

4.4%

University of Iowa

4.4%

University of California - Irvine

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.4%

University of Oregon

4.4%

Syracuse University

2.2%

Western Washington University

2.2%

Marshall University

2.2%
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Majors

Nursing

20.6%

Business

11.3%

Biology

8.8%

Health Care Administration

8.8%

Medicine

8.1%

Pharmacy

6.3%

Pharmacology

3.8%

Exercise Physiology

3.8%

Public Health

3.1%

Clinical Psychology

3.1%

Management

2.5%

Physiology And Anatomy

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.5%

Neuroscience

2.5%

Project Management

2.5%

Education

2.5%

Psychology

1.9%

Microbiology

1.9%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.9%

Counseling Psychology

1.9%
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Degrees

Masters

33.8%

Other

20.3%

Doctorate

19.8%

Bachelors

17.4%

Associate

4.3%

Certificate

2.4%

Diploma

1.9%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Clinical Research Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Clinical Research Medical Director Amgen Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA Sep 21, 2016 $250,016
Director, Oncology Global Clinical Research-Nivo Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Lawrenceville, NJ Sep 01, 2013 $240,000
Clinical Research Director, Global Oncology Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. Cambridge, MA Mar 05, 2012 $215,000
Clinical Research Director, Global Oncology Sanofi-Aventis Us Inc. Cambridge, MA May 28, 2012 $215,000
Director, Clinical Research Oncology PCU Eisai Inc. Woodcliff Lake, NJ Dec 06, 2010 $215,000
Director, Clinical Research, Immunology Human Genome Sciences, Inc. Rockville, MD Oct 05, 2009 $205,000
VST Assoc Clinical Research Info Ofcr & DIR for BI University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL Sep 26, 2011 $185,000
Director, Clinical Research Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Richmond, CA Oct 01, 2010 $185,000
Clinical Research Director Medtronic, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA Sep 30, 2010 $184,320
Clinical Research Director West Coast Clinical Trials, LLC Cypress, CA May 17, 2012 $183,352
Director, Clinical Research Mallinckrodt Enterprises LLC Hazelwood, MO Sep 10, 2013 $170,100
Director, International Clinical Research Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 08, 2016 $150,000
Director of Clinical Research Holy Name Medical Center Teaneck, NJ Oct 14, 2011 $125,000 -
$275,000
Director of Clinical Research Holy Name Medical Center Teaneck, NJ Aug 15, 2011 $125,000 -
$165,000
Director of Pre-Clinical Research Miragen Therapeutics, Inc. Boulder, CO Aug 17, 2009 $123,469 -
$145,163
Director of Clinical Research Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Washington, DC Jan 08, 2016 $120,000
Director of Clinical Oncology Research Radient Pharmaceuticals Corporation Tustin, CA Jun 14, 2010 $120,000
Director of Clinical Research St. Hope Foundation Inc. Houston, TX Sep 20, 2013 $110,000
Director Clinical Research Arkansas Heart Hospital, LLC Little Rock, AR Apr 22, 2015 $100,277 -
$120,000
AST Clinical Research Info Officer/Asst DIR of RES University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL Aug 16, 2013 $81,500
Director of Clinical Research Orthopeadic Specialist of Miami Beach Aventura, FL Oct 10, 2007 $75,000
Director, Clinical Research & Drug Safety Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Irvine, CA Jul 07, 2011 $60,000
Director, Clinical Research & Drug Safety Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Irvine, CA Jul 20, 2011 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Clinical Research Director

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  1. Clinical Trials
  2. Regulatory Documents
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Phase I-IV clinical trials recruitment and administration, identification and selection of qualified subjects for top enrolling investigative sites.
  • Revised policies and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance and incorporate research compliance standards in research sites and facilities.
  • Lead the coordinated management of a clinical research department conducting 30 active clinical trials directed toward pharmaceutical and device FDA approval.
  • Performed Central and local IRB preparations and filings of required regulatory documentation from study start up to completion.
  • Attend investigator meetings & other seminars & educational programs pertaining to research.

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Top Clinical Research Director Employers

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