Contract research organisations (CROs) are one of the most essential pillars of modern-day medicine and pharmacology. Contract research organisations have evolved from casual partnerships to systemised entities in the global healthcare market.
CROs provide a wide range of services such as recruiting patients, pre-clinical research, clinical trials, pharmacovigilance, and market access that have a direct impact on the development of new drugs and medical devices. But being employed by a CRO can also be challenging and fast-paced at times with many job responsibilities to focus on at once. We've compiled a list of reasons why you should work for a CRO.
CRO enables scientists to see the client's side
Working at CRO helps you stay focused on the client's needs. You have to be able to see both sides of the coin—the scientific side and the business side—to be successful at this job. You get to understand how your products/services fit into their day-to-day lives and what they really need from you in order for them to achieve their objectives successfully.
You'll be able to get a better handle on how your work impacts a larger company or organisation, as well as how it affects individual scientists or teams within them. This is an extremely valuable asset in learning what works and what doesn’t work in terms of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
A broad range of work and learn
Working at a CRO gives you access to a broad range of work and learning opportunities, from conducting clinical trials to managing projects and overseeing budgets.
You’ll work on multiple projects in different stages of development, giving you the chance to expand your knowledge about all aspects of drug discovery, from early project planning through to regulatory filing. Perhaps the most exciting part is that you’ll get exposure to a wide range of therapeutic areas and disease states. This means that your skills will be applicable across all therapeutic areas, including CNS disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia; metabolic diseases including diabetes or obesity; cardiovascular diseases etc.
CROs provide services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, as well as academic institutions, government agencies and non-profit organisations. This means that you will have the opportunity to work on many different types of projects with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Another reason is that working in a CRO provides you with access to the latest technologies and scientific advances. You will have access to cutting-edge equipment such as mass spectrometers, PCR machines and flow cytometers which can help you develop your expertise in these areas.
Working at a CRO also gives you the opportunity to learn more about business management skills such as project management, budgeting, and financial analysis. This can help prepare you for future careers outside of science where such skills are required such as project management in pharmaceutical companies or financial planning in biotechnology companies.
Ability to move around different teams
CROs are known for their flexibility and willingness to train employees. Many CROs have a rotational program where you can move around different teams depending on your interest and get exposure to various aspects of the business. You will learn about the different roles in a CRO, from the business development team to operations. You will gain insights into different areas of the business and build relationships with people from different disciplines, allowing you to learn about different business processes.
You can explore different areas of expertise such as clinical trial design, patient recruitment, regulatory affairs, and data analysis.
Open to candidates from academia who don’t have an industry experience
If you're looking for an entry-level position in the pharmaceutical industry, but don't have any prior industry experience, a CRO may be an excellent option for you. Not only do they provide these opportunities, but they also offer an excellent training program for new employees. This training program will prepare you for a career in clinical research by providing you with information about FDA regulations and how to conduct clinical trials.
CROs often have programs designed to help talented students and recent graduates who want to make the leap from academia into industry, which enables them to get hands-on experience working on real-world projects in clinical research.
More senior candidates get the opportunity to use their experience to be more consultative
CROs can provide a platform for senior candidates to apply and utilise their skills, experience, and knowledge. They are able to use their experience to be more consultative and help junior scientists with their projects. This allows for greater job satisfaction for the more senior scientist as they feel that they are being used in a way that best utilises their background, skills, and knowledge.
As a senior candidate, you'll have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pharmaceutical development and regulatory compliance that can be leveraged to help build out new processes or refine existing ones, this can help guide the project in a more productive direction. This allows for greater productivity and efficiency, which can be beneficial for both the scientist and their company.
You have a broad range of clients from small biotechs to big pharma
Unlike big pharma, a CRO has the unique ability to work with almost any type of client, from large multinational pharmaceutical companies to small biotech start-ups. As a result, you'll have the chance to work with very different types of clients and gain exposure to their needs, as well as have access to a wide variety of interesting and innovative projects. While this can be challenging at times, it also means that your career won't be limited by one type of client or project. You will get exposure to different industries and learn about new technologies and processes. You might even find yourself working directly on new drug approvals (NDAs), which are considered some of the most coveted projects in any life sciences lab.
Understanding how a CRO works give good experience when working at a biotech contracting with CROs
When you're looking for a job in the biotech industry, there's no better place to start than at a Contract Research Organisation.
Working in a CRO gives you the unique opportunity to work directly with biotechs. This means that you get to see first-hand how these companies operate, and how they make decisions about their products and services. These experiences can be invaluable when it comes time for you to seek employment at a biotech yourself.
Your experience working at CRO will help you land that perfect job with a promising biotech company. The skills that you learn working in this type of environment will serve you well in any career path in the biotech company that you choose.
CRO should be considered by those keen on doing more than just bench research, but also by young and inexperienced scientists. There are good chances to gain skills, expand scientific knowledge and even get to know different techniques and technologies that would be out of reach at a regular lab. A CRO can be both a platform for experience and a stepping stone to independence.