How to Start Clinical Research Business

Those who have worked in clinical research know that large salaries can be earned even not being your own boss.

That said, if you want to take advantage of large salaries while having more autonomy in your job, then you may want to consider starting your own clinical research business. 

Besides the financial benefits that can come from owning your own research business, you’ll also benefit from knowing that you’re making a valuable contribution to the world by exploring unknown areas of knowledge that can improve lives. 

What Is a Clinical Research Site?

The concept of a clinical research site is relatively straightforward: it’s a place that clinical research is conducted. Clinical research specifically deals with research involving human participants. A clinical research site is much more than a place, as it’s the setting in which those running the research study make critical decisions surrounding the research participants’ physical and psychological safety. 

At one time, most clinical research was conducted at academic institutions. While this still occurs, clinical research is now conducted in various other settings, such as physician offices and hospitals. There are even sites created and dedicated solely to clinical research. 

As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with each type of clinical research site. Academic institutions may have access to equipment and resources not available to physician offices, while clinical research sites that are located in physician offices may be better representations of the diverse populations seen and treated in real life. 

How Long Does it Take to Start a Clinical Trial?

The amount of time it takes to start a clinical trial depends on a few factors. First off, the process of starting a clinical research trial can be significantly delayed or fast-tracked depending on how quickly you’re able to obtain a space to conduct the research trial. 

Once you find a suitable space for the study to be conducted, you’ll need to obtain all the equipment necessary to conduct the trial. This equipment may include a blood pressure cuff, a vitals machine, a heart monitor, a stethoscope, and other medical monitoring tools. Since clinical research involves humans, monitoring equipment is necessary to ensure the safety of the participants. 

When getting involved in a clinical trial or starting one, you’ll also need to create the infrastructure of the staff and processes to carry out the study effectively. This can involve connecting with a clinical research coordinator, creating a space for safe pharmaceutical storage, and much more. Along with the creation of the infrastructure necessary to organize and conduct clinical research, there is much paperwork and documentation that will need to be completed. 

The next step will be to arrange for a clinical research associate (CRA) to come to the facility to evaluate the people that will be involved in the research and the facility being used. This step is essential, as it ensures that the study is conducted as uniformly and safely as possible from site to site. After the visit from the CRA, you’ll have to get approval from an institutional review board (IRB), which is a group of people that ensures that the study is conducted ethically and the rights of participants are protected throughout the research process. 

Once you get the ok from the IRB, you’ll be ready to enroll you’re the first participant in the study. As you can see, starting your own clinical research study is a labor and time-intensive process. That said, the process can be completed in as little as eight months for the extremely organized and motivated to years for those juggling multiple commitments. 

How Do I Get an Entry Level Clinical Research Job?

You may have reached this section and are thinking to yourself that you may be more suited to work for someone else and get an entry-level clinical research job. That’s totally understandable because starting your own clinical research business is no walk in the park. Add to this fact that entry-level clinical researchers can take home a sizable salary, and it would be hard to fault anyone for this decision.  

For those looking for an entry-level clinical research career, there are many paths to this goal. The most straightforward path is to earn a degree in clinical research, which will enable you to land that first job and start building the experience needed to earn further certification. You can expect to spend one to two years after earning your degree working with clinical researchers before you’ll be able to sit for a clinical research certification examination. These certifications will signal to employers that you’re well-versed in a specific area of clinical research and entitled to the large salaries that accompany these jobs.