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Clinical Research Coordinator Training Programs and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a clinical research coordinator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and potential certifications to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

A clinical research coordinator is a supervisory role within the field of medical and clinical research. In addition to overseeing a group of researchers, they make sure that work adheres to legal and safety guidelines. Clinical research coordinators may work out of hospitals, private research labs or universities. The majority of these professionals possess a bachelor’s degree in their field, although some go on to earn their master’s degree.
Required EducationUndergraduate degree; a master’s is helpful for advancement
Other RequirementsClinical Research Coordinator (CRC) certification is available
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)14% (for medical and clinical laboratory technologists)*
Median Salary (2015)$55,440**
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Career Overview for Clinical Research Coordinators

Clinical research coordinators are responsible for overseeing medical research and drug trials. These professionals can come from a variety of backgrounds, including nursing and medicine.
They recruit and screen patients for trials, ensure that the study adheres to safety and government regulations, monitor patients and report study results. Clinical research coordinators may also be responsible for obtaining grants to fund the study.
Though the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not keep records for clinical research coordinators, it did report that employment growth between 2012 and 2022 for clinical laboratory technologists was expected to be 14% while growth for clinical laboratory technicians is expected to be a significantly higher 30%. As of February 2015, Salary.com reported that the median annual salary for clinical research coordinators was $55,440.
Training Requirements
Because of the medical nature of the job, clinical knowledge and experience is important for prospective clinical research coordinators. Individuals may choose from a variety of training or degree programs to enter the clinical research field. According to O*Net Online in 2013, 56% of clinical research coordinators held at least a bachelor’s degree, while 12% had a master’s and nine percent had an associate’s degree (www.onetonline.org).
Training Programs
An undergraduate degree program in clinical research, such as the Associate in Applied Science in Clinical Research Coordination or Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research, can help individuals meet the requirements for an entry-level clinical research position. These degree programs typically provide coursework in biological science, clinical monitoring, ethics, medical terminology, case studies and pathophysiology. Master’s degree programs, like the Master of Science in Clinical Research and Regulatory Administration, can help prepare for advanced positions through coursework in research conduct, leadership and clinical trial recruitment.
Individuals who already hold a degree in a clinical field, such as nursing, may want to pursue a certificate or diploma in clinical research. These programs typically focus on the specific duties required of clinical research coordinators. Students may be expected to have previous knowledge of clinical subjects, such as patient monitoring and medical terminology.


The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) provides voluntary Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) certification for individuals with at least two years of experience in clinical research or a closely related field (www.acrpnet.org). The educational requirements vary with the candidate’s amount of work experience. Eligible candidates must submit proof of education and work experience, pay a fee and pass an exam in order to receive the CRC certification.
Overview of Clinical Research Coordinator Classes and Courses
Clinical research coordinator training is available at several levels. Those new to the profession can earn a certificate or associate’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs are available for professionals who are interested in or already working in clinical research coordination. There are diploma opportunities for students who hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and want to focus on clinical experience.
Essential Information
Clinical research coordinators are employed in a number of settings, including hospitals, private research organizations and for pharmaceutical companies. Two-year associate’s degree programs and 1-2-year certificates of completion in clinical research coordination are offered at community colleges. Schools offering programs at the bachelor’s level sometimes provide clinical research courses within a larger program in health care systems or a similar area.
List of Common Courses
Below are some of the courses students can expect to find within an educational program in clinical research coordination.

Survey of Clinical Research Course

This introductory class thoroughly examines the process of clinical research, from history and development to how research trials are conducted today. Biomedical, health and biotechnical venues are considered, with a strong focus on the ethics and regulations regarding patient safety. Students learn the basics of project design and implementation. The administrative aspects of research, such as funding acquisition and product approvals, are also discussed.

Medical Terminology for Clinical Research Coordinators Course

Students in this introductory course learn the vocabulary needed for clinical research, practicing the use of medical word roots and their prefixes and suffixes to create terms and analyze word meanings. Emphasis is placed on terminology related to the human body and its functions, anatomy and diseases. This is typically found in certificate and associate’s degree programs.

Ethics in Clinical Research Course

Informed consent, integrity, moral reasoning, compassion and self-determination are among the fundamental considerations in ethical research; they are covered in length in this course. Students look at how history has inspired today’s bioethical standards for adult, child and animal clinical trials, in addition to confronting concerns about false research data, plagiarism and disclosure of research errors.

Clinical Research Laws and Regulations Course

An abundance of regulatory agencies exists to monitor clinical research in the U.S. and internationally. This class provides a survey of these agencies, including their organizational structures and functions. Topics also delve into the development of guidelines and laws covering biological substances, drugs and other products.

Data Management for Clinical Research Coordinators Course

Meaningful data is at the heart of clinical research, and this course provides thorough instruction in how to gather, record, store and interpret research findings. Students learn to design a data structure, create study charts and use relational databases. Additional projects focus on data collection, adverse event reporting, audit preparation and publication of results. Since patient confidentiality is paramount, data security is also an important topic.

Electronic Medical Records in Clinical Research Course

As electronic medical records (EMR) become more common, it is important for clinical research coordinators to become well-versed in their use. Class topics include how information is recorded and retrieved, patient confidentiality, data security, management of images and the applications for EMR. In addition, the role of medical records in patient care is discussed, along with the pros and cons of EMR versus paper records. Students are also taught the importance of organized, accurate records.
Online Clinical Research Coordinator Courses and Training Information
Clinical research coordinators manage and ensure the integrity of patient-centered research into new drugs, medical products and treatments. Courses in clinical research coordination orient students to their role on the medical research team and cover topics like medical terminology, pharmacology, ethics and project management. Online courses are available through certificate and associate’s degree programs.
Essential Information
Both Associate of Applied Science and Certificate of Completion programs in clinical research coordination cover clinical research site and data management, study design and regulatory compliance. Certificate programs are geared toward those who already possess sufficient experience and education in the healthcare field, and they focus solely on core skills. Associate’s degree programs offer additional general, professional and healthcare-specific education. Much of the coursework toward these designations can be completed online, but programs often have internship requirements that must be met in person.
In order to become certified by the Society of Clinical Research Associates or Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), clinical research coordinators must pass an exam and meet professional experience requirements. The ACRP offers continuing education credits online through Web seminars.

List of Online Clinical Research Coordinator Courses

The list below contains a sampling of online clinical research courses.

Clinical Research Principles Course

This course provides an overview of the clinical research process, its functions, history and development. Students learn project management skills and clinical practice guidelines. They learn about research team member roles, typical study designs and developmental phases of clinical trials.

Medical Ethics Course

Professors introduce students to the values employed by the field of medical ethics, including autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, dignity and honesty. Students consider how to develop a framework for making ethical decisions informed by these values and the law. They discuss such ethical issues as favorable cost-benefit ratio, participant selection, informed consent and confidentiality.

Medical Terminology Course

This course covers standard medical terminology used in the clinical research field. Students learn vocabulary relevant to anatomy, bodily systems, diagnostics, therapies, surgery, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This knowledge enhances their effectiveness with managing data and ensuring quality control.

Health Information and the Law Course

Students get an overview of clinical research guidelines and regulations that aim to protect human subjects and ensure research integrity. They learn about obligations of regulatory groups, research sponsors and principal investigators. Students also discuss the types of violations that constitute as scientific misconduct and consider the consequences.


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Hi,I,m Basim from Canada I,m physician and I,m interested in clinical research feild and web development.you are more welcome in our professional website.all contact forwarded to basimibrahim772@yahoo.com.

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