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Clinical Research

What is Clinical Research? Related Career Titles
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B.S. in Clinical Research

M.S. in Clinical Research and Product Development

What is Clinical Research?

Clinical research is the study of a drug, biologic, or device in human subjects with the intent to discover potential beneficial effects and/or determine its safety and efficacy prior to obtaining marketing approval as a prescription product.

Before a pharmaceutical company can initiate testing in humans, it must conduct extensive preclinical or laboratory research. This research typically involves years of experiments in animal and human cells. The compounds are also extensively tested in animals. In the US if this stage of testing is successful, a pharmaceutical company provides this data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requesting approval to begin testing the drug in humans. This is called an Investigational New Drug application (IND).

The UNCW Clinical Research Program prepares individuals for participation in the science and business of developing drugs, biologics and biomedical devices. The Clinical Research program is not a nursing or laboratory-based program. Most graduates work for pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, clinical research service providers, or clinical sites enrolling clinical trial subjects.

For advising and to learn more, visit the CHHS Office of Student Success:

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Related Career Titles

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Assistant Project Manager

Clinical Compliance Specialist

Clinical Data Abstractor

Clinical Data Coordinator

Clinical Data Specialist

Clinical Monitoring Associate

Clinical Project Coordinator

Clinical Quality Advisor

Clinical Research Assistant

Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical Site Manager

Clinical Study Data Coordinator

Clinical Study Manager

Clinical Training Manager

Clinical Trial Coordinator

Clinical Trial Manager

Clinical Trial Support Specialist

Clinical Trials Assistant

Data Coordinator

Data Manager

Field Clinical Monitor

Patient Recruitment Specialist

Project Manager

Project Specialist

Proposals Specialist

Quality Assurance Analyst

Regulatory Affairs Associate

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Regulatory Submissions Coordinator

Research Assistant

Research Associate

Research Coordinator

Research Data Coordinator

Research Education & Training Specialist

ResearchGrants and Contracts Specialist

Research Monitoring Specialist

Research Protocol Specialist

Research Quality Assurance Specialist

Safety Associate

Safety Data Associate

Site Contracts Specialist

Study Coordinator

Study Start-up Consultant

Study Start-up Specialist

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Related Major Skills

Ability to work independently

Appreciation for budgets and timelines

Complex problem solving

Critical thinking

Foundational knowledge of clinical trials

In-depth knowledge of drug development process


Proficiency in MS Word and Excel

Science orientation

Strong organizational skills

Strong written and oral communication skills

Time management


Understanding of drug development regulations

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Job & Internship Search Links

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Career Planning Links

Professional Association Links

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Educational Links

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