The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Getting Started in Clinical Research

Interested in a career in clinical research? You’re in the right place!

Start by watching this brief video, then scroll down to continue your journey.

NEXT: INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL TRIALS

This free online training program provides the foundational knowledge on which you can grow your competence as a clinical researcher. Learn how medical products are developed; how volunteer patients are protected; and who plays key roles in the development, research, review, and approval of medical products.

Create Your Free ACRP Account to Access >

Already have an account? Access Course Here >

NEXT: EXPLORE CAREER OPTIONS

Explore entry-level roles, their associated educational requirements, and sample career paths by downloading the ACRP Career Lattice. Reviewing this free resource will help you decide what might be the best role for you on the clinical research team.

Download Clinical Research Career Lattice >

NEXT: ASSESS YOUR EDUCATION & BACKGROUND

Now that you have reviewed the Clinical Research Career Lattice, the question is—Do you have the necessary education and background for an entry-level role?

Yes, I do!

Great. Now’s a good time to review competency guidelines for some of the roles you are interested in to get a better understanding of what the role involves.

View Competency Guidelines >

No, I don’t.

That’s okay! Your next step should be to obtain the necessary educational background and/or explore obtaining a degree in clinical research. Our Entry-Level Training Package can help.

View Entry-Level Training Package >

NEXT: JOIN ACRP

Join ACRP to connect with employers and others in the field, and gain complimentary access to resources that will help develop your skills and competencies.

Join ACRP

Explore ACRP Member Benefits >

NEXT: DEVELOP & VALIDATE YOUR ENTRY-LEVEL COMPETENCY

Start by downloading and completing the Clinical Research Professional Gap Analysis to identify your current competencies and gaps.

Download Gap Analysis >

Then take the ACRP Entry-Level Knowledge Assessment (ELKA) test to demonstrate your core foundational knowledge competencies.

Start Entry-Level Knowledge Assessment >

How did you do?

Great! I passed the ELKA! Congratulations! You’ve validated your core foundational knowledge competencies. Now let’s work on finding an entry-level position.

Not so great…That’s okay. Use the continuing education and training programs available with your ACRP Membership to continue developing your competencies and try again.

NEXT: FINDING AN ENTRY-LEVEL POSITION

Post your resume/CV in the ACRP Career Center so hiring employers can find you. Browse job and internship opportunities that seem like a good fit for you, and apply directly online.

Visit ACRP Career Center >

Tips & Resources—Be persistent. Keep developing your competencies. Network. And keep applying for new opportunities. In the meantime, get a glimpse into clinical research career journeys and more by reading these career-focused articles from Clinical Researcher.

NEXT: CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST JOB!

Now that you’re a working clinical researcher, it’s time to start thinking about professional certification. You need 2 years’ experience to sit for an ACRP Certification Exam, but it’s never to early to start preparing to earn the flagship certification in clinical research and accelerating your career.

Learn About ACRP Certification >

Pro Tip! Now that you’ve got your foot in the door, refer back to the ACRP Career Lattice and Competency Guidelines periodically as you explore new roles and opportunities in your budding clinical research career.