The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Launching Your Career

How can I get started in the clinical research field?

This is a question with no single answer because there are myriad paths for entering and navigating clinical research careers.

The resources here can, however, provide you with some guidance and jump start your career as a clinical research professional.

Start by watching this recorded ACRP Webinar, “How to Enter the Clinical Research Field” and then explore the resources below.


Here’s some information and resources you need for the building blocks of a career in clinical research.

Building Foundational Knowledge

All clinical research professionals need training on human subject protection and ethics, as well as the International Conference on Harmonization’s Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (commonly referred to as “GCP” guidelines), which are the globally recognized standard for clinical trial conduct. ACRP offers introductory training on ethics, GCP, and other “fundamental” clinical research issues.

Developing Core Competencies

Adding, subtracting, and dividing are among the core competencies desired in an accountant. For clinical research professionals, a universally applicable and globally relevant framework now identifies the competency domains and the associated cognitive skills necessary of an individual to conduct a high-quality, ethical, and safe clinical trial. This framework is the result of a multi-stakeholder effort, of which ACRP is at the forefront. Developing the defined competencies can help you not only land a job in clinical research, but thrive.

Core Competencies

Finding Your Job

ACRP’s Career Center should be your primary resource when looking to apply for a job in clinical research. Explore hundreds of job opportunities in clinical research, or browse job postings to get a sense of what employers are looking for in candidates so you can plan accordingly to get your foot in the door:

Visit Career Center

Related Readings

ACRP’s journal, Clinical Researcher (formerly The Monitor), provides career guidance for both budding and experienced professionals in the December 2015 issue. The ACRP Blog is also a great resource for clinical researchers looking to stay on top of industry new and trends.