Clinical research is an indispensable section of human healthcare today. It forms the major part of any drug development effort and thousands of doctors and scientists worldwide actively engage in it.
Trial Managers – Investigators
Trial managers, monitors, research associates, site specialists, site identification and selection teams are always in search of experienced, qualified, and interested medical specialists, doctors, and physicians to work as investigators in their clinical trials. Similarly, interested & aspiring clinical investigators and sites are also looking out for good clinical trials to work upon. While research companies and sponsors may have significant teams and personnel assigned for site identification and selection; a similar set up to find clinical trials does not always exist at most of the clinical sites.
Finding Clinical Trials – Not So Easy
Since, the primary focus of most of the sites (which are hospitals) and clinical investigators (who are practicing doctors, physicians, and specialists) inpatient care, they find it quite hard to take out time to search for good clinical trial opportunities.
This leads to most of them missing out on one or other clinical trials that they’d have loved to work upon. Although, some of the well-known sites may be exceptions and they may be getting many opportunities coming to their doorway; another potential, equally capable, but not-so-famous sites are not generally so lucky.
“Waiting for a good clinical trial to arrive” is generally a norm for most sites and investigators worldwide. And, this is true for all major therapeutic areas: be it oncology, dermatology, respiratory, infectious diseases, cardiovascular, metabolic diseases, inflammation, or pain management.
But, should this be the case always? Should “waiting for a good clinical trial” be the only option for these sites? Maybe not.
Ways to find clinical trials as a clinical investigator
If you’ve been wondering about how to find clinical trials to work as an investigator or engage in clinical research as a potential site, there are certain ways that can help you. Clinical trial feasibility is the first step for you and the trial management team to explore the prospect of working together. Thus, getting invited to participate in feasibility becomes crucial for sites and investigators. Let’s check out some of the most viable and practical options for sites/investigators to find excellent clinical trial opportunities.
One of the easiest ways to find a new clinical trial opportunity is to stay connected with past clinical trial management teams that you worked with. Most of the trial teams, companies, and organizations maintain an investigator database that would certainly include you, if you’d have worked with them earlier.
The key is to
- keep in touch with trial teams that you work with earlier,
- Inform them, if your contact details change,
- Respond to the clinical trial feasibility requests that you receive from them or others.
Although it can be cumbersome to submit too many similar clinical trial feasibilities regularly, you’d not like to miss out on that potential clinical trial, which actually gets initiated.
However, there are some problems with this option
- It may not be very useful for sites/investigators, who are relatively new or don’t have significant past study experience with them.
- Moreover, this option has a big chunk of “waiting for a good clinical trial” factor too. If your existing trial teams and connections do not come up with another clinical trial soon, you won’t get any benefit with this option alone.
So, what if your contacts are not able to generate good clinical trial leads for you?
Why just focus on your own contacts only? It’s always interesting to utilize the connections of your colleagues, associate sites, and peers. Getting recommended by someone else is definitely a great source of opportunities. It builds up a great trust and goodwill in new connections and is a fantastic way to multiply your chances of participating in clinical trial feasibility.
How to utilize references?
- Keep your friends, peers, and colleagues apprised of your intentions to participate in clinical trials,
- Ask them to refer you for a suitable clinical trial opportunity,
- Be a part of local or regional investigator communities of like-minded sites/investigators,
- Don’t forget to recommend these good guys to your contacts too (Karma: what goes out comes back 🙂 ),
If you effectively utilize your references, you may be able to see more clinical trial feasibility requests coming your way through these peers.
However, ensure to help others get benefit from your contacts too. It’s a very healthy way to cultivate good site networks.
While, this option certainly has great potential, when utilized with the first option, it still tends to limit your opportunities to certain limits. If you’ve not been able to access global opportunities through this route, don’t worry. There are other more useful options too.
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Business Development Teams
Having your own business development (BD) team is a wonderful and proactive way to look for clinical trials. The team may initially consist of only one person and expand later.
It’s important to effectively utilize this BD team, however.
- Recruit experienced clinical research professional(s), who can connect you with local and international research companies.
- Provide your details and preferences for clinical trials to work upon.
- Insist on getting a business development plan in place and use it to track the progress.
While working with its own BD team is very likely to produce promising results, it comes with its own cost. The cost may be a very annoying factor if the team is not able to find good opportunities. This may be further complicated by hospital/site policies and difficulty to track the results for sites.
Site Management Organizations
Site management organizations (SMOs) tend to take away a lot of the above-mentioned hurdles from sites and investigators. They take care of the operations and you may totally depend on them to manage your clinical trials. What’s more interesting is the fact that it becomes their interest to find clinical trials for you, since most of them work on a percentage of clinical trial fees paid by the sponsors.
They bring a lot of advantages to you
- Trial executions are taken care of;
- Your quest for new clinical trials is shared with;
- Cost is minimized, if their fees are linked with the clinical trial worked together upon.
There are many good SMOs coming up these days and it won’t hurt experiencing working with them for some time. However, many times, it’s a challenge to find effective SMOs that can fetch global clinical trials for you. The difficulty in maintaining BD / Operation balance sometimes makes it more difficult for even good SMOs to produce desired results.
Online Clinical Research Platforms
This is one of the most recent upcoming ways to get connected to clinical trials. Online clinical research management platforms like Credevo, can help you get access to new clinical trial opportunities in a much faster manner. What’s really interesting here is that minimal efforts from you can produce much greater results.
Once, you’ve set up your profile on Credevo, you can get connected to clinical trials in one of the two ways
Yes, there is a free option, where you don’t have to pay for anything. There are new clinical trials posted on this platform regularly and when you find an interesting one, you can simply express your interest in working on it. For this, just submit a tentative recruitment rate that you expect, based on the limited information provided. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to provide a more accurate figure later, once the trial manager shares trial details with you. This would, of course, depend on how much they find your profile and response relevant and interesting.
However, this free option tends to limit your options to the clinical trials that get posted there. If you’d like to search for clinical trials more proactively, choose the next premium option.
With the premium plans, there are a lot of proactive efforts taken for investigators. Apart from all the things available with free plans, investigators get benefited from direct connectivity and the ability to engage in premium connect program.
Here are the benefits of premium plans.
- You can directly promote your profile and suitability for any clinical trial with a premium plan. When you do this, the trial manager tends to get more and complete information about you, which increases your chances of participation in detailed feasibility.
- With the complimentary Premium Connect program, your profile is shared with trial managers in the global network, who may contact you on this platform for their clinical trial requirements. This way, your access to clinical trials globally increases many folds and the time to get clinical trial feasibility requests is shortened significantly.
- Besides this, several programs like online sessions, interactions with interested trial managers, and other customized programs boost your connectivity and reputation as a potential investigator strongly.
Even if there is no clinical trial available on the platform for you, the efforts to connect you with trials continue with active premium plans. What’s more interesting is that there are active and experienced teams working behind the scenes to ensure your success.
We hope, in these ways, you’ll be able to enhance your clinical trial opportunities. Let us know with your comments and messages, if we missed anything or if you have a story to share in this matter. Happy researching!