The U.S. Clinical Researcher of the Year competition, which recognizes and encourages talented researchers, is open for entries.
The competition, organized by PharmaTimes, has been expanded beyond the U.S. this year and is open to clinical research professionals in North, South and Central America.
It “highlights and celebrates the utmost levels of professionalism that clinical researchers are contributing to the ethical and responsible conduct of research on the treatments of tomorrow,” said Jim Thomasell, executive director of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), a partner and sponsor of the competition.
The case-study nature of the competition means participants and the organizations supporting them have no concerns over sharing sensitive information regarding their day-to-day work. And, importantly, competitors can test their skills and knowledge within the protected environment of an industry competition.
“There are very few opportunities for professionals to benchmark their skills within a protected environment, where quality standards are established and judged by senior industry peers,” said Sean Morgan-Jones, director of PharmaTimes. “The aims of the competition are three-fold: Firstly, to provide development for research professionals; secondly, to help organizations benchmark with peer organizations; and, finally, to deliver broader industry insights and learning that can be disseminated through PharmaTimes’ many communications platforms to a global community.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for clinical research to showcase their most talented people,” added Carol Parish, senior director, clinical development, head EU and EMAP, at Stiefel, a GSK company. “Although it takes a little effort, and the competition is designed to challenge individuals, people do also seem to have fun and enjoy the finals day.”
Kelly McKee, MSD, a member of the team that won the title of PharmaTimes Clinical Research Team of the Year in 2012, agreed: “This competition was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed embracing the challenge, thinking on my feet, and catching some of the energy from the other teams.”
At a recent meeting of the executive steering committee to agree to quality standards and define competencies for the competition, the first task was to agree on the first phase of the competition, an online multiple-choice questionnaire based on ICH/GCP/FDA regulatory guidelines and ratified by lead examiners from ACRP. After that, skills and competencies will be tested in a real-life challenge prepared by the steering group, and up to 10 of the best candidates from each of the five categories will be invited to the finals, where they will present to a panel of senior industry judges.
The finals take place Nov. 7 in Cary, N.C., at the global headquarters of SAS, a competition partner, and an awards ceremony announcing the winners will take place later that day at the Umstead Hotel on the SAS campus.
Finalists will compete head-to-head for the top prize in each of five categories:Study Nurse/Clinical Research Coordinator, New CRA (less than four years’ experience), Experienced CRA (more than four years’ experience), Project Manager and Clinical Research Team (up to five members).
Sponsors and supporters of the U.S. Clinical Researcher of the Year Competition include ACRP, Alcon Labs, Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research (APCR), AstraZeneca, Benchmark Research, CenterWatch, Chiltern, Endo, GlaxoSmithKline, INC Research, Merck, PRA, RPS, Sanofi, SAS, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Small planet meetings and Stiefel.