- Study Science In School
When you go to college, work toward a bachelor’s degree in science. There are several ways you can become a clinical research scientist, but the first step is to get a degree in biological sciences or something similar. Do your research, however; the college that you attend may have a path specifically for clinical research. You will likely study a variety of coursework, including data management, scientific writing, pharmacology and biochemistry. Irrespective of the degree you are obtaining, make sure you study chemistry, math, physics and biological sciences if you want to become a clinical research scientist.
- Further Your Education
Once you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, go on to obtain an advanced degree. You need to study either medicine or science if you hope to eventually become a clinical research scientist. Therefore, look for a graduate program that focuses on neuroscience, microbiology, biochemistry or cellular/molecular biology. The university that you attend may have a clinical research program as well. Any of these programs will put you on the path to becoming a clinical research scientist, as you will study topics such as ethics, bio-statistics, clinical trial practices, research procedures and more. In addition, you could get your M.D. or study to become a nurse; these programs should give you the background you need to become a scientist.
You could also gain clinical research experience through earning a more technical graduate degree, such as a Master of Engineering degree. This type of degree differs from a science degree in that it is more hands-on in its approach, as you will learn technical skills that are necessary in a business environment, rather than just research skills. The best online engineering programs include concentrations like Biomedical Engineering, or even Engineering Innovation, Management and Leadership, so it is possible to develop the skills needed to work in a number of different fields, including clinical research.
- Get Relevant Experience
To begin your career, you should start work as a clinical research associate. You will help scientists as they conduct clinical trials. You may also be responsible for looking through data and ensuring that the procedures are handled appropriately and professionally.
From there, move on and become a clinical research scientist. There are a number of institutions that employee these individuals; for example, you might work at a hospital or university. You could also work for the government. Clinical research scientists look at organs, tissues and cells to determine if there are toxins or bacteria present. They try and figure out how diseases begin and work to create medicine or vaccines for specific ailments. Some scientists have direct contact with patients and others work with doctors or technicians.
By doing this you can then check out a site like ICON and get yourself a job in the field.
You don’t have to stop there, either. You could advance in your career if you do well and have enough relevant experience. The sky is truly the limit with this career path!