ExperTrials was created in 2011 by Aurélie Weiss-Guimet (read her portrait here) and officially became a full-service CRO in 2019. The company’s core team includes eight members plus an operational team of 80 consultants across Europe with local expertise. It prides itself in providing great service to Biotech and Medtech startups who want to launch their innovative drug or medical device in Europe. This can only happen thanks to the contribution of the clinical research consultants who work for our CRO. We give you three reasons why being a freelance CRA makes all the difference in the consultant’s life and in clinical research.
« There is no way a clinical research associate can do quality work if he or she handles seven projects at once. » – Aurélie Weiss-Guimet, CEO and Founder of ExperTrials
Gaining control over your work
As a CRA employed in a medium or big-sized CRO, you are offered a regular paycheck and job security. Or so you think! In today’s market, companies are acquired, undergo mergers or have their business model change. You might get laid off or see your benefits dropped. On the opposite end, a freelance CRA will choose how many hours he or she works and how many clients and studies he or she follows. Sure, finding clients can be challenging. Being one’s boss is not for everyone! If you’re starting out as a CRA we recommend you first gain work experience as an employee before going freelance.
« As a freelance CRA, I decide who I work for and what kind of project I work on. » – Raphaël Coeugnet, clinical research consultant for ExperTrials
Deciding which client to work for also means you get to decide which type of project you work on and how many you follow on a given period. It gives you the chance to learn the entire process for developing a medical product and allows for better quality work, which eventually leads to a better clinical trial. “I really appreciate deciding which kind of study I work on. I have gained experience in cardiology and hematology”, says Raphaël Coeugnet, a French Senior clinical research consultant for ExperTrials, who was employed for 10 years prior to starting his own business.
“I need change in my work life and being a CRA contractor allows for that: I can have various clients and follow new studies. I love how diverse my job gets to be”, he adds. “I get to start a project at the very beginning and follow it through, instead of being thrown around, as it happens in big CROs. I care about each patient: they’re not a number to me, but a specific, confidential file I deal with compassionately.”
Gaining control over your time and pay
Being a CRA means travelling around quite a bit, visiting hospitals and doctors, which can be very tiring. As an independent CRA, you are your own boss and you decide how much work you can take on and how to organize your schedule depending on the monitoring plan constraints and your own private life. That flexibility is a major advantage for your work-life balance and something to be considered, especially if you have a family. When not travelling, a contractor CRA is able to work from home: no commute, no colleagues (best suited for those who love working by themselves!), no interruptions.
Raphaël Coeugnet also mentions the pay, which is higher for him since he has begun charging for every hour he works (transport included) and multiplying clients. That pay will depend on how many projects you follow, for sure, but senior freelance clinical research consultants are on demand and the more experienced you are, the more valued you should become. You will have to deal with all the issues of running your own business (travel expenses, tax returns), but you might consider that as a learning opportunity.
Being of service
Last, working as a freelance CRA for a smaller CRO like ExperTrials is the chance to be part of a human-scale team that makes a difference for biotech companies. At a time when bigger CROs are known for their high turnover of CRAs, working with a smaller CRO gives them the assurance they will receive the commitment to the programs, local expertise, and strategic advice they need.
What could be more comforting for biotech companies than to work with a full-service CRO that is experienced, agile, and cost-efficient?
This is what ExperTrials offers, thanks to its team of clinical research consultants. Their knowledge of local regulations and on-field experience is irreplaceable, and a key success factor in clinical projects.