Clinical Research Training Institutes: Are they worth Joining? The Truth is out!!

December 4th, 2009:

Bangalore - When educational institutes/Universities fail to match the frequency of Industry and its needs, it is always needed to have some institutes/organizations which can fill up this gap and train the student community & make them professionals.

Similar Situation occurred in India sometime ago as Clinical Research entered India. India soon became a preferred hub for Clinical Research which had all infrastructural facilities and above all it was cheap with a wide variety of population on which Clinical Research could be performed.

This triggered a need for Trained Clinical Research professional who could perform this job in a well defined manner. And this led to the birth of Today’s Clinical Research professionals. But how it could happen? No University had curriculum to match up with the needs of this naive industry. And then came the era of ICRI founded by Shivraman Dugal (an IIM Aluminous).

While ICRI was formed after the need was felt by Mr Dugal in his own novice CRO for Well qualified and cheap clinical research professionals, there occurred a tide of such kind of Institutes all across the country. It is true that CR is slated to grow in the coming years and it is expected that almost 5% of the global Clinical Research will be done Only in India in the coming 5 Years. Over 100 Pharma Companies are outsourcing their CR work to Indian CRO’s. And It is true that CR profession is worth entering.

But the question is “Is it worth enrolling in these Clinical Research Training Institutes?”

Lets first have a close look at the fact sheet:

Number of Institutes offering Clinical Research courses in India: 29+
History: Academy of Clinical Excellence was the first to be started in India in 2002 followed by Catalyst Clinical Services & ICRI in 2004. Post 2004, 26 more clinical Research institutes (read CREMA, Lotus labs etc) came up including some of the reputed Universities such as Manipal & Symbiosis.

Training Modules
: While there is no prescribed syllabus/format in which training should be carried out hence uniformity in Training in all institutes varies. However some institutes Claim that they are accredited by any international standard organization such as UK based William Harvey ltd. It remains questionable as how much of the prescribed curriculum is being followed as there is no Indian board/authority to cross check this fact. These modules may range from weekend programs / Diploma to Post Graduate degrees such as M.Sc in Clinical Research. The durations could be from few weeks to a full time 2 years program

Fees: Fee structure ranges from Rs 5,000 – 4 Lakhs.

Case Study: Recently in a telephonic conversation with one of our users (who did his Post Graduate Diploma from a Leading Clinical Research training Institute in Bangalore) we found out that he spent Rs 4+ lakhs as fees and another 3+ Lakhs as living expenses (as he was from outside Bangalore) only to find out that Clinical Research could not give him any placement at all. While many of you must be puzzled about this field we sincerely advise you to investigate properly with ex students of any such institutes before you take admission in it.

Placements: While many of the institutes maintain a long list of Clinical Research organization (as they claim) which come for placements at their institutes. This Data remains unverified and students are again advised to contact ex Students of such organizations (of course you can use Several Biotech Forums on Internet) and find out the truth.

When we contacted some of the CR Training Institutes posing as students we found out that they have very tall claims which is unverifiable and may be confusing at times. Hence all Biotecnika members are requested understand the return over investment before entering this field.

“Remember Flashy ads with catchy lines may not earn bread and butter for you, Rather Its your qualification & Institute’s reputation that can help you grab a job. So choose wisely”

Further Reading:

NB: While we do not deny that Clinical Research is a growing field with lots of scope, but we wanted to open the eyes of students so that they take precaution while choosing CR training Institutes.