Singapore to improve training, salary of clinical research coordinators

August 30, 2017

As clinical research takes on an increasing and more vital role in the search for healthcare solutions that are specifically tailored for the needs of Singapore’s population, its Health Ministry is putting in S$35 million to fund training programs and salary increases of clinical research coordinators (CRCs).

Senior Minister of State for Health and Transport Lam Pin Min said under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 plan, the ministry will fund 100 CRCs’ salaries and to roll out a series of national training and certification under the Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI) Academy launched earlier this week.

SCRI said the virtual academy will target CRCs with less than one year of experience to help them get up to speed with their roles and responsibilities. It will take in its first batch of trainees from March next year.

SCRI CEO Teoh Yee Leong highlighted the important role CRCs play in clinical research, saying they are the ones who help the principal investigators to coordinate trials and manage patients in the trials.

Associate Professor Teoh also noted the funding will provide newer CRCs with more career stability, while the SCRI Academy will map out a proper training and career path.

Tan Si Li, a clinical research coordinator at the KK Research Centre, is one of 500 CRCs in Singapore.

As a junior with just four months’ experience under her belt, she anticipates the training at SCRI will give her greater confidence to perform her duties. She said the program will help her combine the practical and theoretical aspects of her work and will help her adapt better on the ground.

SCRI, aside from training new CRCs, will also work with Workforce Singapore on a professional conversion program targeting mid-career switchers with no clinical research background. It also intends to work with Nanyang Polytechnic to develop a clinical module.

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