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European Pharmaceutical Contractor

Dispelling the Fears of Inspection





When I was offered the opportunity to be a research coordinator in 2011, I immediately conjured up images of Frankenstein’s lab: large, complicated equipment, mysterious liquids bubbling in the corner, all exciting stuff. However, it wasn’t the trailblazing world I imagined. That isn’t to say it’s not interesting and incredibly worthwhile, and I am delighted that the world of GCP, governance, recruitment, and informed consent has turned out to be more exciting, dramatic, interesting, and rewarding than I ever envisioned. The experience I gained has been much more akin to a variation of an episode of Stranger Things than the scary world created by Mary Shelley.

I picked up some fundamental tips during my time coordinating a variety of both commercial and academic studies, some obvious, some maybe a little more specific. These may not cover everything required to make anyone (including me) the perfect coordinator, but they are important. If someone can adopt these basic traits, they will be well on their way to having a successful study with happy participants and sponsors.

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About the author


After nearly 20 years in the NHS, starting as a hospital porter, Ross Downes has been lucky enough to spend the best part of the last eight years working in the exciting world of research. The beginnings of this were spent on a steep learning curve as an ophthalmology research coordinator, before some time working in the incredibly diverse world of primary care. His current role as the Industry Manager for the NIHR, Thames Valley, and South Midlands Clinical Research Network enables Ross to help facilitate and integrate research into trusts within the region.
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