Careers in Clinical Research
How to Start a Career in Clinical Research in India ? In an attempt to address the spiraling cost of developing new drugs and address the fact that many European countries and the US are demanding drugs at a lower cost, major pharmaceutical companies have recently had to re-evaluate their product development strategies. “Central to these changing strategies is the ‘globalisation’ of clinical research — the conduct of studies requiring patients from all ethnic groups in all countries with the aim of increasing the speed and efficiency of these studies,” states Anthony Woodman, UK campus director, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). As a result, the clinical research industry today requires a great number of clinical research professionals in every country. In Asia alone the market is worth more than US $2.5 billion. Professionals in demand include medical/dental trained investigators/coinvestigators who are in charge of administering new formulations supported by pharmacology; pharmacy, life science and biotechnology graduates who can facilitate studies by managing clinical sites, clinical trial co-ordinators (CTC) who are in charge of procuring patients, clinical research associates (CRA) who are essentially data and site monitors and clinical data managers. “Understandably, all these roles need support from contract negotiators and business development professionals,” informs Woodman. Each of these positions are required in countries where clinical research is conducted. “However, a key fact is that 70-80% of global clinical research is initiated and funded by companies based in the US orEurope and are home to major regulatory authorities (US FDA and European Medicines Agency),” he adds. INDUSTRY OVERVIEW The global clinical research industry is worth more than US $52 billion. The global pharmaceutical market is estimated at US $427 billion and research and development cost is estimated at US $60-65 billion annually. Two-third of this amount is spent on drug development i.e. approximately US $40 billion. Clinical trials involve almost 70% of time and money of new drug development. Cost of conducting clinical trials for a new drug is approximately US $200-250 million. Clinical research industry has grown around the world at an unparalleled rate in the past few years. It has opened up new vistas of employment for a large number of people. The clinical trials market worldwide is worth over US $45 billion and the industry has employed an estimated 2,10,000 people in the US and over 70,000 people in the UK. They form one third of the total research and development staff. The average nominal annual salary growth across all positions is 4% as against less than 1% for four segments. CAREER SCOPE Informing on specific career opportunities against this backdrop, Woodman states, “Clinical research requires professionals who can work across countries as project managers, technical writers, regulatory affairs professionals collecting and collating data for the sponsor pharmaceutical company or clinical research organisation (CRO). These professionals need global skills, global knowledge and global insight to the sector. Consequently, these positions require knowledgeable, flexible and well-travelled individuals who in turn receive competitive packages.” Talking about how career opportunities in clinical research compare and contrast to career opportunities in healthcare, Woodman says, “Both careers offer considerable opportunity to work on a global scale. Given the fact that the phenomenon of global expansion is both new and rapid, there is considerable demand for graduates with broad skills and knowledge. It will be fair to say that both clinical research and healthcare administration offers the same opportunit i e s. However, the focus and required skill-sets do vary.” Explaining further, he continues, “Clinical research attracts graduates motivated by new discoveries and an eye for detail and in the case of medical/dental professionals a desire to maintain a career with patient contact. Healthcare administration requires strong leadership combined with technical knowledge and a motivation to benefit patients through the provision of efficient, cost-effective healthcare.” He further adss, “Respecting these differences it is important to understand that both clinical research and healthcare administration share a common objective — ensuring that the human race as a whole does not suffer the ailments suffered by our parents and grandparents. Consequently, professionals associated with these allied domains (clinical research and healthcare administration) should understand that people across the world expect to receive safe and effective drugs in modern hospitals.” People are also conscientious that the healthcare standards of these hospitals accrue to international standards of care and safety. Most importantly, people expect all this to be cost-effective. If this understanding is fostered, professionals in both these allied fields will be inspired to ‘think out-of-the-box’ and compare and contrast processes and systems across the world, which is a critical need of the hour. FUTURE PERFECT Globally, the healthcare industry is expected to be the largest industry by 2015. Talking about future expectations from this industry, Woodman says, “The advancements and sophistications of this industry should spread evenly across the world. Therefore, looking at clinical research or health care from a geographical perspective is no longer relevant. The upcoming professionals in this field are required to be global citizens possessing global skills and strong local knowledge.” He says that in order to gain local knowledge, professionals should retain their identity while exposing themselves to diversities of social and professional cultures. Careers in Commercial Pilot Careers in Commercial Pilot ________________________________________ The job of commercial pilot is the most glamorous and exciting job in aviation. It is highly rated and one of the most adventurous career which requires intensive training. This profession also demands a lot of time, dedication, patience and sacrifice. A career in aviation attracts many youngsters as it provide opportunity to travel around the globe. This is a lucrative field. But apart from all those attractive things the job of a commercial pilot makes him responsible for the aircraft he flies and the lives of his passengers. The most important person on an aircraft is the pilot. Pilots are highly trained professionals who fly airplanes and helicopters carrying passengers or cargo. This is a highly specialised job which requires knowledge of air navigation, interpretation of meteorological reports, operations of sophisticated electronic and mechanical controls, leading the aircraft under adverse circumstances, and being a leader to the flight crew and passengers under climatic and other emergency situations. There are a number of institutes under the recognition of the Directorate General Of Civil Aviation which conducts training in this field. Most prominent among them is Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Academy at Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh). Other major training centres are flying clubs at Mumbai and Delhi. Eligibility ________________________________________ Educational: To become a commercial pilot in India, one ha s to first possess a Student Pilot License (SPL). To get the SPL those with 10+2 with science and aged at least 16 years should register at a flying club which is recognized by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Government of India. Registration requires a medical certificate, security clearance and a bank guarantee. An oral examination in subjects such as Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Engine (technical and specific) follows the registration. Successful completion of the examination entitles you for an SPL certificate. The second step is the Private Pilot License (PPL). PPL training includes sixty hours of flying of which about fifteen hours are dual flights, that is accompanied by the flight instructor and at least 30 hours of solo flights apart from five hours of cross-country flying. This makes one eligible for the PPL exam, which consists of Air Regulation, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Aircraft Engines and Seamanship. The prescribed age for appearing for this exam is 17 years and an educational qualification of 10+2 along with a medical Fitness Certificate issued by the Armed Forces Central Medical Establishment (AFCME). A Commercial Pilot Licence may be obtained only after a PPL has been acquired. To obtain a Commercial Pilots License (CPL) 250 hours of flying (including 60 hours for the PPL) is necessary. Besides that you have to undergo a Medical Fitness Test which is held at New Delhi and an examination which consists of Air Regulations, Aviation Meteorology, Air Navigation, Technical, Planning, and communications in the form of Radio & Wireless Transmission. With the CPL, a pilot can take up any professional assignment. Personal Attributes:This is a filed of discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment and self-confidence. The job requires a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules, good team spirit etc. Must be mentally very alert in every situation. Emotional stability in crisis situations is another characteristic that the pilots should have. Apart from these qualities, the persons willing to take up this as profession, should be calm, pleasant, compassionate, adventurous, understanding and technically sound. Job Prospects and Career Options ________________________________________ Job Prospects With the privatisation, lot of avenues have opened for CPL holders. They can find employment opportunities in both government (Indian Airlines, Air India) as well as private domestic and international (Jet Airways, Sahara etc.) airlines. Even large corporate houses with their own aircraft require the services of pilots. Career options In this field after getting CPL one start as a trainee pilot. After being a trainee, one becomes a pilot or first officer on board based on ones seniority. Seniority is determined by hours of flying experience and successful completion of various programs. Then one becomes a Commander or Captain and thereafter a Senior Commander. From pre-take off to actual landing and signing off, pilot must be highly responsible. Before take-off pilots check pre-flight plans. These includes the route to be taken and height maintained, meteorological readings, conditions of all equipments, air pressure and temperature inside the aircraft etc. They have to do complex calculations of take-off and landing and have to check fuel needed for the particular distance to be traveled and height and weight to be maintained. During the flight too pilot must be constantly alert, ensuring there are no mechanical snags, maintaining contact with air traffic controls and cabin crew through-out the flight. He also has to keep a record of flight details. Remuneration ________________________________________ Pay scales of commercial pilots in the public sector organizations depend on the grade level of the positions. They will get attractive remuneration and incentives. The total remuneration also includes contributory provident fund, gratuity, medical facilities and free/concessional air passage. Pilots are also entitled to a range of benefits and allowances in addition to housing, medical and out- station allowances, as well as free/concessional air passages for their immediate family and dependants. Commercial pilots can earn from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 150,000 per month, depending on the airline and one’s experience. Careers in Company Secretary Careers in Company Secretary Company Secretary is a professional course administered by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 to develop and regulate the profession of Company Secretaries in India. According to the Companies Act, companies with a paid up of Rs 50 lakh are required to appoint a Company Secretary. Company Secretary course gives you knowledge and understanding of the modern practice in corporate financial and legal affair. To become a company secretary, the candidate need to pass the Foundation, Intermediate, and Final course conducted by the institute and further, they need to undergo practical training to become eligible for the membership as a Company Secretary. A Company Secretary’s service is very much important for a company’s management The work of a company secretary covers a wide variety of functions, he acts as a vital link between the Company, the Board of Directors, shareholders and governmental and regulatory agencies. He is a compliance officer of the company as well as Corporate Planner and Strategic Manager. Apart from carrying out these functions he also looks after finance, accounts, legal, personnel and administrative functions. Company Secretary is required to handle matters related to central/state sales tax, excise laws, labour laws and corporate law. Company Secretaryship course is divided into three parts Foundation, Intermediate and Final. This course is a mixture of postal tuition, optional coaching classes and regular examinations at specified centers. Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can apply for the foundation course. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding fine arts) and who passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognised by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the intermediate course without doing foundation course. Candidate who passed the Intermediate exam can apply for final course. Registration for each examination should be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is held. The examinations are usually held in June and December every year. Study material is provided to the students at the time of admission. In recent times, the rapid corporatisation has increased the demand for Company Secretary’s in corporate functions. Eligibility The Company Secretary Course conducted by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has three sections -Foundation, Intermediate, and Final course. The minimum eligibility required for the Foundation course for Company Secretary is 10+2 or an equivalent examination. Candidate who has enrolled for the 10+2 examination can apply with the proof of passing the examination within 6 months. Candidates who have passed the Foundation Course, and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for the Intermediate course. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding fine arts) and those who have passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognised by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the intermediate course without doing foundation course. A registered student is required to complete the Intermediate and the Final examination within the registration period. After passing the intermediate course a registered candidate can apply for the Final course. In essence, excellent command over English, both written and oral is important for a company secretary. At the same time ability to understand, analyse complex and technical issues and exercise accordingly with tact and intelligence are other essentials. It is the moral responsibility of the company secretary to be loyal to his organisation on knowing their top level plans and important secrets. Job Prospects and Career Options Exposure to detailed study and practical training in various fields adds to versatility of a company secretary. Company secretary has a great scope of employment in Private companies, consulting firms, financial institutions, banks, Department of company affairs and other regulatory bodies. A qualified company secretary is competent enough to take up wide range of responsibilities in legal, secretarial, finance, accounts, personnel and administrative departments of companies and are involved in major decisions such as formulating long and short term corporate policies and programmes. Their other responsibilities include incorporation, managing public issues, act as internal legal advisor and representative, process inter-corporate loans and investments, maintain company’s records, take care of company’s tax planning, tax management, tax returns, explore expansion opportunities, arrange collaborations, amalgamations, joint ventures within and outside India etc. They are required to understand relevant aspects of law, update themselves with the changes to ensure proper compliance of legislations. The job also involves arranging company meetings, collecting and compiling information and recording the decisions. Nowadays, they are even foraying in capital markets and financial services industry. Their assistance in administration, management, planning and general running of the company makes them the company’s chief administrator. Course Details Company Secretaryship course is divided into three sections. Foundation, Intermediate and Final. After the final exam the candidate has to undergo practical training. Foundation course Duration of Foundation Course is 8 months. Students are required to pass the Foundation examination within 3 years from the date of their admission. Candidates who have passed senior secondary (10+2) can apply for foundation course. Registration for foundation course is open through out the year. The exams for the foundation course are held in December and June. To appear for the exams in December candidate should apply for the exam before the previous march. Similarly to appear for the June exam, candidate should apply before the previous September. i.e the Registration for each examination should be done at least nine months before the month in which the examination is held. Subjects English and Business Communication (FCEBC) Basic Economics and Business Environment (FCBE-BE) Financial Accounting (FCFA) Elements of Business Laws and Management (FERBAM) Information Systems and Quantitative Techniques (FCISQT) Intermediate course Candidates who have passed the foundation course, and are not less than 17 years of age can apply for intermediate course. Graduates, post-graduates (excluding fine arts) and those who have passed final exam of ICWAI or ICAI or of any other accountancy Institution in India or abroad recognised by the Council of the Institute can directly enroll to the intermediate course without doing foundation course. Intermediate course consist of two groups. Candidates registered for intermediate course including the month of February in a year are eligible for appearing in both the groups of the Intermediate examination held in December of that year and those registered up to and including the month of August in a year are eligible to appear in the Intermediate examination held in June of next year. Subjects Group I General and Commercial Laws (IGCL) Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA&CMA) Tax Laws (ITL) Management Information Systems and Corporate Communication (IMIS&CC) Group II Company Law (ICL) Company Secretarial Practice (ICSP) Economic, Labour and Industrial Laws (IELIL) Securities Laws and Regulation of Financial Markets (ISLRFM) A candidate can get exemption for some individual papers on the basis of qualification – 1. Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA&CMA) – Master of Corporate Secretaryship/M.Com./M.B.A (with Accountancy as one of the subjects at B.A (C.S)/B.Com. level with full paper in Cost Accounting/Management Accounting/Financial Management at Master of Corporate Secretaryship/M.Com./M.B.A. level and must have secured fifty per cent marks in the subject concerned of a recognised university is exempted from this subject. 2. General and Commercial Laws (IGCL) – A degree in Law or Master of Corporate Secretaryship is exempted from this subject. 3. Tax Laws(ITL) – Master of Corporate Secretaryship is exempted from this subject. A Candidate who has passed the Final examination of the ICWAI is eligible to seek exemption from the following papers of Intermediate examination under a reciprocal arrangement existing at present between the two Institutes- Company Accounts and Cost & Management Accounting (ICA&CMA), Tax Laws(ITL)in the intermediate level. Financial, Treasury and Forex Management, Direct and Indirect Taxation – Law and Practice in the final level. Final course A student is admitted to the Final examination only after a minimum period of nine months after passing intermediate examination. The examinations are conducted twice a year in June and December. Last date for enrolment applications for the final examination is 25th March (with late fee of Rs. 100, 9th April) for June examination and 25th September (with late fee of Rs. 100, 10th October) for December examination. Subjects: Group I Advanced Company Law and Practice (FACLP) Secretarial Practice relating to Economic Laws and Drafting and Conveyancing (FSPELDC) Secretarial Management and Systems Audit (FSMSA) Group II Financial, Treasury and Forex Management (FFTFM) Corporate Restructuring-Law and Practice (FCRLP) Banking and Insurance-Law and Practice (FBILP) Group III WTO-International Trade, Joint Ventures and Foreign Collaborations (FWTO) Direct and Indirect Taxation-Law and Practice (FDITLP) Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations (FHRMIR) Training A candidate who has passed the Final examination of the Institute is required to possess the practical experience and undergo the practical training. The objectives of training is to apprise the students with the functioning of the Corporate Sector and to create a cadre of professional Company Secretaries having a sound theoretical base and practical exposure to serve trade and industry effectively, both as a part of the management team as well as independent practicing professionals. Students who do not possess the specified practical experience are required to undergo on the job training for a period of fifteen months in recognised companies or under a Company Secretary in Practice duly approved for the purpose. Examination Centres: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bangalore, Baroda, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Ernakulam, Ghaziabad, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Modinagar, Mumbai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna, Pondicherry, Pune, Ranchi, Shimla, Jammu/Srinagr, Tiruchirapalli, Thiruvananthapuram & Visakhapatnam.