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 Clinical Research Careers
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Best CROs
Author:  PJS
Date:  02-03-11 01:22pm
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I currently have been employed at Quintiles as a CRA for over 5 years (primarily oncology and some diabetes) and am interested in sending out my CV to a couple CROs (for CRA and team lead positions). I would like anyone's opinion as to the "Best CROs" to work for in general. I know alot has to do with what studies and managers you have, but in general, which are the best overall? Covance and RPS is on my list, but would value your opinions greatly!

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Apr 23, 2013, 07:59PM
 
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   I like PRA a lot. This is my first CRO and am going into it as a sr CRA. People are nice project teams very support
I've
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Oct 26, 2012, 12:47PM
 
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   Quintiles has upped their metrics this year and is the most demanding CRO right now for CRAs. Although upper management talks about work life balance, it is heresy. The only thing that counts is meeting your metrics at all costs (including your sanity). There's no longer any real reason to stay at Quintiles if you're an experienced CRA. Any downtime you may have will be filled with SWAT visits for other projects in the mean time. It's not what it used to be...
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Oct 16, 2012, 11:11PM
 
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   Try Ricerca Biosciences, LLC
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 30, 2012, 11:05PM
 
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   I turned down Parexel but my associates are happy.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 30, 2012, 11:03PM
 
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   RPS is ok, but they have terrible benefits. Covance is the best CRO. They believe in work and life balance and they pay very well with perks and excellent benefits. they only assign 1 or 2 protocols at a time. All the other at least 4-5. PRA has terrible project managers and Q over works you. I would not waist my time with PPD or INC.
 
 

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 30, 2012, 12:28PM
 
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   Very happy with PPD environment. Work is managable, good team support when it's not and decent benefits. My line manager isn't really the best (she's not mean by any accounts and I rarely interact with her, but there are just some things that tell me her job knowledge could be better), but for a senior CRA, not much guidance is really needed at this point. I hope to stay for at least another year, maybe even work into management. Yeah, recruitors call me up almost once a week offering a 10-15k raise, but I am happy here and don't want to risk being unhappy or working those 60hr weeks somewhere else.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 30, 2012, 11:55AM
 
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   I would throw Medpace in the mix as one of the better CROs to work for. They are expanding and have almost finished their new campus in Cincinnati. They are currently hiring CRAs at all levels.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 29, 2012, 05:50AM
 
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   Stay away from PRA in Lenexa
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Jun 08, 2012, 11:11AM
 
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   how bout Parexel? you might want to consider it.
 
 
 
  Author: cra2II Aug 25, 2011, 06:27PM
 
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   When you say work 60 hours are you including your travel time in there? So maybe actual time on site and writing reports is about 50 hours and travel time is about 10 hours? Just curious if you're actually on site and/or writing reports for 60 hours a week.
 
 

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 25, 2011, 01:32PM
 
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   10:50:
What company do you work for that works its CRAs less than 60 hours a week? I am used to doing 4 flights a week and after all the early mornings and late nights from delays PLUS all my 'real' work I consider 60 hours a SHORT week.
 
 
 
  Author: cra2II Aug 25, 2011, 12:02PM
 
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   When you say work 60 hours are you including your travel time in there? So maybe actual time on site and writing reports is about 50 hours and travel time is about 10 hours? Just curious if you're actually on site and/or writing reports for 60 hours a week.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 24, 2011, 10:50AM
 
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   In no way does 60 hours a week seem worth it or good in any way, even with good managers. I have to do it from time to time and it makes me miserable.

It really seems like there is no "best CRO" - it all depends on your department director and immediate supervisor. I've worked for two very large ones and both were great at some point until a management change.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 17, 2011, 08:41AM
 
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   How is ICON? I am consideirng taking a job there and want to know if I am making the right move. How is pay for a CRA with 4 yeears experience?
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Jul 04, 2011, 04:49PM
 
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   I work for PPD and I hit the lottery with my project and line manager assignment- both are good and back me up like I've seen at no other CRO. I am happy there and my managers communicate with me so I don't get overextended (although I still work 60 hours a week, it's a LOT better than what I am used to). I am really happy, but I realize, like any company, a good manager can make or break your career!
 
 

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Jul 04, 2011, 03:22PM
 
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   7:40..what sponsor did you work for? Im considering a positions with RPS.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Jul 03, 2011, 07:40AM
 
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   I have worked for Q and RPS. RPS may pay slightly more but they work you to death. It's a revolving door when it comes to assignments. People are leaving all the time. CRAs and line managers both. RPS management has meetings and survey the CRAs trying to find out why they keep leaving. They have no clue! As for "the bench", they tell you that you will go on it until something opens up, but myself and others got layed off. At least now I don't have to work weekends and can take a vacation now and then.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Jun 22, 2011, 01:47PM
 
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   Overall, RPS is one of the better CROs.
I left Quintiles to work at RPS. RPS is leaps and bounds better than Quintiles. Here are things to consider:
The benefits package at Quintiles is better. Independence BC-BS is awful.
Your experience with RPS depends on your assignment. I was assigned to a dreadful Pharma.
RPSer is not exactly correct when he/she states RPS does not lay-off. That is what they tell you. What they have is something called "The bench". This means you stay at home and wait for your next assignment. You are paid and get benefits but no bonus. The reality is that those people who are "on the bench" get very nervous and start looking for work. Yes, lay-offs quietly happen when there are too many people on the bench or when they decide to reorganize.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Jun 21, 2011, 09:11AM
 
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   also depending a lot on the location, not every country of international companies offer the same. What country would you like to work in?
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Mar 06, 2011, 09:18AM
 
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   I'd rather be happy than have a 15k increase in salary. My sanity is worth so much more than that!
 
 

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Mar 04, 2011, 07:41PM
 
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   "Extra 15K"-you must not need the money. Good for you.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Mar 04, 2011, 07:34AM
 
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   I think it's all about luck. I work at PPD and although it isn't perfect, I have a line manager and clinical manager who really back me up. When I tell them if my workload is too much, they really listen and they know what being a CRA is about.. If I would have assigned to a group of managers who were less supportive, I don't think I would be nearly as happy. Sure, I could go to RPS and make an extra 15k a year, but I am happy where I am.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Mar 03, 2011, 07:16AM
 
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   I have worked for Covance, PRA and RPS. And I would have to say they are about the same. All of them if you have the wrong type of personality will end up looking for another job. However in my current job search I would not return to any of them and it was not the personality that made me come to that decision. It has to do with politics.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Mar 02, 2011, 11:39PM
 
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   RPSer: What is your average rate of travel? You're a CRA?
 
 
 
  Author: RPSer Mar 02, 2011, 05:23PM
 
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   I've worked for PPD, ICON and Quintiles and RPS. RPS has definitely been the best experience. The pay is significantly better. Job security is extraordinary. They have a no-layoff policy. The people are generally very high quality. Benefits are on par with what the other companies offered. They won't really consider anyone w/o at least 4 years experience, though I think they do make occasional exceptions for exceptional candidates. One big downside is that there is really no career development or upward mobility to speak of.
 
 

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Mar 01, 2011, 02:07PM
 
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   They're basically all the same. Lots of constant changes make it impossible to say which is the "best". Q. is the biggest and probably has the best beneifits.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Feb 15, 2011, 08:52AM
 
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   I know someone who was at Quintiles for 5 years and left to go to RPS. She told me she made more on base salary but was not appreciated or recognized and felt overworked and not listened to at RPS. She left RPS and went back to Q saying that with Q's bonus and perks it evened out on the money at the end
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Feb 08, 2011, 03:26PM
 
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   I would have to say PRA International is pretty good. I have worked at PRA for almost a year, and it is, by far the least dysfunctional CRO I've worked at. PRA seems to be growing quickly, my management is very receptive to new ideas and the facilities in Raleigh are top-notch.
 
 
 
  Author: PJS Feb 04, 2011, 11:38AM
 
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   Interesting! It's good to hear they are WAY more happier. I went through the QCR stuff - what a tough experience! Thanks for your comment.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Feb 03, 2011, 05:56PM
 
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   I've heard from several RPS CRAs that they are WAY more happy there then Quintiles. The 3 that I know left Q for RPS when QCR took place this past fall.
 

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