Clinical Research in Alberta: Job Opportunities with QCMR
On September 11, 2019, students at the University of Alberta had the pleasure of hosting Scott Jamieson for a seminar on the Quality Management in Clinical Research (QMCR) unit at University of Alberta and to learn about career opportunities in this field.
As the director of Clinical Operations, Clinical Research Unit Edmonton (CRUE) and QMCR, Scott oversees a growing team of 11 staff members who provide a “one-stop-shop” for clinical trial services in Alberta. Although the QMCR operates at an arms-length from within the University of Alberta, this group combines the clinical trial expertise of the Northern Alberta Clinical Trials Research Centre (NACTRC), the University of Alberta, and Alberta Health Services into a centralized operations unit to simplify the overall process for conducting clinical research studies. Under Scott’s leadership, the QMCR provides à-la-carte services ranging from clinical trial application assistance, site monitoring, grant assistance, statistics services, and many more for both pre-market and post-market trials. Importantly, the work of the QMCR ensures that all clinical research conducted at the University of Alberta is held to the highest scientific and ethical standards. These efforts ensure the integrity of the data generated and enables researchers at the University to drive innovation forward from bench to bedside.
Figure 1. Organizational structure and position designations of professionals in the QMCR at the University of Alberta.
As the QMCR provides a variety of services relating to clinical trials, Scott employs many different individuals from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. The specific roles in the QMCR unit can be found in figure 1; however, desirable skills and expertise are in the following areas:
• Regulatory Affairs
• Clinical Monitoring
• ClinicalTrials.gov (database) administration
• Research Informatics
• Budget Negotiation, Financial Reconciliation
• Clinical Co-ordination
• Project Management
• Pre-award Assistance
• Real-world evidence (RWE) Project Leadership
• Research Analysis (RWE Health Outcomes)
• Methodology and Biostatistics
As the QMCR research unit expands its services and operations, Scott is in search of study coordinators/clinical trial leads, RWE project leads, and health outcomes research analysts. As Scott explained, Alberta has one of the largest andmost comprehensive health system databases in Canada. This resource strategically positions the province to become a global leader in real-world evidence generation and has garnered the attention of numerous clients. As such, positions like RWE project leads, who conduct post-market research, liaise with industry clients, conduct literature reviews and prepare proposals are anticipated to grow in number. Additionally, personnel with backgrounds in data management and computer coding who can parse through anonymized patient data are also in need.
When asked how to break into roles outside of academia, Scott’s advice is to find your way into an entry-level position and break-in at the ground level. Network and connect with individuals in the health ecosystem and look to start a conversation first. For Scott, personality and fit are the most important criteria when looking to fill vacant positions. A candidate can always be trained in the technical skills required for the job, but your inherent “fit” with the team and your personality and attitude are the most valuable assets to bring to the table.
The Edmonton Chapter of the S2BN would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to Scott Jamieson for lending his time to meet with students at the University of Alberta.
For more information on the QMCR unit at the University of Alberta, please visit:
For QMCR job vacancies please visit: