Melanie Carr is a Trial Manager in Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. Here she describes her career to date, what a typical week looks like and what advice she would give to someone looking to work in trial management.
Number of years in clinical trial management
How did you get here?
I had a winding route into trial management. I studied History at university and then did a few customer service jobs before starting a career in wine sales. After a few years I decided that sales wasn’t the right fit for me so I looked for admin jobs in the university as I’d heard they are a good employer. My first job at Oxford was Receptionist in the Oxford Vaccine Group (Department of Paediatrics) and from there I was on the path to trial management: progressing from Reception to Trials Assistant, and then in February 2021 moving over to Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences as an Assistant Trial Manager and now, as of August 2022, Trial Manager.
What are you working on just now?
I’m the Trial Manager for OPTIMISE2, a trial looking at the effects of antihypertensive deprescribing in the over 75s which is currently in set-up but we hope to open to recruitment soon.
What do you do in a typical day/week?
As with most trial management there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ week. At the moment I’m mostly checking for approvals or communication from various bodies and committees while making sure everything is lined up to open our trial once the approvals come through. That means checking that the trial documents and database are ready, any required management or analysis plans are in place, and that we’ve got some sites lined up and ready to go.
What education/qualifications do you have?
I have a bachelor’s degree in History
What skills or attributes are most valuable in your role?
Attention to detail and time management are key.
There are a lot of moving parts in trial management and so it’s really important to know which tasks are the priority and spot anything out of place or incorrect.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in trial management?
Just got for it. If I can do it anyone can! There are plenty of different routes to trial management depending on your background and it’s a really interesting world to be part of.