Freelancing in Clinical Trials: What to Expect and How to Succeed

3/30/20233 min read

brown wooden blocks on white surface
brown wooden blocks on white surface

Clinical trials are a vital component of the drug development process. They allow pharmaceutical companies to test the safety and efficacy of new treatments before they are released to the public. However, running clinical trials is a complex and time-consuming process that requires the expertise of many different professionals.

One of these professionals is the Clinical Research Associate (CRA), whose job it is to oversee the conduct of clinical trials at the site level. CRAs are responsible for ensuring that the trial is conducted according to the protocol, that data is collected accurately, and that the safety of the trial participants is protected.

Traditionally, CRAs have been employed by pharmaceutical companies or contract research organizations (CROs). However, in recent years, there has been a growing trend towards freelancing in clinical trials. This has created new opportunities for CRAs who want more control over their careers and the ability to work on a variety of different projects.

So, what can you expect if you decide to pursue freelancing in clinical trials?

Flexibility and Independence

One of the main advantages of freelancing is the flexibility it offers. As a freelance CRA, you have the freedom to choose the projects you work on, the hours you work, and the preferred locations where you work and monitor. This means you can create a work schedule that fits your lifestyle and allows you to balance work and family commitments.

However, with this flexibility comes increased responsibility. As a freelancer, you are responsible for finding your own clients, negotiating contracts, and managing your own finances. You will need to be organized, self-motivated, and able to manage your time effectively.

Variety of Projects

Another advantage of freelancing is the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects. As a freelance CRA, you may work on trials for different types of drugs, different disease areas, and with different sponsors. This can help you develop a broad range of skills and expertise that can make you more valuable to future clients.

However, with this variety comes the need to be adaptable and flexible. Each trial will have its own unique challenges and requirements, so you will need to be able to adjust to new situations quickly and effectively.

Building a Reputation

When you work as a freelance CRA, your reputation is everything. Satisfied clients will recommend you to others and help you build a strong network of contacts. However, if you make mistakes or fail to deliver on your promises, your reputation can suffer, and it may be difficult to find new clients in the future.

To build a strong reputation as a freelance CRA, you will need to be reliable, professional, and committed to delivering high-quality work. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with clients, build trust, and develop strong working relationships.

Getting Started

If you're interested in freelancing in clinical trials, Freelance Clinical can help you take your first steps. Freelance Clinical is a leading service provider connecting experienced CRAs, CPMs and other various roles with pharmaceutical companies and CROs who are seeking their services.

To get started, you'll need to build up your experience and expertise as a CRA. This may involve working for a pharmaceutical company or CRO for several years before branching out on your own. Once you have the necessary experience, Freelance Clinical can help you find your first projects. Just register and provide some quick information using the Freelancer Registration Form, and when a project opportunity matches your skillset and preferences arises, you'll be notified immediately of such offers.

Freelance Clinical helps you focus on delivering high-quality work and building your reputation without having to worry about finding clients or managing the nitty-gritty of negotiating rates, setting up freelance contracts or chasing up clients for payments. Freelance Clinical provides the infrastructure and support you need to succeed as a freelance CRA, so you can focus on what you do best.


Freelancing in clinical trials is a growing trend that offers CRAs the opportunity to take control of their careers and work on a variety of different projects. While freelancing offers many advantages, it also requires a high level of responsibility, adaptability, and professionalism. If you are considering freelancing in clinical trials, it is important to build up your experience, develop strong working relationships, and establish a reputation for delivering high-quality work. With the right skills, experience, and mindset, freelancing in clinical trials can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for CRAs.