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Table 6 Themes identified from free-text comments

From: Where do we go from here? – Opportunities and barriers to the career development of trial managers: a survey of UK-based trial management professionals

ThemeExample quotes
Lack of recognition, understanding and value of the role of trial manager“Trial managers are seen as less important than academics in the university setting”.
“I don’t think trial management is seen as a professional career in the academic community”.
“There is a significant problem with recognising the contribution a trial manager makes to the team”.
“I was once called a glorified administrator by an academic”.
Fixed/short-term contracts and funding“Short-term funding is the key barrier to career development”.
“Although I work in a large registered CTU, I do not feel that the training is given to support the move to the next level within the unit”.
Lack of training and clear career pathway“There is no guidance out there about what training would be best for career progression”.
“The role feels very much like a dead-end job with no official training or career pathway”.
“I would like to be able to send the staff on more external development opportunities, but it is difficult to see where that funding would come from”.
Disparity between organisations“Having worked on trials in different organisations and worked with colleagues who have also worked on trials in other trials units I think there are discrepancies across the country in terms of grading of trial manager and senior trial manager positions”.
“Huge disparity between organisations on how the role is treated and valued”.
“Lack of consistency between units - the name of roles is not consistent”.
Lack of time and capacity to focus on career development“Your whole time is taken up with the demanding work of keeping your trial running”.
“I think time and money are the biggest factors affecting career development”.
“There is lack of funding to provide time to develop outside the immediate delivery of the trial”.
  1. Abbreviation: CTU clinical trials unit