The 2018 Clinical Researcher of the Year—the Americas competition is well underway.  Hundreds of competitors have completed Stage 1, a multiple-choice questionnaire testing knowledge of Good Clinical Practice; and Stage 2 has been implemented.

Commenting on what’s required for Stage 2 Debbie Rosenbaum, consultant at Sarrison Clinical Research and co-chair of the executive steering group says: “Stage 2 involves a 1000-word essay (1500 for teams) to answer selected criteria that is related to this year’s theme, ‘Envisioning the Future of Clinical Research’.

“Stage 2 Essays are blinded and reviewed by a panel of industry experts.  All essays are scored and the top 8-10 in a category are chosen.  Judges look for essay content, such as innovation and creativity, as well as essay structure: addressing the topic, organisation, grammar.

“The Stage 1 and Stage 2 competitions close on January 31st.  Those who wish to enter should do so soon to allow time to contemplate and respond to the Stage 2 Essays.”

Mark Lacy owner of Benchmark Research and co-chair of the competition’s executive steering group comments: “We are always looking for ways to improve the competition and have streamlined the team entry process for 2018. There is no need for teams to complete the MCQ. Instead, the team lead should fill out the online entry form, stating which category they would like to be considered for, along with a mission statement and the details of each team member - with the permission of their manager of course!

“The ESG will then make a decision about whether or not to invite your team to take part in Stage 2 of the competition.”

Debbie continues: “This year we are excited to add two new categories to the competition: Clinical Trial Manager and Site Team.  It will be exciting to welcome finalists to these two new categories!”

Designed to recognise and reward the talent and passion of industry and academic researchers, the PharmaTimes Clinical Researcher of the Year – The Americas, is a celebration of professional excellence.

It is also a valuable learning and development opportunity, allowing clinical researchers of all levels of their career to benchmark their skills against those of their peers in a learning environment, and have them judged by an independent steering committee of high-level industry leaders.

Taking part in the competition was a good decision for Peter Mascenik, senior project manager at Sarah Cannon Development Innovations. He says: “Winning the gold in the 2017 Clinical Researcher of the Year competition, Project Manager category, was tremendously exciting.  As a representative of Sarah Cannon Development Innovations, this competition reflects the work we do every day to bring exciting and effective new therapies to patients.  CROY is a great way to test and sharpen your strategic thinking, planning and communication skills amongst industry peers and leaders.  I’d recommend CROY to anyone who truly enjoys their work and loves a contest.  Good luck to the 2018 contestants!”

Everyone who participates in this competition wins something, whether it's the ultimate accolade of being the 'Clinical Researcher of the Year', the knowledge and growth that comes from seeing how your skills stack up against your peers, or the invaluable learnings that come from the competition's mentoring programme.

2017 finalist, Karimah White-Murphy is a site manager for Janssen. She says: “Through this enlightening experience, I had the privilege to mix and mingle with a host of wonderful colleagues and fellow researchers.  I didn’t win in my category, nonetheless, the ultimate victory for me entering the CRoY competition derived from the satisfaction of knowing that I have done my very best and that I can accomplish anything by overcoming the hindrance of fear.  I encourage anyone who carries the weight of self-doubt on their shoulders to enter and challenge yourselves to shine!”

2017 finalist, Brian J Frett, a project manager PRA Health Sciences agrees and he is determined to make it even further in the 2018 competition. Commenting on the experience, he says: “Participating in the PharmaTimes Clinical Researcher of the Year competition in 2017 was an incredible opportunity, convening with the top professionals from the best companies in the clinical research industry.

“The competition allowed me to put my knowledge and experience to the test, eliciting fantastic feedback from the panel that was constructive and allowed me to then adapt my skill set as an effective project manager. It was an honor to be able to represent my company, and showcase the top-level talent that we cultivate within our organisation. I am already excited at the prospect of returning to the finals this April, to once again network with the brightest minds in the industry.”

The Finals Day will be held at the end of April in Washington DC area.

For more information and to enter visit