Clinical researchers from companies including AstraZeneca, GSK, INC Research, Parexel, PharmaNet/i3, PPD, PRA International, and Shire have reached the finals of one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind in the USA.

Supported by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and CenterWatch, and sponsored by leading business analytics and business intelligence firm SAS, US Clinical Researcher of the Year — created in 2009 — has quickly become established as an important barometer of quality standards for the country’s clinical research fraternity in terms of creating competency benchmarks and generating important insights on key challenges facing researchers in today’s environment.

Fifty-nine talented individuals have been selected for the finals and will compete on 8 November at SAS’ Executive Briefing Center in Cary, North Carolina. The finalists are presented with a case study on the day and have to rely on their experience, training and competencies as they undertake a day of presentations, interviews and observation by a panel of senior industry judges. The winners will be unveiled later that evening at a special gala dinner, which is also hosted by SAS at their Executive Briefing Center.

Executive director of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, Jim Thomasell, commented: "This is a phenomenal opportunity to recognise the best and brightest people from the clinical research enterprise. The ACRP and the Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research are proud to be a part of this great endeavor that is clearly in alignment with our missions. Everyone gains from excellence in research and this competition highlights the great contributions that individuals and teams make on a daily basis in developing innovative medical products to benefit society."

Sean Morgan-Jones of competition organisers, PharmaTimes, and chairman of the Executive Steering Committee explained: “The challenge facing clinical researchers all over the world cannot be underestimated: escalating costs combined with the increasing burden of regulation have changed the risk profile for organisations investing heavily in new medicines. The US Clinical Researcher of the Year competition is a wonderful example of how pharma can collaborate and create an initiative that encourages, develops and benchmarks clinical research talent and, perhaps more importantly, share insights on the talents and competencies required for tomorrow's clinical research leaders."

While commenting on their involvement in the competition, David Handelsman, senior industry consultant for health and life sciences at SAS said: “SAS is thrilled to be hosting the US Clinical Researcher of the Year competition. It is exciting to see clinical research operations teams actively applying analytics to their investigator and patient-focused activities. Every biopharmaceutical company is looking for ways to shorten timelines and reduce the costs to get new therapies to market, and this event brings the best and the brightest together to look at solving these clinical operations challenges."

For a full list of this year’s finalists, go to

The US Clinical Researcher of the Year competition would like to thank all those organisations that have supported the event this year, SAS, ACRP, CenterWatch, PRA International, INC Research, IDIS, Benchmark Research, Stiefel (a GSK company), Chiltern International, PharmaNet/i3 and Small Planet Meetings.