Whilst there is a wealth of information on clinical research available to those willing to investigate, knowing where to start can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated. This guide was developed out of the author’s recent work mentoring new graduates. It became increasingly obvious that there was a need to provide a simple and practical overview of the roles and responsibilities of a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) without getting bogged down in the detail. The aim of this guide is to provide the reader with a sound understanding of the day to day aspects of the role, thereby enabling them to plan a suitable career path accordingly.The author, a UK based Clinical Research Associate and Lead for over eighteen years has used her experience to compile a guide packed with practical details. In it you will find topics including: the key skills required, the CRA role and responsibilities, career structure, where to look for job opportunities as well as details on the challenges of the role. Your future career could start here.