Changing Tack

Changing Tack

Changing Tack 260 200 Exploristics

By Dr Kara Stevens, Statistics & Programming Team Lead

After working in a clinical trials unit at a university for several years, I felt sure the opportunity to work in industry would no longer be possible and was certain that a career move would be incredibly difficult. However, after working in Exploristics I cannot tell you how wrong I was.

When I was first approached to consider a job in industry, I won’t lie and admit I took my time deciding if I even wanted to apply for a job in the first place, moving to industry seemed daunting and quite possibly a crazy when I was getting ready to apply for promotion. Would I be able to handle the faster pace and pressure with a young family? Would the work be completely different from what I am used to? Would the work be repetitive?

It was clear if I was to make the move, I would need to think carefully about my potential employer. After I was introduced to Exploristics, I was intrigued to learn how different the company was from other CROs. From its innovative software to its exciting collaborations with big pharmaceutical companies with real flexible working arrangements, I was eager to learn more.

After my interview, I had the opportunity to meet current members of staff and it was obvious that Exploristics was a company people wanted and enjoyed working for. They were warm and friendly, taking time out of their day to meet new employees and answer all our questions, regardless of how silly they might seem.

There is no doubt, I had a lot to learn! My first month was filled with learning new statistical programs and procedures, but everyone was so helpful and kind. Everyone took the time to introduce themselves and help me settle in, offering support and guidance when you need it.

Although there are similarities in some of the process between academically and industry run clinical trials, there are some differences. I have been exposed to a lot more designs and analysis than in my previous role as Exploristics is involved in a much wider range of phases and products. In addition, I find the research more innovative and tangible which does in fact lead to methods and techniques that are put into practice.

I’ve spent time talking to friends and associates, and each time I increasingly realise how lucky I am to work for Exploristics. The environment and culture within the company is not the norm and by specialising in statistics and programming, with development of its own in-house software means there are a greater range of opportunities to grow and expand your horizons.

Find out more on what it’s like to make the transition from academia to industry. Listen to Exploristics Data Strategy Team Lead Sheila McCartan’s podcast on moving into data analytics for clinical trials recorded for Queen’s University Belfast’s Postdoctoral Development Centre at

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