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Recognizing Excellence: The Clinical Leader CRO Leadership Awards

Pharma and biopharma leaders, part of Clinical Leader’s and Life Science Connect’s engaged readership, have consistently expressed challenges in effectively evaluating potential CRO (Contract Research Organization) partners. In direct response, the prestigious CRO Leadership Awards were established to recognize excellence in the field.

Derived from extensive data collected through Industry Standard Research's (ISR) annual Contract Research Organization Quality Benchmarking survey, 42 CROs underwent a rigorous assessment across over 20 distinct performance metrics. This process involved participants in the survey and decision-makers from biopharmaceutical companies of varying sizes, all with significant experience and authority in managing CRO relationships. Respondents evaluated only those CROs with which they had engaged for outsourced projects within the preceding 18 months, ensuring that all feedback and ratings were based on direct, recent experiences.

These awards are thoughtfully segmented into three main categories to reflect the diverse nature of the industry: Big Pharma, Small Pharma, and Overall, combining insights from both large and small-scale pharmaceutical companies. This segmentation ensures that the awards cater to the specific needs and challenges of different players in the industry. Additionally, CROs exceeding the weighted average by at least one standard deviation in any core category are honored as Champions, highlighting their exceptional service and performance.

Understanding the Award Criteria

Participants in ISR’s survey provided expectation ratings for each CRO based on their direct experience over the past 18 months. These ratings were compiled into attribute scores and combined into a composite score for each category. CROs achieving the highest scores compared to their peers were recognized as leaders in the industry.

For more insights into ISR’s comprehensive industry reports and tailored research services or to participate in future CRO Leadership Awards surveys, please visit or contact ISR directly at (919) 301-0106.

Read more about the awards and winners:

CRO Leadership Awards 2024 magazine Clinical Leader CRO Awards Magazine Cover

Visit the event websiteClinical Leader CRO Awards Website



2024 Clinical Leader CRO Leadership Awards Graphic

  • Access to patient populations
  • Access to “unique” tests, machines, equipment
  • Biostatistics
  • Central lab
  • Data management
  • Investigator recruitment
  • Monitoring
  • Patient/volunteer recruitment (Phase 1)
  • Patient recruitment (Phase 2/3)
  • Speed of site start-up
  • Technology for real-time access to data

2024 Clinical Leader CRO Leadership Awards Compatibility Logo

  • Easy to work with
  • Responsiveness
  • Timely project communications

2024 Clinical Leader CRO Leadership Awards Expertise Logo

  • Local market/regulatory knowledge    
  • Operational excellence    
  • Scientific knowledge of the Phase 1 unit's lead investigator
  • Study design expertise    
  • Therapeutic expertise

2024 Clinical Leader CRO Leadership Awards Quality Logo

  • Data quality
  • Project manager quality

2024 Clinical Leader CRO Leadership Awards Reliability Logo

  • Meeting overall project timelines
  • Operational excellence
  • Staff turnover