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Our CRO Leadership Awards team has compiled a list of the questions we get asked most often below.

If you're still not finding the answer you're looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Life Science Leader’s readership of industry executives have told us about their struggles in efficiently vetting potential CRO partners. In response to this input, Life Science Leader developed the CRO Leadership Awards.

Based on research from Industry Standard Research’s Contract Research Quality Benchmarking annual online surveys, more than 70 contract research organizations were evaluated on more than 20 different performance metrics. Research participants were recruited from biopharmaceutical and medical device companies of all sizes and were screened for decision-making influence and authority when it comes to working with contract research suppliers. Respondents only evaluated companies with which they have worked on an outsourced project in the last 18 months. This level of qualification ensures that quality rates come from actual involvement with a business and that companies identified as leaders are backed by experiential data. CROs have an opportunity to win these awards in up to three groups of outsourcing respondents – Big Pharma, Small Pharma, and Overall (combined Big and Small Pharma).

ISR survey participants were asked to provide an expectation rating for each CRO they have worked with in the past 18 months. Points were then totaled for a combined score for each attribute and a composite score for each core category was determined. Winning CROs were determined when comparing their overall score vs. the competitive set.

To learn more about ISR's industry reports, customized research, or to be included in future CRO Quality Benchmarking annual surveys, visit or contact ISR at

  1. Access to patient populations
  2. Access to "unique" tests, machines, equipment
  3. Biostatistics
  4. Central lab
  5. Data management
  6. Investigator recruitment
  7. Monitoring
  8. Patient recruitment (Phase II/III, Phase IV)
  9. Patient/volunteer recruitment (Phase I)
  10. Speed of site start-up
  11. Technology for real-time access to data
  1. Easy to work with
  2. Responsiveness
  3. Timely project communications
  1. Local market/Regulatory knowledge
  2. Operational excellence
  3. Scientific knowledge of the Phase I unit's lead investigator
  4. Study design expertise
  5. Therapeutic expertise
Phase IV (using data from Phase IV experiences only)
  1. Meeting overall project timelines
  2. Patient recruitment
  3. Project manager quality
  4. Study design expertise
  5. Therapeutic expertise
  1. Data quality
  2. Project manager quality
  1. Meeting overall project timelines
  2. Operational excellence
  3. Staff turnover

The survey for the CRO Leadership Awards is conducted in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

To be considered for inclusion to take the next available survey, please contact ISR directly at

To be considered for inclusion in the next survey, please contact ISR directly at

There is no cost to be included in the survey. For winning CROs, there is no cost to have a profile included in the awards supplement. The intention of this annual supplement is to provide Life Science Leader’s industry executive readers with a resource they can use to vet CROs using feedback from other sponsor companies (their peers) who are utilizing outsourcing services.

Primary market research by Industry Standard Research (ISR) is the basis of the awards. For further details on your company’s performance in the survey that supports the CRO Leadership Awards, please contact ISR directly at

First of all – Congratulations! Please email and we will be happy to send you all of the necessary information to promote your company’s hard earned achievement.