Meet Avril, Country Study Specialist at Roche Canada

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Avril and I was born in Canada. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Waterloo and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research at Humber College. I am accredited by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. Before joining Roche, I worked at a community hospital as a Research Associate where I spearheaded the development of a new role for the organization. Prior to that, I spent several years as a Clinical Research Coordinator at a large private clinic working across Phase I-IV studies in multiple therapeutic areas.

I live with my husband in Georgetown, Ontario, which is about an hour from Toronto. We enjoy being out of the city and close to nature. Outside of work, my passion is horseback riding. My grandmother, who is now 90 and still riding, got me into the sport when I was small, and I never looked back. I am currently training my ex-racehorse to compete in the discipline of Eventing (pictured above).

What is your current position at Roche Canada?

My current position at Roche Canada is in Country Clinical Operations as a Country Study Specialist. My role is responsible for providing project coordination and operational solutions to support Country Study Managers, which includes providing oversight to local study teams to enable effective management of clinical trials. Basically, I support the day-to-day work necessary to manage clinical trials at the country level. My typical day at work is never the same, but could include: team meetings, reviewing site management reports, processing site invoices, managing IRB approvals, data management, vendor management, recruitment tracking and correspondence. Being a part of the drug development process is a very rewarding opportunity, especially when you work in a therapeutic area with a high unmet medical need, where there is currently no treatment available for patients.

What can you tell us about your work environment at your location?

I work in the Roche Canada office located in Mississauga, which is a 25 minute commute from my home. The work environment here is very flexible and open, which really fosters our collaborative culture. Our energy-efficient building is open concept with many different places to work. You are free to work in the environment that best suits your working style and schedule each day. Roche Canada provides the technology necessary to work effectively and ergonomically. The building has a lot of natural light coming in through the skylights and windows surrounding the building. We have a cafeteria that cooks healthy and delicious options every day and a state-of-the-art fitness center to keep employees active. Roche really promotes health and wellbeing at work.   

How would you describe Roche as an Employer?

Roche as an employer makes individual career development and recognition a priority. Roche has a robust on-boarding program and many learning and development programs to help you grow within the company. They offer the opportunity to work in different roles as well as different geographic locations. Roche fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion and offers flexible working arrangements to help employees balance work and life. Everyone at Roche is treated as a valued individual and you are encouraged to speak up and share your ideas and opinions.

How would you describe the people working here?

The people at Roche Canada are passionate, open-minded and positive. You get the feeling that everyone is working together to make a difference in the lives of patients and it is inspiring to be a part of that. From my fellow colleagues, to the leadership team, people are willing to listen and answer questions, which promotes collaboration, learning and development. It truly is a great place to work!

Tags: Career Blog, Canada