What is an FTE in Clinical Research?


FTE is an abbreviation for full-time equivalent. CROs assign their employees to studies with the help of FTE. FTE is for the companies that are budget based, client based and who manage their time for their projects and using FTE CROs learn about the time required to complete the project and times taken for a particular task.

FTE time:

0.5 FTE is equivalent to 20 hours that is half of the time of your working if you are working forty hours a week and a person can be allocated anywhere from 0.5 to 1.0 FTE that is equivalent to full forty hours that he has to spend on the same study.

FTE don’t include training hours:

When there are any new updates in protocols and updates in standard operating procedures (SOP) that needs training to review those updates and take time to train accordingly but when calculating those FTEs, they do not take in account those training hours, meetings, any social event and any extracurricular activity because FTE is only allocated to study.

Divide FTE:

  • People should divide their FTE for multiple studies that can be helpful to take time off because there are people to give them backup and they also get experience of different studies and drugs. Biggest benefit is that if they divide their time for four studies as 0.25 FTE for each study, they will be left with studies to work on if any of those loses.
  • When they are spending all of their time on a single study, they will become master of that study but it’s not beneficial because there is no one else who can work on that study and you have to stay on that study for the whole time.



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