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Introducing… a research contracts manager

Lauren Gogo is manager of research contracts at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).

Describe a typical day in your role?

All research studies or clinical trials with external parties require a contract to be reviewed and signed by our department. These contracts can be with other hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies or device companies. I am usually negotiating a number of different agreements at once, that on a daily basis are in different stages of completion. I’m often also discussing the agreements with my contract negotiators. Depending on the day, I have meetings with my staff, am involved in meetings on study selection with the clinical trials department at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, and/or discuss research projects with principal investigators or coordinators on what agreements are appropriate to put in place.

“I love that I learn about all of the exciting research happening across the HHS sites in all different areas of health that positively impact our patients!”

What do you love most about your job/role?

I love that I learn about all of the exciting research happening across the HHS sites in all different areas of health that positively impact our patients! I not only get to interact with researchers but be involved in some of the strategic projects happening at a corporate level in research. I look at different ways to approach agreements with our partners since there are so many opportunities to facilitate innovative research collaborations. It’s rewarding when research studies that I helped get started are making an impact here in Hamilton.

What do you find challenging about your role?

As with different types of research studies, there are different types of contracts and sometimes there are very unusual situations! Typically the challenge is managing expectations when there are so many moving parts that don’t always align perfectly, such as when starting a clinical trial. There’s a lot of work that goes into starting a research study and I am only working on a portion of that process. Good communication is key – the regulatory, contracts and finance teams all have to work together!

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

I think they would be surprised about how much information I need about a study to make informed decisions about the contract.  Everything is helpful, such as knowing what’s in the informed consent form, who will be receiving what in the study, what sites are involved, who developed the protocol, how many patients are expected to be recruited, etc. It’s not just understanding the contract language, but understanding the language as it relates to each specific study!