Clinical research vs lab research is not really up for debate. They are quite different. Laboratory research occurs in the lab. It might either be a biology or chemistry lab, in a medical school or at a college. It actually does not involve working on humans.
On the other hand, clinical research actually involves the use of human beings as research subjects. It could be that new treatment methods are tested on them or newly discovered medications are tried on the human subjects.
The more common of these two types of research is the laboratory research. It is typically carried out by professors at colleges where researches and research methods are encouraged. But clinical research are not carried out by all physicians or medical person except those with clinical research degrees.
Laboratory research makes use of laboratory apparatus like beakers, test tubes etc. But humans are never part of what they use. They usually look into the micro cellular and molecular levels of life, in order to better understand illnesses . The aim of laboratory research is to help the doctors to better understand the causes of a particular disease or sickness and to analyze how the treatments that are currently being used work. This knowledge can be fundamental in developing new therapies. Lab researches could make discoveries and they may not understand the implications of the discoveries. But their role in medical science cannot be overstated, as they sometimes lay the foundation for major medical breakthroughs.
Clinical research involves clinical trials and a host of research protocols and regulations. It is a strictly controlled study of new and emerging therapies. This research requires humans to participate in the studies to determine the effectiveness of new drugs, new prevention strategies, and to carry out new screening tests to see if they are safe.
The purpose of clinical research is to give doctor, from different disciplines, the chance to evaluate new types of treatments, to see how they can best apply new developments and advancements in medicine and to give the patients the opportunity to receive the latest medical care available.
Clinical research scientists require certification from Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) to be successful in this career.
Ccrps.org offers certificate courses and programs that can accelerate your career, giving you the needed certification and registering you in the necessary associations.