Researcher at the National Cancer Institute.

Mentorship presents opportunities to address disparities in the clinical research workforce

By Emily Botto, Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)

As the issues surrounding clinical trial participant diversity become better understood globally, more eyes are turning to the next frontier in drug development diversity, equity, and inclusion: the clinical research workforce.

In the forthcoming August 2022 issue of Clinical Researcher from ACRP, the authors of an expanded and updated study of principal investigators, nurses, and other allied health professionals focus on understanding the motivations of these professionals for joining the healthcare industry, as well as the barriers they perceive to involvement in it. Among other observations, the authors note that addressing the lack of mentorship for non-white professionals is an important step to providing opportunities for candidates from all backgrounds to contribute their expertise to the clinical research workforce.

Led by researchers from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) at Tufts University and described in a peer-reviewed article for Clinical Researcher with coauthors from Merck, Genentech, and CSL Behring, the new study follows up on work from 2008 which found that significant racial and ethnic disparities exist among clinical investigators despite a comparable interest in clinical research involvement. The authors of that work also proposed that physician race or ethnicity may influence the race or ethnicity of clinical trial volunteers. Read more …