disciplinary research and team science) and to issue recommendations for improvements in the training of nurse and physician clinical research investigators. In its work the committee focused on the following questions:

  • What is the benefit of increasing the representation of women and underrepresented ethnic groups in the clinical research workforce? Will increased diversity improve delivery of the results of clinical research to minority communities?

  • What are the needs of the private and public sectors? Are the current approaches to training clinical investigators meeting the needs of academia, industry, and public health? Where is demand exceeding supply?

  • What training programs and career tracks appear to foster the development and retention of women and minorities in the clinical research workforce?

  • What research related to the evaluation of existing training efforts needs to be funded? What are the important measures of outcome?

To address these questions the committee gathered information from numerous sources and held a workshop of stakeholders—clinical researchers, academic health center deans, and funders of clinical research in 2003. The information gathering was directed toward assessing current progress on increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in clinical research and identifying workforce sectors that require attention (see Appendix A for biographies of the workshop speakers, Appendix B for a list of workshop participants, and Appendix C for the workshop agenda).

The workforce and training needs for all biomedical research, including clinical research, have been monitored by the National Institutes of Health since 1975. As mandated by Congress, the National Research Council has conducted an ongoing assessment of the nation’s overall need for biomedical and behavioral research personnel, the subject areas in which researchers are needed and the numbers of personnel required in those areas, and the type of training needed by researchers. The original study committee interpreted the charge to include clinical research, and it monitored clinical research scientists and training. The monitoring of clinical research has continued throughout the series of reports issued in conjunction with the study.

Each study report in the series has cited the challenges encountered in trying to estimate the workforce and training needs for the clinical research

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