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Opportunities to Address Clinical Research Workforce Diversity Needs for 2010
Clear distinctions should be made between the clinical service role and that of investigators with independent research resources. Credit should be given for volunteer efforts that foster science and math education in the K-12 environment.
The Role of Professional Societies
Professional societies play a major role in the scientific community, as publishers of journals, sponsors of awards, and representatives of their scientific community.
Specialty medical and nursing societies should form a new consortium that would assume an enhanced role in fostering a diverse clinical research workforce.
The consortium could be based on the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology or American Heart Association models and should focus on common development, implementation, and advocacy regarding clinical research training and clinical research priorities (Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 2003). These efforts should include an emphasis on the training, retention, and advancement of women and minorities:
Societies should give high priority to developing clinical researchers.
Societies should encourage, promote, and foster mentoring of clinical research trainees, paying particular attention to women and minorities.
Societies should develop resource sharing and facilitate interaction to foster clinical research training programs, mentors, and trainees. Societies should work toward intersociety initiatives.
Clinical research training mechanisms should include identification and creation of a database at the pipeline level whereby potential trainee candidates can be identified and mentors assigned at the earliest possible level.
Societies should develop or institute tracking mechanisms to determine training effort outcomes and retention of trainees and mentors.