Issues for recruitment and retention of clinical research professionals at academic medical centers: Part 1 - collaborative conversations Un-Meeting findings
Identification of evidence-based factors related to status of the clinical research professional (CRP) workforce at academic medical centers (AMCs) will provide context for National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) policy considerations and guidance. The objective of this study is to explore barriers and opportunities related to the recruitment and retention of the CRP workforce.
Materials and Methods:
Qualitative data from a series of Un-Meeting breakout sessions and open-text survey questions were analyzed to explore barriers and recommendations for improving AMC CRP recruitment, retention and diversity.
While certain institutions have established competency-based frameworks for job descriptions, standardization remains generally lacking across CTSAs. AMCs report substantial increases in unfilled CRP positions leading to operational instability. Data confirmed an urgent need for closing gaps in CRP workforce at AMCs, especially for attracting, training, retaining, and diversifying qualified personnel. Improved collaboration with human resource departments, engagement with principal investigators, and overcoming both organizational and resource challenges were suggested strategies, as well as development of outreach to universities, community colleges, and high schools raising awareness of CRP career pathways.
Based on input from 130 CRP leaders at 35 CTSAs, four National Institute of General Medical Sciences’ Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program sites, along with industry and government representatives, we identified several barriers to successful recruitment and retention of a highly trained and diverse CRP workforce. Results, including securing institutional support, champions, standardizing and adopting proven national models, improving local institutional policies to facilitate CRP hiring and job progression point to potential solutions.