News & Announcements

Preparing a New Generation of Diverse Clinical Researchers 

Black researcher working with vials in a lab

National Medical Fellowships to partner with AstraZeneca to train more clinicians underrepresented in medicine to lead clinical research as principal investigators.  

To ensure that clinical research findings benefit all populations, NMF works to increase the number of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) researchers leading clinical investigations and diversify participants in clinical research. In these ways, NMF unabashedly disrupts the systems and structures that erect barriers to talented and committed BIPOC students and providers underrepresented in health care who possess a desire to aid communities made vulnerable by historic disinvestment and inequity. 

To further these important goals, AstraZeneca has become a sponsoring partner of the National Medical Fellowships Diversity in Clinical Research (NMF Dctr) program. This exciting initiative seeks to increase the number of clinicians underrepresented in medicine who serve as principal investigators through a comprehensive training and support program. 

The NMF Dctr program features Parexel® Academy’s Clinical Investigator Certification Program, which provides clinicians with the core knowledge, skills, and competencies to engage in clinical trial activities. NMF Dctr’s Emerging Investigator Learning Community and Network offers post-training support that includes mentoring and networking, with the aim of creating a welcoming pathway for participants to become successful clinical investigators.  

“At AstraZeneca, we are committed to ensuring that our clinical trials represent the diversity of the communities we serve, by embedding diversity and inclusion parameters into the entire clinical development life cycle. Partnering with NMF and sponsoring the NMF Dctr program supports AstraZeneca’s commitment to transform health care by putting the patients first.” Natalie Fishburn, VP Development Operations, AstraZeneca. 

By diversifying the investigators who lead clinical research, the NMF Dctr program is helping to build trust among an underrepresented population of individuals who otherwise might not consider — or be invited to participate in — a clinical research study. Increasing underrepresented patient participation in clinical research will help lead to therapeutics and disease prevention efforts that have greater efficacy across all populations. 

“It is exciting to see the NMF Dctr program amplify its impact with this new generous support from AstraZeneca,” said Michellene Davis, Esq., President and CEO of NMF. “This investment in the future of clinical research leadership is exactly what is needed to eliminate, not just reduce, healthcare disparities. By addressing the well-earned mistrust in healthcare and increasing the number of diverse clinical researchers and investigators, we can increase the participation of diverse patients in clinical research as well. Clinical researchers who are committed to cultural competence and cultural humility are essential to enhancing medicinal efficacy.”