NMF Diversity in Clinical Trials Research Program

Explore the Advantages of Becoming an Emerging Investigator

Established in 2021, the National Medical Fellowships Diversity in Clinical Trials Research program (NMF Dctr) seeks to increase the number of clinicians underrepresented in medicine (URM) who serve as Principal Investigators (PIs), as part of the strategy to increase patient diversity in clinical research trials. The mission of the NMF Dctr program is to increase underrepresented patient engagement and participation in clinical research to ensure that treatment and preventative regimens are thoroughly investigated across all populations.

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A unique collaborative effort of sponsoring organizations, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, Merck, AbbVie, AstraZeneca, and Genentech – the NMF Dctr program is a comprehensive program that features a didactic curriculum to provide physicians with the core knowledge, skills and competencies to engage in clinical trial activities and post-training support (including mentoring and networking) to bridge the gap between training and practice. After participating in NMF Dctr, emerging investigators are equipped with the tools and support to participate in and lead clinical research teams.

The emerging investigator training curriculum features Parexel® Academy’s Clinical Investigator Certification Program, an eight-week curriculum accompanied by six weekly live virtual training sessions. NMF also hosts weekly Zoom office hours to answer questions and provide additional support during and after the program.

Parexel® Academy's Clinical Investigator Certification Curriculum Topics

  • Drug Development
  • Good Clinical Practices (ICH-GCP) for Investigators
  • Recruitment, Retention and Diversity in Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Trials in Today’s Environment and Technology in Clinical Research
  • Risk Identification, Management, and Mitigations; Safety Reporting and Quality Assurance
  • Investigator Oversight and Quality Standards in Global Clinical Trials
  • Special Topics in Clinical Trial Research

NMF Dctr’s Emerging Investigator Learning Community and Network provides post-training support to include opportunities for mentoring, networking, additional skills development and a virtual resource center to bridge the gap between training and practice.

Key Benefits
  • Access to Resources: Emerging Investigators (EIs) gain access to mentorship, networking opportunities, support sessions, and educational materials to enhance their understanding of clinical trials research. 
  • Professional Development: The program offers comprehensive training, seminars, and conferences to help EIs develop essential skills for conducting clinical trials research. Enjoy the option of an accelerated program you can complete in just six-to-eight weeks, or at your own pace, by reviewing online course materials and training recordings.
  • Broaden Principal Investigator and Patient Representation: Contribute to diversifying Principal Investigators (PIs) and the patient population of clinical research to ensure research is studied across and therefore beneficial to all populations.  
  • Enjoy Mentorship: EIs can choose to be paired with experienced PI mentors who can provide guidance, support, and advice throughout their involvement in clinical trials research. 
  • Enhanced Career Opportunities: Completion of the program can enhance EIs' resumes and make them more competitive for future career opportunities in clinical research and health care. 
  • Contribute to the Body of Knowledge: By participating in the training, EIs are equipped to contribute to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient care outcomes, thereby making a meaningful impact on health care. 
  • Experience a Diverse Learning Environment: The program fosters a diverse and inclusive learning environment, allowing EIs to learn from individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. 
  • Join a Supportive Community: EIs join a supportive community of fellow researchers who share their interests and goals and can share how to overcome common barriers.  
  • Improve Patient Care: Use clinical research to provide more effective and/or advanced treatment options to patients.  

Eligible Candidates

NMF Dctr candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Hold the degree of M.D., M.D./Ph. D., D.O. or D.O./Ph. D.
  • Meet the NMF definition of underrepresented in medicine as “those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.”
  • Are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (NOTE: J-1, O-1 & H-1B visa holders are eligible; the visa must be valid during the ten-week investigator certification training program period.)
  • Have an active and unrestricted U.S. medical license*
  • Affirm availability to participate in the full ten-week training program.

*ICH-GCP Section 4.1, Investigator’s Qualifications and Agreements, outlines the minimum qualifications to serve as an investigator on a clinical trial involving human subjects. To earn the Parexel Academy Clinical Investigator Certificate, participants must possess active, unrestricted U.S. medical licenses.

NMF Dctr participants are therefore required to possess active, unrestricted U.S. medical licenses at the time of certification. Please note that residents are able to apply if they will receive their medical license within six months of the end date of the applicable cohort. Paraxel will hold the certificate until the U.S medical license is obtained.

For all questions and application inquiries, please contact NMFDrinfo@nmfonline.org.

Headshot collage of emerging Investigators of the August 2022 cohort of the NMF Diversity in Clinical Trials Research program.
Emerging Investigators of the August 2022 cohort of the NMF Diversity in Clinical Trials Research program.

Program Contacts

Keona Davis, MA (she/her/hers)
Senior Program Manager, Diversity in Clinical Trials and Research Program
Main number: 212-483-8880, ext. 330
Direct number: 646-395-9466

Laveina Dash (she/her/hers)
Director, Diversity in Clinical Trials and Research Program
Main number: 212-483-8880, ext. 321
Direct number: 646-681-2319

Logo reading in red text: Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine
Logo reading Merck
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Genentech logo. Blue letters on a white background. In gray letters it reads: A Member of the Roche Group.
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AstraZeneca has provided a sponsorship grant towards this independent program.