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There is a workforce shortage in Clinical Research Professionals (CRPs. e.g., study coordinators, data management specialists) with a widening gap between supply and demand. The “great resignation” has exacerbated this problem with current resignation rates among CRPs 60% higher than in 2020. Research on this workforce shows that for every one qualified Clinical Research Coordinator, there are seven job postings. The ratio for Clinical Research Nurses is 1:10 and the ratio for Regulatory Affairs Professionals is 1:35. Furthermore, the US job market for CRPs is predicted to grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026. In terms of consequences, the CRPs workforce shortage has the potential to not only impact the “engine” of clinical and translational research but curtail medical advances for years.

To address challenges related to the supply and demand for competent research staff, we will develop, implement, and evaluate our CTSC Clinical and Translational Research Experience (CT-REx) program. CT-REx is a 10-week career preparation program that will provide skill-based training, mentorship, and hands-on learning for college students from New Mexico and Arizona interested in a research professional career in health care. CT-REx targets Hispanic and Native American college students as well as students from rural communities who are typically underrepresented in this workforce. CT-REx will focus on core competency domains for CRPs and will provide training in lab techniques, clinical trials, health services research and evaluation, and quantitative and qualitative methodologies. CT-REx is built upon the successful foundation of the University Pipeline Network Summer Research Program, School of Medicine, and will enroll its first cohort of trainees in Spring 2024.

The purpose of our poster is to provide an overview of the CT-REx program, including the need for this specialized training, components of the training, and plans to evaluate student and program success.



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