Medical Research

Clinical Research Continuum: High School to College

Purpose

The purpose of the Clinical Research Continuum: High School to College (CRC) program is to cultivate the interests of individuals from groups underrepresented in the sciences towards careers in biomedical research. The program has two components: high school students engage in research and enrichment activities; and college students, who are selected alumni of the high school programs, continue to participate in mentored, clinically relevant research experiences. The ultimate goal of the program is to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

Rationale

Diversity in the biomedical research workforce does not come close to reflecting the diversity of the U.S. population. Data from 2010 reveals that 12.6 percent of the U.S. population is Black and 16.3 percent is Hispanic, but among scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health, the largest federal agency that funds biomedical research, only 1.1 percent is Black and 3.5 percent is Hispanic in 2012.[1] It is essential for the workforce to work toward achieving greater demographic diversity to maintain its vibrancy.

While there are many existing science programs that provide mentored research experiences for high school students in an institutional setting, exposure to research in clinical sciences for students from underrepresented groups is lacking. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation created the CRC program to help fill this gap and to inspire students to consider a career in clinical research. 

Participating Institutions

CRC is administered through eight institutions with established research programs for high school students and program alumni in college, particularly from minority groups that are underrepresented in medicine. Each institution is responsible for overseeing the selection of students and providing a mentored, clinically relevant research experience. A link to the institution’s program's web site is provided below.

Program Details 

High school and college students participating in the CRC program spend a summer working on a clinically relevant research project under the direction of a mentor. In addition, students participate in enrichment activities that help them develop the skills needed for clinical research, such as introduction to bioethics, protection of human subjects, scientific writing and experimental design. All students receive a stipend.  


[1] National Institutes of Health Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, Draft Report of the Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, June 2012. Available at: http://acd.od.nih.gov/diversity%20in%20the%20biomedical%20research%20workforce%20report.pdf