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CCRU to create core group of research support staff

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
medical laboratory

The Children's Clinical Research Unit (CCRU) is currently in the process of creating a core group of research support staff (clinical research coordinators, clinical research specialists, regulatory specialists, data entry staff), who would be available to various divisions on a full or part-time basis. The aim of the core is to create a department-based float pool of support staff who are familiar with pediatric research, and who can be available on an 'as needed' basis to different divisions. This pool would be particularly valuable for those divisions that only require a part-time staff position.

Some of the key advantages for maintaining a pediatric core group of research support staff include the following:

  • By working exclusively in pediatrics, staff can be specifically trained in pediatric research.
  • By sharing staff resources across divisions, staff can be crossed-trained for different specialties.
  • By working across divisions, core staff are exposed to novel approaches to projects and can weigh in with their ideas regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. It also provides an opportunity for staff to learn new skills.
  • By working across divisions, research support staff will gain familiarity with a broader range of support staff and investigators.
  • With careful time management and close communication with the investigators, part-time staff can adjust their time to the ebb and flow of division work so they work as efficiently as possible across different divisions.

 Some proposed parameters for the core include:

  • All new CCRU core research support staff, whether full or part-time, will be hired by the department; funding for the positions will come from divisional budgets.
  • Once a core staff member's funding is ending, that person will reenter the float pool to become available for additional work.
  • Core staff members' office locations will be based on project commitment and tasks and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Duke Office of Clinical Research (DOCR) contract effort that is currently targeted for pediatrics projects, should now be considered for the core.
  • The core will develop expert staff who can be used for discrete tasks (e.g., employ a regulatory specialist who is available to work on the start up of new projects).

Janet Archer, MSc, CCRP, who is leading this effort is currently meeting with division chiefs and investigators to obtain their feedback and evaluate interest in the core. If you have not already met with her, please check your email for an invitation.  

If you have potential work that is pending, or you have new work for research support staff, please contact Janet Archer at or 919.684.2214.