Clinical Research Workforce Plays Critical Role in COVID-19 Pandemic Management

Photograph of Susan Landis

New paper from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) spotlights the contributions of clinical research professionals to pandemic response.

  • Beyond drug discovery scientists and the pharmaceutical industry, the pandemic landed with full force on those at the frontline—the people whose job it is to run and manage clinical trials

  • Paper highlights promise and pitfalls of implementing decentralized trials amid global pandemic

  • Report released in advance of ACRP 2022 where clinical research professionals will gather to celebrate their contributions to public health and discuss the role of clinical research professionals in the future of clinical trials

Ahead of its annual meeting later this month, ACRP today announces the publication of a new white paper, COVID-19 and the Clinical Research Profession. The paper describes the impact of the pandemic at organizational and human levels, examining clinical research professionals’ challenges, insights, successes, and personal experiences.


“The clinical research community has worked together to achieve great things in response to the pandemic, including developing at least three effective vaccines in record time,” says Susan P. Landis, executive director of ACRP. “This commitment to excellence in clinical research and dedication to improving health outcomes is inspiring and will be celebrated at the ACRP 2022 Annual Conference.”

The clinical research industry overcame extraordinary challenges by uniting with a common purpose, notes the paper. This unity must be maintained for the future and build on learnings from the pandemic.

Areas spotlighted include the need for:

  • Clearer career paths, standards, and infrastructures, helping to stem burnout within clinical research and optimize the many rewards of this worthwhile and exciting profession.
  • More diversity among clinical trial participants, with clinical researchers reaching out to underserved ethnic and other subpopulations. Success here will depend on achieving greater diversity within the clinical research workforce itself.
  • More patient-centricity and accessibility, with clinical trials better representing and protecting the entire population. Decentralized clinical trials are a major step toward this goal.
  • Greater collaboration, including between individual research teams with common goals, and with central oversight and sharing of best practices being encouraged and facilitated.

The ACRP 2022 conference will drive progress in these four key areas, with a schedule that has tracks on Technology and Future Trends, Study Management and Conduct, and Regulatory Trends and Compliance, as well on Leadership and Career Growth and Workforce Development. ACRP will welcome the clinical research community to the conference, with overarching themes of gratitude and ideas for the future.