New DCRI education program allows high school students and undergraduates to explore careers in clinical research

January 11, 2013 – Students will be paired with a Duke faculty member to work on an original, hypothesis-driven project, with a goal of having every student qualify as a co-author on a peer-reviewed manuscript

While many high school and college students plan on studying medicine to help people, they might not realize the role that clinical research can play in shaping and improving patient care models. Health care is changing at a rapid pace, and it is more important than ever to attract young scientists into clinical research fields.

The DCRI is offering a new summer program for high school students, undergraduates, and high school teachers that will demonstrate what a successful career in research looks like by offering them a practical, hands-on approach. The program hopes to enroll at least 50 percent of its students from under-represented minority populations in the local area. To accomplish this goal, the DCRI has partnered with Durham public schools, North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and Duke University, each of whom will contribute candidates for inclusion in the program.

The North Carolina Collaborative (NCC) Summer Research Program will be led by the DCRI’s Vivian Chu, MD, and Danny Benjamin, MD, and will focus on pharmaco-epidemiological research methodology and clinical writing skills. Other faculty and staff involved with the program include adult medicine and pediatric faculty members, a writing instructor, a statistician, and clinical research operations staff.

Students will be paired with a Duke faculty member to work on an original, hypothesis-driven project, with a goal of having every student qualify as a co-author on a peer-reviewed manuscript. They will meet with their mentors weekly and will conclude the program with a formal presentation and a written thesis of their research.

The program will run for 8 weeks in the summer. For the first year, it is open to high school students from Durham public schools, NCCU undergraduate students, and Duke University undergraduate students. In future years, it will recruit participants from Chapel Hill public schools and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. To apply and learn more about the NCC Summer Research program, visit the NCC program website.