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University Chat: Diversity in Clinical Research

PPD COLLEAGUES WERE HONORED TO SPEAK AT UNC WILMINGTON ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY IN CLINICAL RESEARCH AND THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AT PPD.

In partnership with UNC Wilmington, PPD provided students an in-depth look at the crucial nature of diversity in the pharmaceutical development industry. Many of the students who attended are pursuing degrees in clinical research. 

Dr. Rose Blackburne

“The importance of including representation of diverse groups, which includes race/ethnicity, gender and age, is based on sound scientific, regulatory and business rationale,” said Dr. Rose Blackburne, vice president of global product development. Blackburne led the discussion with talent acquisition professionals, Kat Barrack and Alicia Lindsay.  

Not only an advocate of diversity within the group of professionals who conduct clinical research, Blackburne is also an advocate for patient diversity. As a clinical research organization (CRO), it is the diversity of our workforce that also enables PPD to address the needs of diversity in clinical trials. Ultimately, this allows us to improve health. 

“In the simplest terms, clinical trial participant safety and efficacy data should be inclusive and reflective of the patients that will ultimately use the drug, device or diagnostic test being developed,” Blackburne explained to the students. 

 “Clinical trial participant diversity is an issue that we need to tackle, to ensure that research subjects proportionally represent the various cultural, ethnical, racial and socio-economic populations in the world. It was great to see and hear our PPD colleagues advocate and educate folks on how diversity in the clinical research workplace could also benefit our trials and these respective patient subgroups,” said Jude Hohl, director in project management, who attended the event.  

PPD is actively working to emphasize, assess and advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace by way of process evaluation, employee feedback and providing connection across the globe via our business resource groups (BRGs).  

At PPD, there are a wide variety of internship opportunities for students seeking meaningful career experience with teams focused on clinical research, laboratory or assorted business-related areas. The goal of this internship program is to give students on-the-job experience at a global contract research organization, working on projects with business impact.  

Starting in the summer 2021, PPD will offer diversity internship programs designed for high-performing students who identify as members of traditionally underrepresented minority groups in the pharmaceutical and drug development industry and who are interested in growing their experience in the CRO industry. All internships at PPD offer mentorship, networking and specialized career preparedness workshops to the students.