York University School of Continuing Studies launches its new Certificate in Clinical Research

Clinical Research

By Matthew McGrath

During the uncertainty of the pandemic, few things were more important than saving lives. Medical professionals worked tirelessly on life-saving treatments, while also charting the path back to normality.

The field of clinical research played a crucial role in showing us the way forward in the last couple of years. It’s no exaggeration to say that with the pandemic still gripping the globe, clinical research is now more important than ever.  

According to Nadia Romano, a Program Advisory Board member and Director, Global Program Management at ICON Global Strategic Solutions, “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented global efforts in vaccine development. This has brought clinical research into focus, which is now at the forefront of mainstream dialogue. As a result, there has been a surge in demand for skilled professionals in this field, and the need for this expertise will only continue to grow.”

Clinical research is an area of healthcare science that focuses on the integrity of medical trials. A clinical research professional is involved in the organization and management of studies conducted across multiple phases to assess the safety and effectiveness of medications, vaccines, devices, diagnostic products and treatment plans.

To provide a much-needed boost to this field in the battle against COVID-19, the School is launching the only university-level clinical research certificate program in the GTA. The Certificate in Clinical Research is tailored for professionals looking to start, or pivot, their career in the healthcare sector. Our goal is to help a new clinical researchers enter the workforce faster, and better prepared for a rapidly-changing research world.

Romano adds, “York University’s School of Continuing Studies’ Certificate in Clinical Research provides students with the preparation and experiential learning needed to succeed in this rapidly growing and dynamic industry. Accredited professionals in this program will benefit from the latest industry expertise that has been leveraged to develop an interactive and contemporary curriculum. Graduates will emerge with the knowledge and skills to provide them with a competitive edge to springboard their careers.”

The program is designed by an advisory council of senior practitioners in the field who are invested in developing a program that can be used as a pipeline for top-notch talent in their organizations. All the while, they carefully considered the ongoing and future impact of COVID, not just on the clinical research field but also on classroom education. This program brings together the best virtual learning has to offer with a foundation based solidly on experiential learning. The result is a clinical research program that is different by design.

Students will learn from instructors who bring years of expertise working in senior roles in major multinational pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, clinical research organizations (CROs), hospitals and research institutes. They’ll have the opportunity to network and build connections with their instructors and also their peers. Through our unique cohort model, students will begin and complete their learning journey with the same group. The lasting connections made during the program will be invaluable once the students enter the job market.

“We are living in an entirely new world,” says Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, Assistant Vice President, Continuing Studies.  “Life has changed.  Learning has changed. People are actively asking themselves ‘what’s next’, and York University School of Continuing Studies is here to help provide the answers and upskilling they need as they make their change.  This new program is another fine example of how York is meeting the needs of Canadians, and international students, in this ever-changing reality by providing the best educators, the best and most current programs.  We can’t wait to welcome our fist cohort to the Certificate in Clinical Research this September!”

At the end of the program, students will:

  • Understand the stages in setting up clinical trials
  • Plan, manage and monitor clinical research and trials
  • Adhere to good clinical practice including patient consent, privacy, and data integrity protocols
  • Abide by regulations and legislation to ensure that trials are conducted ethically, while upholding scientific research principles
  • Demonstrate accuracy and reliability in data collection, management and analysis

Experiential learning is the program’s foundation. That comes together during the final capstone project, in which students will collaborate to combine all previous learnings in an applied clinical research management simulation. This experiential project will allow students to problem solve complex real-world scenarios and practice working in a fast-paced environment, preparing them to add immediate value to this dynamic industry.

Finally, our accelerated blended study option combines live classes with asynchronous online learning. Students will be able to complete much of their course work online on their own schedule while still benefitting from opportunities to interact with their peers and instructors during live classes held over one to two weekends per course. Students will graduate in 10 months or less while studying part-time.

To illuminate an uncertain future, we need research experts willing to put in the work. It all comes down to saving lives and elevating the field of clinical research to the next level. With this clinical research program, we’re committed to empowering your ability to make a difference.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the program. Classes begin September 2021, and registration is now open.