FuseCR (Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development)

FuseCR (Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development) is a collaborative organization designed to provide industry-specific educational programs and services for the biopharmaceutical clinical research industry in North Carolina. The goal of this collaborative is to promote economic development in the state through the clinical research industry. The center focuses in the areas of biostatistics, statistical programing and clinical operations related to clinical research for biopharmaceutical and device product development, from first-in-human (phase 1) through regulatory approvals (phase 3) and the post-marketing period (phase 4).
Founded in 2015, we are faculty, students and community partners, including private and non-profit organizations, who join together to promote and facilitate the growth of talent from within N.C. and build the human infrastructure necessary to maintain and expand the clinical research industry in N.C. Central to the program is a collaborative workspace in which industry partners, faculty and students come together formally and informally to learn from each other through delivery of these programs and services.
The general objectives of these programs and services are as follows:

Continuing Education Program: Enhancing Our Existing Workforce

  • Develop continuing education opportunities for industry employees, selected with feedback from local employers, in biostatistics, statistical programming and clinical operations.
    • Workshops and seminars driven by demand and industry needs.
    • Short courses designed to fill common skill gaps and cover new developments in methodology and/or FDA guidance, especially as industry trends emerge and industry needs evolve.
    • Formal certificate programs in skill areas of need, as determined by industry, including required courses that employees must currently travel elsewhere to take to maintain employment eligibility.

Curriculum Enhancements: Educating the Next Generation of Talent

  • Generate enhancements for students at UNCW that better prepare them for employment in the clinical research industry.
    • Continuous improvement of current degree programs to provide coursework and field work more directly related to job skills, as industry needs evolve.

Industry Fellowship Program: Preparing Students for the Workplace

  • Increase opportunities for in-depth industry experience for students.
    • In addition to the existing internship program, the best-performing students will be eligible to participate in a fellowship program to provide support for advanced applied learning projects both in the institute and in the field, and potentially post-graduation.

Collaborative Workspace: Building Connections between Academia and Industry

  • Initiate a collaborative workspace at the UNCW Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development.
    • Focal point for collaboration between local industry partners, UNCW faculty and students and other local entities.
    • Formal support programs to serve, in a more targeted way, the specialized needs of local industry partners.