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AACR to Partner with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation on its Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program

Letters of Intent to participate in the program and related workshop due May 28

PHILADELPHIA – Today, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced it will provide a workshop on excellence in clinical trial implementation as part of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program. The AACR is working in partnership with the Foundation and National Medical Fellowships on the program, which aims to train 250 community oriented clinical trial investigators over five years.

This workshop, which will take place virtually from November 6-11, 2021, is a critical component of the program, the goal of which is to increase the diversity of patients enrolled in clinical trials, and ultimately to enhance the development of therapeutics for all populations. This two-year program is designed to support the career development of early-career investigator physicians who are underrepresented in medicine or who have demonstrated a commitment to increasing diversity in clinical trials. By providing the relevant sponsorship, support, and tools, the program will prepare them to become independent clinical trial investigators who are engaged in advancing health equity through their research and mentoring.

The program will commence with the November workshop, focusing on the principles of good clinical trial design and research practice by presenting the ongoing challenges in clinical research; highlighting the benefits of focusing on clinical research, specifically in underrepresented populations; and investigating the disconnect between communities and clinical trialists by utilizing highly innovative approaches to clinical research. After completing the workshop, each participant will be provided with a mentor based on their research specialty with whom they will work for two years.

“We could not have asked for a more respected and accomplished partner than the AACR to deliver this workshop to our program participants,” said Catharine Grimes, director of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation. “The AACR’s leadership of the cancer research community over many decades, its expertise in educating researchers, and its passion for and dedication to preventing and curing all cancers were just three of the many factors that made them the ideal partner to create and deliver this important element of our program.”

The workshop will be led by Codirectors Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Yale Cancer Center; Yu Shyr, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Robert A. Winn, MD, VCU Massey Cancer Center. They will be joined by a panel of Steering Committee members who are experts in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular disease, hematology, immunologic disorders, and oncology – Elliott Antman, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Peter A. Calabresi, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Nancy E. Davidson, MD, FAACR, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and Ruben A. Mesa, MD, Mays Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson. A Steering Committee focused on diversity, inclusion, and health disparities issues is also planned to join the workshop.

More information on the workshop is available on the AACR’s website.

To apply for the the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program, candidates are required to submit a Letter of Intent by May 28, 2021. Upon review, selected candidates will be invited to submit a complete application, which is due July 2, 2021. To be eligible for this program, candidates must have completed their formal clinical training and hold an MD, DO, MD/PhD, or DO/PhD and:

  • Demonstrate a clinical research interest in cancer (hematology, oncology), cardiovascular disease, or immunologic disorders;
  • Meet criteria for National Institutes of Health (NIH) Early Stage Investigator (ESI); and  
  • Meet criteria for National Science Foundation (NSF) definition of underrepresented populations in the US Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Enterprise, or have a demonstrated commitment to diversity in clinical trials.

To learn more about eligibility and program details, please email [email protected] or visit the program’s website at