About this Work

The Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard (MRCT Center) Achieving Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Clinical Research Guidance Document, first released in August 2020, outlines a principled, multi-stakeholder approach to optimize the inclusion of diverse populations in clinical research.

The Guidance Document developed as a result of, first, a May 2017 MRCT Center Bioethics Collaborative and, second, the efforts of a workgroup composed of approximately 50 representatives of industry, academia, patients and patient advocates, regulatory authorities, clinical research organizations, and other entities.

The workgroup endeavored to explore why diverse representation has not increased despite evidence of the problem; identify and analyze barriers that limit diverse participation, and to develop and disseminate resources such as guidance materials, tactical strategies, and tools to advance required changes to conceptual, organizational, and operational challenges. The result is this guidance, a living document, one that will expand and grow. We hope this work inspires innovation and forward momentum to achieve diversity, inclusion, and equity in clinical research. We invite readers to engage with us to enhance the document, resources, tools, and case studies.

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  • MRCT Bioethics Collaborative: Diversity in Clinical Research

    MRCT Bioethics Collaborative: Diversity in Clinical Research

    This work began at an MRCT Center Bioethics Collaborative, a neutral forum during which a number of clinical research stakeholders convened to discuss diversity in clinical trials. The attendees of that meeting, represented by a multi-stakeholder group of industry, academia, government, and patient advocacy, agreed that the participant population enrolled in a clinical trial ought to be representative of the general population at a minimum and, optimally, of the intended population for the intervention. If study populations are skewed, if they lack diversity, then the safety and efficacy, effectiveness, and value of medical interventions—the biological heterogeneity of treatment effect— cannot..Read More

  • Inaugural conference call held with the working group

    The 50+ member workgroup for this project began regularly meeting in 2018.

  • Submitted comments to FDA

    The comments submitted were in response to draft guidance on enhancing the diversity of clinical trial populations, which had been published by FDA in June, 2019.

  • Guidance Release

    Guidance Release

    Official release of Achieving Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Clinical Research, a Guidance Document with an accompanying Toolkit.  

  • FDA hosted public project launch

    FDA hosted public project launch

    FDA Office of Minority Health and Health Equity hosted the public launch for Achieving Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Clinical Research.

  • Launch of the ‘Leaning-In Webinar Series,’

    Launch of the ‘Leaning-In Webinar Series,’

    This webinar series focused on practical approaches and shared experiences for improving diversity in clinical research. Seven webinar sessions were held, featuring a diverse group of guest speakers.

  • Heterogeneity of Treatment Effects in Clinical Trials: Methods and Innovations

    Heterogeneity of Treatment Effects in Clinical Trials: Methods and Innovations

    In collaboration with FDA, the MRCT Center hosted ‘Heterogeneity of Treatment Effects in Clinical Trials: Methods and Innovations.’ More than 30 speakers and 250 guests participated in the three day conference, which was recorded and is available online.

  • Diversity Website updates

    Diversity Website updates

    MRCT Center updated the Diversity in Clinical Research Website to  include user-friendly options to explore the Guidance Document and Toolkit.

  • Driving Inclusion in Clinical Research webinar series

    Driving Inclusion in Clinical Research webinar series

    Launch of the second webinar series ‘Driving Inclusion in Clinical Research’ to focus on how to approach and plan for inclusion, implement recommendations, and sustain progress. Registration is open and available online.

Change and corrective action are challenging and will only occur with the commitment of the entire clinical research enterprise. In the service of science, equity, and public health, we call on all stakeholders to do more, to address the inequity, and to advance the understanding of biological diversity in medicine.

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