My Seat at the (Institutional Review Board) Table

Lauren Surden, MSW, CIP 

Sterling IRB 

I often get asked about the education and experience needed to be selected to serve on an Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The fallback response is that I hold a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), however, my education and work experience is only part of what I bring to my seat at the IRB table.  Understanding who makes up an IRB is important in understanding the ethical review process for clinical research. 

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Developing a Test Taking Plan when Pursuing Professional Certifications

Laura R. Holtz


Jessica Rowe


People pursue certifications for various reasons. Some pursue certification for professional credibility or recognition, while others aim to meet position requirements for job opportunities. “Certification demonstrates your commitment to superior professionalism, to upholding industry standards, and for continued learning (” Regardless of the motivation, all test takers want to be successful. In our respective roles, we are often approached by research professionals with questions about certification and about taking a certification exam. We rely on our backgrounds to construct a reply. Laura Holtz has a background as a teacher and as a project manager. She relies on her experience in those roles to provide guidance regarding certification. Jessica Rowe has a background in academia and in instructing adult students enrolled in graduate courses. She calls upon that experience to provide tips and tools for successfully pursuing professional certification. Of course, both authors rely on their own experiences pursuing their certifications when answering related questions.

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Clinical Research Studies During the COVID-19 Pandemic Public Health Emergency

Corona Virus Molecule Rendering Public Health Crisis

Defining a “New Normal” in Clinical Research to Support the World’s 336,747 Research Studies

By: Jennifer Goldfarb – MSN, RN, CCRP

As of April 21, 2020, according to, there were 336,747 research studies registered by organizations in all 50 states and 210 countries throughout the world. Clinical Research is a delicate ecosystem within healthcare that can be easily advocated for as an essential healthcare service. It is a highly complex, intensely regulated and regimented, environment. It is a critical component of healthcare that drives scientific and medical advances to promote health and treat illness. This environment has suffered unprecedented disruption and chaos during this pandemic. While people hunker down in their homes, waiting for this storm to pass, clinical research conduct is being adapted, paused, and even discontinued, in every therapeutic area.

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