Diversity of Investigative Site Staff Highly Associated with the Diversity of Patients Enrolled in Clinical Trials, According to Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development

BOSTON, Nov. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new study just released by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) shows that the proportion of a given race or ethnicity among investigative site personnel closely aligns with the corresponding race and ethnicity of patients enrolled in clinical trials at that site.   The study also found that worldwide, regardless of geographic location, the diversity of patients enrolled in clinical trials is highly correlated with site personnel diversity.

The Tufts CSDD analysis is based on an online global survey of 3,462 principal investigators, study coordinators and site administrators. More than half of respondents are based in academic medical centers, large health systems and community hospitals; 43% are based in private physician practices, investigative sites, and site networks.

“The results of this study demonstrate the critical need for investigative site staff to reflect the patient communities that they serve,” said Ken Getz, professor and director of Tufts CSDD, who oversaw the study.

“Sponsor companies, contract research organizations, and study conduct service providers are devoting considerable effort at this time to understand the fundamental factors that impact diverse representation of study volunteers enrolling in clinical trials. The results of this study identify opportunities to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion through investigative site selection and management,” Getz said.

Key findings from the study are summarized in the November/December Tufts CSDD Impact Report, released today, and include the following:

  • In the U.S., one-third of investigative site personnel in academic medical centers and community hospitals and nearly half of personnel in private sector research centers are representative of minority populations.

  • Less than 10% of investigative site personnel in Europe are representative of minority populations.

  • Among the most active therapeutic areas in drug development, infectious diseases, vaccines, and endocrinology have the most diverse clinical trial personnel.

  • Investigative sites with highly diverse staff are more likely to view diversity as a critical success factor and to have developed operating practices encouraging diversity.


The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (http://csdd.tufts.edu) at Tufts University School of Medicine is dedicated to optimizing drug development performance and efficiency through robust data-driven assessment, analysis, and insight. A multi-disciplinary academic center based in Boston, Tufts CSDD conducts scholarly research, hosts symposia, workshops, and public forums, and publishes the Tufts CSDD Impact Report, a bi-monthly newsletter providing analysis and insight into critical drug development issues.

Tufts University
Luna Rodriguez – 617-636-2170