Denise C. Snyder, MS, RD is the associate dean for Clinical Research for Duke University School of Medicine. In this role, she leads the Duke Office of Clinical Research (DOCR), a support office with expertise in study logistics, data management, regulatory oversight, and guidance for clinical research operations for Duke as a site.
“Research administration at academic medical centers should help clinical investigators navigate the complex research environment and operationalize research ideas. To effectively do this, the research culture must evolve from a model where individual faculty employ and trust only their own people to one of collaboration and trust of a much larger group of staff to help achieve scientific excellence. This means that staff and research support must deliver a high level of customer service and have a grounded conviction for what brings them to work every day.
For AMCs, research is a collaboration, not a service. There is a desire and drive to change patient care and health outcomes. When first taking on the office, this became our mission. First, change the culture of the central team, putting customer service first. Second, inspire staff by emphasizing that we’ve all chosen to work in AMCs because changing patient care and health outcomes is bigger than each of us. Together, the staff in clinical research must collaborate to be catalysts for change amongst the entire Duke research community. We must build partnerships based in trust with our faculty, patients, and local community. If staff only think about “me”, it will divert attention away from the true mission.”