Per the three-year agreement, students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) will gain access to the Medidata Clinical Cloud® pro bono, and will also leverage iMedidata®, a portal which provides access to studies, eLearning courses, and centralized user administration.
“The ‘war on talent’ is real,” Glen de Vries, President, Medidata Solutions, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. In fact, according to a report by HR+Survey Solutions, staff turnover rate in the US contract clinical research sector was 19.4% in 2014.
“Access to the best and brightest talent is critical for organizations looking to stay competitive in the face of these demands and an increasing need for fast-moving and technologically sophisticated pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products,” said de Vries.
“As an industry, we need to continue thinking about where and how new skills will be channeled into clinical development – now, and in the future,” he explained, adding that universities are a great place to start.
As such, de Vries said it’s essential that research-focused institutions have access to the latest technology. However, he said, “this has been particularly difficult in recent years, with the growing pressures to do more with less.”
Medidata’s partnership with UNCW aims to help overcome this challenge by providing students with practical experience using technology that the industry already uses.
“We want to encourage and make it easier for students to pursue careers in research and, at the same time, help the industry by further developing the talent it needs to innovate and transform healthcare,” said de Vries.
Ultimately, the partnership’s goal is to help students develop skills that will further accelerate their careers, and subsequently, further innovation and medical breakthroughs in the industry.
“Gaining practical experience is an important part of learning for students, and that applies to using technology that is dramatically changing research processes and clinical development overall,” said de Vries.
“Providing UNCW students with access to the Medidata platform and experience using innovative technology is our way of supporting that goal, so that when graduates join the industry they can easily apply their coursework to a real-world research setting.”