Making a purposeful impact
Launched earlier this year, a new career advancement platform called eMPACT provides clinical research professionals with a unique tool to enhance their careers.
Unlike platforms such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor that only help with job-hunting, eMPACT’s novelty comes from how the system functions as an integrated whole for all three essential stakeholders on the website: clinical research professionals (CRPs), employers/principal investigators (PIs) and training coordinators.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, eMPACT (Empowering Purposeful Advancement of Careers and Training in the Research Workforce) was developed by the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance through a collaboration between the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education and Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (UGA PI: Brad Philips, director of the Biomedical and Translational Sciences Institute and professor in the College of Pharmacy).
“In the health profession, including in clinical and translational research, there are a lot of different people involved,” said Ikseon Choi, project co-director and a professor in UGA’s department of workforce education and instructional technology, who worked in collaboration with Linda McCauley, project director and dean of Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory. “Clinical research professionals hold a mission critical role in health care, but they are often under-supported in terms of their career development and training.”
CRPs can use eMPACT for a variety of professional-related needs, such as planning their desired career path, assessing their current work situation and personalizing professional development to help them achieve targeted career goals.
The platform also offers users a professional report that lets them review their current competency levels and compare them to other professionals who hold similar research positions.
The professional reports are generated by filling out a survey on the platform designed to gauge a user’s knowledge and experience.
With this information, users can identify their career goals and competencies to generate accurate job recommendations, as well as targeted training opportunities to enhance their competitiveness for those positions.
“This tool can empower people to truly go for what they’re interested in,” said doctoral candidate Eunice Kim (Pharm.D. ’13, Ph.D. ’23), who along with postdoctoral associate Sejung Kwon (M.Ed. ’18, Ph.D. ’21) and Jay Rojewski, senior personnel of the project and a professor in UGA’s department of workforce education and instructional technology, have contributed years of work to the project.
While CRPs can use the platform to find employment opportunities, employers/PIs can find qualified candidates for research positions by posting job openings, identifying and recruiting potential job candidates and gaining information on current competency levels of the local CRP workforce.
Training coordinators—who make up the last group of stakeholders—can post training opportunities for both CRPs and employers/PIs and access general information about the current competencies and training needs of local research professionals.
“There were a lot of people involved in this project, and our collaboration was very integrated,” said Janette Hill, senior personnel of the project and a professor in UGA’s department of workforce education and instructional technology. “eMPACT is a great example of how a collaborative team can work together to create something that can really make a difference in people’s lives.”
Interested professionals in the clinical research workforce can create a free eMPACT account today.