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Faster Together, Enhancing the Recruitment of Minorities in Clinical Trials

Vanderbilt University via Coursera


This course aims to teach people how to enhance the recruitment of racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials. Key topics include the importance of diversity in clinical trials, barriers and facilitators to participation in clinical research, community engagement, effective communication, educating about clinical trials, provider outreach, effective prescreening and enrollment, person-centered consent, and retention. Anyone with the potential to recruit can benefit from this course, whether working in a clinical setting or in the community.

The course is split into 8 weeks. You may work at your own pace and finish the course faster, if you would like. We encourage you to take the quizzes to help you learn the material. The course is free to enroll and take. You will be offered the option of purchasing a certificate of completion, which you will receive if you successfully complete the course requirements. This can be an excellent way of staying motivated! Financial aid is also available.


We would like to acknowledge the following members from the Center for Knowledge Management at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for their expertise and ongoing insightful contribution in the development and implementation of the course: Sheila Kusnoor, PhD, Elizabeth Frakes, MSIS, Helen Naylor, MS, Mallory Blasingame, MA, Taneya Koonce, MSLS, MPH, and Nunzia Bettinsoli Giuse, MD, MLS.

We would also like to acknowledge ArtMagic Labs, particularly Casey Culver, John Martinez, and Robert Eva, for their outstanding work in filming and editing the videos for the course.

The Recruitment Innovation Center and members of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance lead the efforts behind the Faster Together project. Together they have led the development of this training.

This work is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, under the award number U24TR001579.


  • Module 1: Understanding the Need to Increase Minority Recruitment in Clinical Trials
    • This lesson describes the need to include racial and ethnic minorities in clinical trials. We review how low participation of minorities in research affects health care. We discuss the lasting impact of past research abuses on people’s thoughts about research. Finally, we cover barriers to research participation and how to overcome them.
  • Module 2: Key Principles of Community Engagement
    • This lesson begins by describing the need to look at one’s own biases. Next, we review effective ways to engage with the community to make recruitment easier. We discuss the steps needed to make community partnerships. Finally, we show how community partnerships can increase recruitment for minority populations.
  • Module 3: Reaching Out Into the Community: Effective Communication
    • This lesson reviews communication best practices. We discuss ways to improve written and oral communication. The lesson aims to provide the knowledge and tools to more effectively communicate with the public about clinical trials.
  • Module 4: Educating Potential Research Participants
    • This lesson discusses how to provide education about clinical trials. We present ways to help build interest in trials. We show how to use learning styles and culture to improve education.
  • Module 5: Outreach with Community Healthcare Providers
    • This lesson reviews how partnering with community healthcare providers can help boost minority participation in clinical trials. We discuss concerns providers may have about clinical trials. We explain the need to build trust with providers. Last, we present ways to foster provider referral.
  • Module 6: Effective Screening, Education, and Decision Support
    • This lesson discusses the steps leading to accrual in a clinical trial. Accrual means the process of enrolling patients into a trial. It also means the number of people who are in or have completed a study. We begin by explaining how using a standardized approach to screening can help with accrual. We next discuss the need for education about clinical trials before beginning the consent process. We call this “pre-consent education.” We cover the five components of pre-consent education, including how to provide decision support.
  • Module 7: Managing an Effective, Person-Centered Consent Process
    • This lesson describes how to conduct the informed consent process using a person-centered approach. We discuss the role of culture, language, health literacy, and support.
  • Module 8: Person-centered Retention
    • This lesson describes why retention of participants in clinical trials is important. We review common retention challenges that study participants may face once they agree to be a part of a clinical trial. Finally, we provide approaches to help with retention.

Taught by

Tiffany L. Israel, Consuelo Wilkins, Margo Michaels and Yvonne Joosten


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 91 ratings

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