CRN Support Services for the Research Community

The Clinical Research Network (CRN) is thinking differently about the traditional roles within clinical research. Our goal is to integrate traditional metrics of high performance with inclusive values and intentionality to reach and include all people in every phase of the clinical research lifecycle.

These advancements will evolve through engaging directly with researchers, BMC leadership and the communities we serve. The CRN will act as an incubator for progress that affects the studies we directly support, as well as the broader research program at BMC.

Research Staffing and Oversight

To support our researchers, sponsors and BMC’s surrounding communities, the CRN provides staffing resources necessary to rapidly activate and manage our most complex and clinically important studies; all through the lens of community-engaged methods and values. If you are interested in requesting CRN research staffing, please click here to complete our intake form.

  • Regulatory and Project Management: A lean approach to rapid activation; the CRN is leading a study start-up process grounded in a shared commitment across the organization to activate institutionally prioritized studies efficiently. Once activated, study regulatory oversight includes a consistent cadence of quality assurance and comprehensive management.
  • Financial Management: Working across internal BMC/BU stakeholders, community advisors, and closely partnering with our sponsors, CRN’s approach to budgeting merges costing fundamentals and inclusive, community engaged and informed recruitment models. The CRN also provides ongoing financial management support to oversee clinical research budgeting, invoicing, expense management and closeout.
  • Clinical Research Coordination: Managing traditional EMR-based recruitment, and supporting community engagement, education and outreach. Our clinical research coordinators lead pre-screening, consenting, language/interpreter coordination, visit scheduling, data collection, submissions and query resolution. 
  • Recruitment and Engagement Planning: Guiding and implementing patient and community advised study-specific education and recruitment strategies, including marketing plans that inform budgeting efforts and regulatory submissions. We lead the co-development and IRB approval of recruitment plans, including language-accessible recruitment materials.

Community Engagement

The CRN is making sustainable changes in the research process at BMC/BU to improve the health of our communities. We seek advisory from and share values with our Community Advisory Board (CAB), a collaboration among Boston leaders affiliated with community organizations, Boston University’s Clinical Translational Science Institute Community Engagement Program, and the Clinical Research Network. A community engaged approach means creating fair and just opportunities for everyone to participate in research. If you are interested in requesting CRN community engagement consultation or services, please click here to complete our intake form.

  • Researcher/Protocol Specific Consultations: Meeting with research teams to develop tailored community engagement strategies to support awareness of clinical trials and lead discussions with sponsors to seek financial support
  • Outreach & Education: CRN is improving research awareness through education delivered by our physicians and researchers. We provide information about the health issues most important to our communities, educational resources about clinical research and study participation, the larger role that research plays in improving health outcomes.
  • Community Advisement: Supporting the Advancing Equity in Health Research CAB and developing patient focus groups to promote dialogue between our community and researchers so that research is collaborative and guided by community interests.

Four Key Areas Guide Our Approach to Building Equity in Research

Developed by the Advancing Equity in Health Research Community Advisory Board (CAB), the CRN is guided by these 4 key areas for building equity in research.

Description of 4 Key Areas of Equity in Research

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a researcher and want to work with the CRN. How do I get started?

To get started, please contact us at or complete the CRN Intake Form.

What types of services does the CRN provide?

The CRN offers staffing and consultative services for all phases of clinical trials from activation through closeout, including community engagement planning and implementation. To learn more, click here.

  • Community Engagement and Recruitment Planning/Implementation
  • Regulatory Management
  • Clinical Research Coordination
  • Budget Planning and Financial Management

Can any department and investigator work with the CRN and is there a review and approval process?

The CRN is a resource to all institutionally prioritized studies across BMC. If you’re interested in discussing your request, please email us or complete the CRN Intake Form. All requests for staffing and consultation will be reviewed by the CRN Advisory Committee, which is comprised of BMC research and community engagement leadership.

Is there a cost associated with CRN's services?

The CRN is a resource to all institutionally prioritized studies across BMC. Yes, the CRN is financially supported through direct charging of study projects and can assist with budget planning and negotiation to ensure appropriate funding to support project scope and CRN services.