Andrea McCubbin, woman with medium brown hair stands in a windowed hallway wearing blue shirt and black blazer

Welcome to FORWARRD

The College of Medicine Office of Research recently launched phase one of its new initiative to elevate research through clinical research professional workforce advancement efforts across the College of Medicine, Markey Cancer Center (MCC), and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS).

Facilitating Opportunities for Research Workforce Advancement to Retain and Recruit Dynamic Teams (FORWARRD) is led by Andrea McCubbin, associate dean for research administration. The initiative is based on the Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency’s Framework for clinical research professionals. The Framework’s eight competency domains focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to conduct safe, ethical, and quality research.


Program Goal


Our goal is to create a framework for clinical research jobs in the UK College of Medicine, Markey Cancer Center (MCC), and Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS); from choosing the appropriate job descriptions for new positions to setting professional development goals and providing career advancement opportunities.

Our primary objectives are to: 
• Align job titles and descriptions with responsibilities and tasks
• Enhance market competitiveness to attract and retain talented research professionals
• Address the need for competency-based training and career paths


NCI stock photo

Enhancing the Clinical Research Workforce: A Collaborative Approach with Human Resources

*Please see the proposed project timeline below. Adjustments may be needed as the project moves forward*

April 2024

updated job descriptions finalized

May - July

mappings to updated job descriptions

Aug. - Sept.

review and approval of mappings

Oct. 1, 2024

updated job descriptions effective

Joint Task Force (JTF) Competency Framework for Clinical Research Professionals

The JTF Framework has been utilized internationally by academic institutions, corporate entities, and professional societies to improve the quality, accuracy, and safety of clinical research. 

The JTF Framework has categorized the following competency domains for clinical research professionals: 

  1. Scientific concepts and research design 
  2. Ethical and participant safety considerations
  3. Investigational products development and regulation
  4. Clinical study operations (GCPs)
  5. Study and site management
  6. Data management and informatics 
  7. Leadership and professionalism
  8. Communication and teamwork