The CREST program started in 2005 as a partnership between NICHD and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to train reproductive endocrinologists (and subsequently, family planning and urology endocrinologists) in the conduct of clinical research.
Each year, the program attracts between four and six scholars, who participate in an online educational program provided by Duke University to enhance their knowledge of clinical trial methodology, statistical analysis, and analysis of large datasets. Those who pass the program receive a certificate, and many continue to be involved in clinical research after certification.
An optional second year provides opportunities for mentorship, secondary analysis of data, and interaction with the NICHD-funded Consortia For Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinical Trial Program (and formerly the Reproductive Medicine Network), including hands-on experiences with patient recruitment and clinical trial conduct/leadership activities. This innovative program engages the practicing physician in clinical research, while allowing the individual to maintain an active role in clinical practice.
The program is supported by NICHD's Fertility and Infertility Branch through an R25 grant mechanism, as well as with funds from ASRM.