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.
The program has attracted many new scholars who participate in an online educational program provided by Duke University to enhance knowledge of clinical trial methodology, statistical analysis, and analysis of large datasets. Those who pass the program receive a certificate.
An optional second year provides opportunities for mentorship, secondary analysis of data, and interaction with the NICHD-funded Reproductive Medicine Network, including hands-on experiences to recruit participants into and take part in conducting ongoing clinical trials. This innovative program engages the practicing physician in clinical research, while allowing the individual to maintain an active role in clinical practice.
The program accepts approximately four to six scholars each year. As of 2017, approximately 61 scholars have participated in the CREST program, many opting to continue into the second year.
The program is supported by NICHD's Fertility and Infertility Branch (FIB) through an R25 grant, as well as with funds from ASRM.