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07 Mar 2023

SKILLED fosters next generation of female leaders

  • VCCC Alliance
  • MTPConnect
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Victorian Government

The award-winning SKILLED Clinical Trial Internship Program has entered its fifth year, with the newest crop of interns completing orientation in February.

Backed by MTPConnect’s Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative, the Victorian Government and Bristol Myers Squibb, the SKILLED Program is generating a talent pipeline for the clinical trials sector and building capability, particularly in regions.

As the first initiative of its kind in Australia, the SKILLED Clinical Trials Internship Program has increased the numbers of scientists, including PhD, Masters and Honours level scientists, with the skills to be Study Coordinators and Clinical Trial Assistants into the sector. This has generated significant national and international interest and is inundated with applications each year.

The first intake of the 2023 cohort comprises 17 interns across 14 host sites (nine metropolitan and five regional) and follows a trend in the program of stronger female representation than male. From 2019-2023, females have made up 64.5% of the Clinical Trial Assistant and 71.7% of the Study Coordinator intern streams.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re focusing on the next generation of female leaders making significant impacts in the field.

Stephanie Bricker completed the Clinical Trial Assistant internship in 2019 and has gone on to become the Clinical Trial Manager at global biopharmaceutical company and SKILLED supporter Bristol Myers Squibb.

Jackie Lake completed the Clinical Trial Assistant internship in 2021 at Northeast Health Wangaratta. At the completion of her internship she was offered a position at NHW and is now employed as a Clinical Trial Assistant with enhanced duties. Jackie’s work in developing teletrial capability at NHW has transformed care options for Victorians living in the region, with local residents now able to access cutting-edge clinical trials without the need for the six-hour round trip to Melbourne.

Dr Diane Hughes completed the Study Coordinator internship in 2021 at Bendigo Health. She is now employed as the Coordinator, Clinical Trials at Bendigo Health and plays a major role in developing the future clinical trial workforce for central Victoria.

Find out more about the SKILLED Internship Program or register your interest by emailing Chris Packer, Senior Manager, SKILLED Internship Program at [email protected].

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