Research Opportunities


International Distance-Learning Clinical Research Training Program
Course Director — Felipe Fregni, MD, PhD, MPH, MEd
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

This collaborative and interactive distance-learning program in Clinical Research is offered to participants from
Boston and throughout the world. The course is designed for individuals who wish to gain basic and advanced training
in clinical trials before moving into the field and for those who have experience in this area and aim to broaden
their role in the design, management, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. Participants can earn up to 72 (or
145.5 with all of the available optional workshops) AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.


Clinical research is critically important for advancements in medicine; however its implementation is still immature in most of the medical specialties. In addition, many clinicians cannot evaluate research evidence critically. The purpose of our course is to offer a highly interactive learning environment for clinical research training internationally and also to create a global network of clinical researchers to foster future collaboration in clinical research.

Our program covers the basics of clinical research (including: how to formulate a research question,select study population, randomization and blinding methods), statistical methods (data distribution and classification, statistical tests, sample size and power calculation, survival analysis,missing data, and meta-analysis), data collection, monitoring and reporting (including training in manuscript writing), and study designs (non-inferiority and adaptive designs and observational and randomized clinical trials).

Course Format

This course has a blended format with live (via web or in a site center) and online interaction.Participants have to attend weekly 3-hour interactive videoconference sessions. In addition we offer five live workshops (four in Boston and one abroad) in which participants can deepen their knowledge and meet face to face with Harvard University Faculty). Videoconference sessions are broadcast live from Harvard to centers across the world. Participants may enroll as part of a site center, or individually if a site center is not accessible to them. Our program consists of 24 lectures taught by distinguished faculty from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. This course uses the case method to enhance learning. Cases were developed for each lecture and participants are expected to discuss these cases. Additionally, each weekly lecture is supplemented by mandatory participation in online discussions and an online poll addressing the week’s topic. Participants are required to complete weekly assignments that emphasize statistical exercises and to work in a group project using an online interactive Wiki tool. Podcasts and recordings of the lectures are posted weekly. At the end of the course, a 5-day intensive workshop
is offered to practice the concepts learned in this course.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, participants will be able to design clinical trials in an effective manner, collect data appropriately, use the basic functions of a statistical software package, choose appropriate basic statistical tests, run statistical analysis, critically read and understand a research paper, develop clinical research based on integrity principles, design a basic survey, discuss the basics of article publication and the reviewing process, and describe more complex clinical trial designs.

Learning Objectives

Applicants come from all over the world and usually have a graduate degree or a health care professional degree (MD, MPH, biostatistics, epidemiology, nursing, physical and speech therapy, or dentistry).

Technical Requirements

All participants must have a computer with excellent internet connection, webcam, and microphone.Site centers must be equipped with videoconference technology and have technicians available.