Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week: Nurturing Tomorrow’s Clinical Trials Leaders


In the ever-evolving landscape of clinical trials, where the stakes are high and the demands are relentless, the value of mentorship and apprenticeship cannot be overstated. Many of us have been fortunate enough to have incredible mentors who guided us through our journey in the industry. These mentors were the patient individuals who reviewed our work, provided constructive criticism, modeled exemplary behavior, and most importantly, believed in our potential. As we reflect on National Apprenticeship Week, it’s a perfect time to acknowledge the significance of mentorship in clinical trials and the importance of passing the torch to the next generation.

The Power of Mentorship:

In the challenging world of clinical trials, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the demands of our roles. Long and sometimes stressful days can leave little room for additional responsibilities. However, it’s crucial to recognize that everyone started somewhere, and it’s our duty to give back to the field that has given us so much. This means taking on the role of a mentor and teacher.

Mentors play a pivotal role in shaping the future of clinical trials. They provide guidance, share knowledge, and help individuals navigate the complexities of the industry. They offer a steady hand when we veer off course and encourage us to believe in ourselves even when doubt creeps in. The impact of a good mentor can be life-changing, propelling individuals toward success they might not have otherwise achieved.

Enriching the Candidate Pool:

In commitment to fostering the next generation of clinical trial professionals, many organizations have initiated fellowship and internship programs. The goal is not only to benefit our own organizations but also to enrich the entire clinical trials community by bringing in candidates from diverse backgrounds who can offer fresh perspectives to solve the industry’s challenges.

Our program at Synterex, for example, started with a well-thought-out internship outline, as highlighted in a recent AMWA article (see: A Shoe in the Door: Regulatory Writing Internships for Promoting Diversity and Building the Talent Pool | AMWA Journal). We sought feedback so we could continuously improve these programs to provide a comprehensive experience for candidates transitioning into the field and then created a fellowship program with more advanced content and learning opportunities. By nurturing new talents and encouraging fellows and apprentices to explore uncharted territories, we can ensure the industry remains dynamic and adaptable.

The Joy of Witnessing Growth:

A few years into these fellowship and internship programs, it’s heartwarming to witness the positive impact on the participants. Fellows who were once newcomers are now thriving in their roles, contributing to the industry, and even presenting their work at conferences. They have become the mentors themselves, helping the newest cohort adapt to their new surroundings.

The transformation of these individuals, from novices to experts, is a testament to the power of apprenticeship. It’s not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about instilling a sense of purpose, confidence, and a commitment to excellence in the next generation. Seeing our fellows flourish is not just a gratifying experience; it’s a life-changing one.


As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, let’s recognize the significance of mentorship and apprenticeship in the clinical trials industry. We owe it to the field that has given us so much to pay it forward by guiding and nurturing the talents of tomorrow. Through fellowship and internship programs, we can ensure that the clinical trials community continues to evolve and thrive, welcoming fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.

So, here’s to all those who are creating opportunities for the next generation – Happy National Apprenticeship Week! Together, we can shape the future of clinical trials and ensure that the best is yet to come.


To learn more about the benefits of registered apprenticeships, visit: National Apprenticeship Week | Apprenticeship.gov

To learn more about Synterex’s fellowship (apprentice) programs, visit: Fellowships and Internships on Technology – SYNTEREX.

Jeanette Towles