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Emergency Department Research Associate Program

The Emergency Department Research Associate (EDRA) Program is a resource available to investigators who wish to harness the more than 200,000 patients seen in the Strong Memorial and Highland Hospital Emergency Departments each year. The program, begun in 1996, has successfully screened, consented and enrolled thousands of patients into dozens of studies of varying complexity. The EDRA program has a robust quality improvement process that ensures research protocols are followed and to provide regular feedback on study enrollment, successes and challenges to investigators. Research Associates are initially trained in fundamental concepts of clinical research, confidentiality, consent and procedural skills followed by a continuous learning model that provides them with ongoing research education, study specific training and quality improvement driven learning. Investigators are expected to provide information and protocol testing materials for the EDRA program to utilize in training, and are also welcome to present their research design and expectations at one of the regularly scheduled EDRA staff meetings.

The Faculty Director and EDRA Coordinator are available to assist in utilizing this resource. There is a fee for using the EDRA program that is based on the expected utilization of the associates. Under certain circumstances this fee may be reduced or waived. For more information, or to discuss using the EDRA program to assist in your study enrollment, contact the ED Research Associate Program.


New course for students interested in obtaining a position as an Emergency Medicine Research Associate (EDRA)


This course titled “Emergency Medicine Research Experience/Internship” was recently developed in the spring semester 2019. This course will include all of the initial training required to function as an EDRA including shifts working as an enroller in the Strong Hospital Emergency Department. This will be a 4 credit course, and students who successfully complete this course will be given first priority in the hiring process for EDRAs as a paid position through student employment. The course will meet twice weekly initially for 75-90 minute sessions, then once weekly after shifts working in the ED begin. Some preliminary details about the course are listed below. If you are interested in becoming an EDRA and would consider taking this course in the Summer 2019 or Fall 2019 semester, please fill out the application at this link: The application is due by March 22nd at 12pm (noon).

You can contact EDRA Supervisor Paige Gloster or EDRA Coordinator Nicholas Frankiewicz with any questions.

Course Description

This course is designed to expose students who are interested in careers in health and/or research related areas to clinical research in the emergency department setting. Students who successfully complete this course will be given preferential status for subsequent employment as an Emergency Department Research Associate (EDRA) as the course will provide all of the background knowledge and hands-on training necessary to be a successful ED enroller. Students will learn to think critically about research protocols and successful study execution, and develop competencies that will support successful transition to post-graduate education or job opportunities.


  • Short lectures followed by group discussion
  • Guest speakers from various areas of research linked to reading assignments, followed by discussion of the reading and the lecture content
  • Interactive multi-media content provided online
  • 1:1 mentoring in the Emergency Department with an experienced enroller
  • Actively enrolling subjects into research protocols in the Emergency Department

Target Population

Current First Years, Sophomores, or Juniors interested in careers in health and/or research will benefit the most from this course.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and apply concepts relating to the protection of human subjects in clinical research.
  • Assess personal strengths and skills required to function in a challenging ED environment and apply these findings to future education and career choices.
  • Practice and refine communication skills through interactions with busy health professionals and patients of varying acuity and diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Understand strategies for successful interactions with potential research subjects.
  • Apply critical thinking to review and understand research protocols and the steps necessary to successfully enroll subjects and gather data in a challenging clinical environment.

Student progress will be measured through classroom participation, interactive online activities, self-assessment and ED observations, short reflective writing assignments, and a cumulative evaluation of skills observed in the ED at the end of the semester.

Research Associate Team

Nick Frankiewicz
EDRA Coordinator


EDRA Program Brochure