Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

All people – including patients, caregivers, community partners, and other stakeholders – bring value to clinical research and should be involved as partners in every stage of the research process.

Our Thinking

For too long people outside of the research world have not been embraced as full partners in the design and conduct of clinical research. The DCRI believes that all people – including patients, caregivers, community partners and other stakeholders – should be partners in research.

Bray Patrick-Lake
Director of Stakeholder Engagement

"There are no didactic presentations or transactional approaches that can be substituted for respectful partnerships, dedication to mentoring, and working hand-in-hand with patient advocates."


Research Together. What Is It?

At the DCRI, Research Together means that researchers and stakeholders work together at every step of the research process. Research Together means that relationships are bidirectional – everyone learns from each other and everyone gains value.

DCRI’s Research Together program provides sponsors and investigators with access to DCRI thought leaders who understand the science of engagement. 

The Research Together program is led by Bray Patrick-Lake, MFS, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at the DCRI, and supported by a team of Communicators, Clinical Project Leads, and Participant Engagement Liaisons.

Email or call 919.668.9210 to discuss your research needs and reach the appropriate engagement team.  


The Making Of A Patient Advocate For The Clinical Trials Enterprise

Key characteristics can help identify patient partners who may become knowledgeable and skilled research advocates, but their growth and skillful contribution are highly dependent on co-learning and investments made by other stakeholders in the clinical trials enterprise.

 Adrian Hernandez

Listening to the Patient

Adrian Hernandez, MD, DCRI cardiologist and principal investigator, and Patient Partner Lesley Maisch discuss how patients are redefining the way clinical trials are conducted in the context of the PROSPER trial.

Want more from Adrian and Lesley on the power of patients and the value of their feedback? Read their blog post.

When Should Patients Be Involved in Cardiovascular Clinical Trial Design? Always, Early, and Often

Bray Patrick-Lake and Adrian Hernandez discuss patient involvement as a way to better understand stakeholder needs and opportunities, maximize their contributions, and optimize clinical trials.


The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) is a public-private partnership to identify and promote practices that will increase the quality and efficiency of clinical trials. Once a specific aspect of the clinical trials process is targeted for improvement, the CTTI establishes a project in order to more thoroughly explore the various elements that create the issue at hand, as well as novel solutions for it.

CTTI’s membership now comprises more than 60 organizations from across the clinical trial enterprise, and it is this diverse representation of stakeholders that makes the CTTI uniquely positioned to innovate through collaboration. CTTI projects result in a variety of deliverables, or products, which can then be used to promote adoption and implementation of the ensuing recommendations.

DCRI names Bray Patrick-Lake director of stakeholder engagement

“Multi-stakeholder teams can better advance high-quality, efficient research that’s also patient-centric. The culture at the DCRI supports a multi-stakeholder approach—we value all partners and all people. And when we do this, we succeed and innovate.”

“By understanding the challenges in research and bringing all parties’ unique skills, assets, and perspectives to the table, we can develop innovative solutions and do better research,” Patrick-Lake said.