NRG Oncology Patient Advocate Committee - Call for Candidates

November 03 2022

Help improve cancer clinical trials and improve the lives of cancer patients by becoming a patient advocate. NRG Oncology is one of the largest cancer research cooperative groups in North America under the National Cancer Institute. NRG is currently recruiting volunteers for the Patient Advocate Committee’s membership with assignments to the following committees:

  • Gastrointestinal Colorectal Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Non-Colorectal Cancer
  • Gynecologic Cancer

Patient Advocate Purpose and Role Outline

NRG PAs are valued for their front-line experiences and unique perspectives on cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival issues. They possess the ability to review clinical research protocols and concepts for the purposes of providing the “voice” of the patient. Patient advocates infuse the patient perspective throughout the development and implementation of clinical trials. They help eliminate barriers to clinical trials and develop strategies that accelerate study development, activation, accrual, participation, and results. They share the results of NRG trials within their communities and engage with hospitals, clinicals, and other sites that offer trials.

Patient Advocates Requirements

    The PAC meets regularly, as do the committee(s) to which the advocate is assigned. PAs are expected to attend two (2) NRG Oncology conferences each year and one (1) interim teleconference/virtual meeting each year. 
    Our advocates serving on scientific committees have the responsibility to review and provide relevant feedback on developing oncology research concepts and protocols to enhance study design as well as to identify and make suggestions for changes where the science or logistics of a proposed concept may be challenging or not attractive for patients who might otherwise participate.  Further, they often suggest changes in how information may be presented in patient-facing communications to ensure research participants can fully understand the research that they are considering participating in.  Finally, they suggest or contribute to activities which may be incorporated into an accrual success plan. Advocates with concept review experience are strongly preferred, but not a requirement. Training will be provided to those unfamiliar with the process.
    An advocate may volunteer to champion a specific protocol and liaise with the chair of that group and/or the Principal Investigator. 
    Advocates who champion specific protocols may support the initiative by building awareness of trials through social media and personal networks. They may leverage the organizations they represent to engage with hospitals and clinics by bringing the results of NRG Oncology trials to their communities. Advocates will help thoughtfully review, execute, and improve patient enrollment plans based on real-world experiences they receive from their communities. We seek to bring diverse representation to the committee for perspective on inequity and promote inclusion within NRG Oncology’s clinical research. 

Position Benefits

  • Work with passionate, knowledgeable advocates, physicians, and nurses
  • Shape cancer trials during the concept review stage
  • Learn about cutting-edge cancer science and medicine
  • Get the latest information on new treatments and prevention methods
  • Virtual participation for all NRG Oncology semiannual meetings
  • Voluntary professional development opportunities, such as scientific training sessions, and advocacy meetings

Diversity and Health Equity

NRG is committed to increasing representation throughout the clinical trial landscape. It is critical that concepts be reviewed with ethnic minorities, rural groups, and older populations taken into consideration. The Patient Advocate Committee seeks advocates who represent diverse backgrounds and communities. We seek candidates from underserved communities.

Expression of Interest

Individuals wishing to apply should send a letter of interest to Dorothy Erlanger, Patient Advocate Committee Chair, at addressing the following:

  • Why are you interested in serving as an NRG Patient Advocate?
  • What is your background or experience related to this role? (Cancer patient, family member/caregiver, non-profit leader, other advocacy roles, etc.)
  • What other volunteer or non-profit organization experience do you have? Include any leadership roles that you have held.  
  • Do you have any experience with concept/protocol reviews?
  • Please include any additional comments that you feel would provide a more complete understanding of your interest. 

Alternatively, please submit a biosketch to the email address listed above. 

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NRG Oncology Foundation, Inc, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt foundation. Donations to NRG Oncology help us conduct this important mission, and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.