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PRADA Research | Overview

Our Mission

PRADA logo

The Program for Research Assistant Development and Achievement (PRADA) endeavors to provide a structured and supportive community for research assistants, coordinators, analysts, and other young professionals at BCH who seek to be tomorrow’s leaders in healthcare. Through learning, engagement, and professional development opportunities, we strive to bring together young staff to prepare for next steps in careers and academia, while also fostering a community across departments, buildings, and interests.

Professionally, PRADA programming is directed toward skill development through lectures, workshops, mentorship, and opportunities for leadership, as well as promoting community engagement through advocacy, partnerships, and service endeavors. PRADA also aims to enhance personal development and job satisfaction via an inclusive, supportive community and learning environment. To this end, PRADA strives to create an inclusive environment so that RAs of all backgrounds—regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, national origin, geographic background, immigration status, ability and disability, and other identities—can benefit from its professional development opportunities.

Our group welcomes research assistants and coordinators, data analysts, public health professionals, and other young professionals at all levels and departments/divisions across Boston Children's Hospital.


Mosaic of PRADA team photos


PRADA was established in 2010 by Robert Kitts, MD (former BCH psychiatrist), believing that research assistants and coordinators could benefit from a professional development program similar to those available to medical students, residents, and fellows. PRADA began as a seminar series where RA/Cs invited guest speakers to talk on topics ranging from interviewing high-risk study participants, to career pathways and healthcare reform.

As interest in PRADA grew, more RA/Cs became involved and began developing initiatives of their own. PRADA now has 6-8 independent subcommittees addressing preparation for higher education (medical school, PhD programs, MPH degrees, etc.), community service and advocacy, and developing internal communities within BCH around Book Club and acapella performance.  New committees are being formed each year as the group grows in size, interest, and reach. 

Today, PRADA reaches approximately 500 RA/Cs at Boston Children's Hospital, and 200 alumni in various graduate, medical, and public service institutions across the country. PRADA is a low-cost, sustainable program that is run entirely by RA/Cs (see "Our Team" section) who volunteer their time because they are passionate about the initiatives and programming we are bringing to BCH!