Synergy in Action

ISCTM Strategic Plan


The challenges facing the development of proven treatments for CNS conditions continue to frustrate developers and patients alike. The need for high-quality research methods to support continuous learning about, and improvement of, treatment for CNS diseases continues to expand, with the potential to benefit clinicians, researchers, and society more broadly.

With the risk of studies failing to achieve their goals, the rapid evolution of technologies and regulatory requirements, research funding challenges, and changes in healthcare delivery systems, ISCTM’s mission is increasingly relevant. ISCTM has garnered respect in the drug development field, and many share a vision of the work that can be accomplished through the collective efforts facilitated through the Society.  However, ISCTM believes it can play an even more significant role by increasing awareness among academicians, patient/advocacy groups, payors, and drug developers of the benefits ISCTM brings to the CNS clinical trial community.  Therefore, much of the plan for the coming years should center around communicating the value of our work and expanding our reach scientifically and generationally.  With the input and support of our members, we are confident that we can achieve these goals together.

The International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology (ISCTM) is an independent multi-disciplinary organization devoted to promoting advances in, and dissemination of, clinical research methods related to development and use of CNS therapeutics. The ISCTM accomplishes this by bringing together international stakeholders representing academia, industry, government, payers, policymakers, and the public to address strategic clinical, regulatory, methodological and policy challenges in clinical research.


Commitment to Excellence: We commit to maintaining transparency, integrity, and an attitude of service to one another and the field.

Respectful Dialogue: We exist to discuss and resolve provocative and challenging issues.  Success is dependent on all voices being heard and valued.

Independence: This society will be rigorously scientific in character and will not be dominated by any special interest group or company. The independence of the Society will be maintained by a close integration of representatives from academia, industry, regulators, and others with strong interest in methodology and teaching.

Non-competitive Environment: Conscious efforts shall be made to reinforce our collaborative culture to address shared challenges and problems. We will always strive to avoid even the perception that the Society represents an opportunity for marketing of commercial products or for off-label use of existing products.

Inclusiveness: We embrace diversity across all dimensions, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives in enhancing our discussions and outcomes. By integrating the insights from a wide range of stakeholders, we ensure that every contribution is valued and contributes to the advancement of CNS therapeutic research.


Strategic Goal:

ISCTM will be recognized as the leading multidisciplinary organization for addressing the methodological challenges in CNS clinical trials.

Strategic Objectives/Priority Activities

  1. Improve addressing clinical trial methodology challenges. This should address a diversity of clinical research methodology and method topics including: development in drug, digital, device, and other therapeutic approaches; the development of biomarkers to identify disease and guide treatment decisions; and clinical research challenges within smaller biotech companies or clinical research challenges in resource constrained areas of the world.
    • Broaden scientific programs by including new areas of CNS treatment development and addressing new methodological challenges that the field must address.
    • Identify areas of treatment development in neurology to include in ISCTM scientific programs. The identified therapeutic areas should be clearly related to CNS.
    • Take on opportunities and challenges associated with emerging digital tools, including AI/ML and digital therapeutics, ethical considerations, new regulatory challenges, etc.
  2. Serve as an authoritative resource for researchers in CNS clinical trial methodology.
    • Develop work products that reflect the shared values, aspirations, and responsibilities that set standards for the field.
    • Build relationships with like-minded associations and stakeholders to broaden our reach and to widen the scope of ISCTM’s activities.
    • Investigate options for accessibility and collaborations, e.g., serving as an independent facilitator for accessing industry databases or developing a repository for instruments to assure unlimited access.
  3. Ensure sustainability.
    • Engage the next generation of ISCTM leaders by nurturing and growing our partnerships with industry and academics.
    • Develop a multi-channel communication strategy that promotes the ISCTM and our mission to reach key stakeholders.
    • Ensure a sustainable infrastructure that supports the Society’s mission.
      • An annual strategic review, coupled with stakeholder surveys, will assess our progress and areas for improvement. Biannual forums will facilitate open dialogue on the strategic plan’s effectiveness, ensuring our approach remains responsive to the evolving research landscape.
      • Sustain a high-quality secretariat capable of managing the Society’s functions effectively and efficiently.
      • Remain purposeful in sustaining the Society through building the fund for the future.

Revisions approved May 2024