Education and research opportunities in translational research
An important motivation for the project is the need for a new breed of researcher: a “physician-scientist” equally at home in the clinic and the basic research lab. The ECRC offers training and research opportunities for each stage of career.
Two graduate schools focus on translational research aspects:
MyoGrad - International Research Training Group for Myologie Berlin / Paris
MyoGrad offers the best internationally selected PhD and MD students an English curriculum that covers the entire spectrum of muscle-related cell and molecular biology as well as clinical aspects of muscle diseases. Partner institutions are the Free University, the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Medical Faculty of the Charité in Berlin together with the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (Paris VI).
International Helmholtz Research School 'Translational Cardiovascular & Metabolic Medicine' (TransCard)
The TransCard program at the MDC trains excellent young researchers in translational medicine with the goal to elucidate genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and to transfer these findings from bench to bedside. The TransCard program is jointly run by MDC and Charité researchers.
Opportunities for the next career steps:
Training program for clinicians in basic molecular biology
The centerpiece of our educational activities was the ECRC funded training program for clinicians in basic molecular biology in which clinicians take “time out” from their clinical duties and join a laboratory run by an MDC basic scientist. Entry into the program (Kliniker Ausbildungsprogramm, or KAP, in German) is gained through a competitive application procedure. Calls for submission of applications were published every six months. Proposals are peer-reviewed with intermittent follow-up. Successful applications commonly lead to long-term collaborations between a clinical group and the MDC basic science laboratory hosting the applicant. The program was terminated in December 2015. A continuation is currently under discussion.
ECRC project groups
Junior clinician scientist can apply for 5-year funding of an ECRC project group including a 50% research position for the group leader, funding of staff and consumables and research space (wet lab and office) for a small group. Thanks to the integration in the excellent scientific research environment on Campus Buch, this is the ideal setting to start an independent clinical researcher career. A new call for applications was published in 2015 and 4 proposals of clinical researcher were selected for funding, starting in 2016.
Progress in a clinical career
Credit towards certification in internal medicine, neurology, and clinical pharmacology can be granted to clinical trainees participating in the ECRC.
Rotation positions to balance a dual clinical and scientific career are granted upon application. These positions, which secure up to 50% funding for protected research time, are not only offered to the applicants for an ECRC project group but also to clinicians after board certification.