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.