A good scientific culture is the basis of high-quality research and of the interest of young researchers for a career in academic medicine. However, clinical research has been critically questioned in recent years: poor application of scientific and ethical standards; reproducibility crisis; limited access to original data; obstacles to the exchange of research results. The SAMS is committed to a good scientific culture and thereby to improving the situation of young researchers.
In 2016, the SAMS proposed measures in its position paper to improve both the scientific culture and the situation of young researchers.
Around the same time, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) published the «Roadmap for developing the next generation of clinical researchers». This more practical document complements the SAMS position paper and formulates concrete goals, work packages and responsibilities.
In order to support the implementation of these measures in practice, the Association Swiss University Medicine (unimedsuisse) and the SAMS set up a working group in 2017. Its first task was to formulate concrete recommendations to improve the support of young scientists at university hospitals by ensuring favourable conditions for research. To this end, a catalogue of existing support instruments was compiled and a workshop with young clinical researchers was organized. The workshop showed in particular that the extensive, but heterogeneous and scattered support and training offer needed to be better structured and mutualized. In order to facilitate access to the existing instruments, the working group recommends, among other things, the establishment of a web portal that would offer a direct access to the resources available to young clinical researchers. This portal is jointly developed by unimedsuisse, the Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO) and the SAMS and will be available in 2021. More information can be found in the recommendations.
Support of young clinical researchers – existing instruments and needs, recommendations of the unimedsuisse/SAMS working group (available in German or French)
To support young medical doctors making their first steps in clinical research, the SAMS has set up the funding program Young Talents in Clinical Research in 2017, in collaboration with the Bangerter Foundation. The program funds protected research time and small independent research projects.
The ongoing work and programs described here follow on previous publications, specifically the SAMS position paper «Medicine as a science», the report by the subject group «Young people for clinical research in Switzerland» and the «Recommendations for gender-adequate academic career pathways», published by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (some downloads are only available in German).