Recommendations and Statements of the Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research:

Clinician Scientist Programs: Funding at Risk (January 2023)

Clinician scientists are of central importance for ensuring high-quality medical care and excellent research at an international level. In view of the expiration of funding for clinician scientist programs by the DFG, the working group "Career Paths/Research-Oriented Personnel Structures" calls for reliable, long-term funding of clinician scientist programs in a statement published in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt journal.

Guidelines for Quality-Improving Aspects in Clinical and Biomedical Research (June 2021)

A working group of the DFG Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research has compiled the most important aspects that are relevant when describing research projects in the field of medical and biomedical research in order to ensure high quality and reproducibility of research results. This guideline is useful for project planning and implementation as well as for the review process.

Recommendations for Funding of Translational Research in University Medicine (September 2019)

The topic of translation is particularly relevant to medicine. In the view of the Senate Commission and in the context of the existing recommendations, “translation” refers to the transfer of basic scientific research results into new preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for use on humans. The recommendations relate to three points:

A culture should be strengthened in university hospitals so that translational research projects can be carried out in a stimulating research environment.It is recommended that necessary infrastructures are established in university hospitals to lay the structural foundations for results of knowledge-driven research to be used in clinical practice.Researchers are invited to continue making active use of the existing opportunities for the funding of translational research offered the DFG.

Statement on Clinical Trials (October 2018)

In view of the increasing importance of clinical trials not only for medical research, but also, and most importantly, to maintain health and ensure optimum patient care, the DFG Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research and the Medicine Committee of the German Council of Science and Humanities have developed complementary recommendations intended to contribute towards promoting and improving the situation of investigator-initiated clinical trials in Germany.Link auf PDF-Datei

Statement on Reproducibility of results in Medical and Biomedical Research (April 2018)

A working group of the DFG Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research describes the challenges and limitations to ensure complete reproducibility of results in the medical and biomedical research. The statement includes suggestions to research institutions, funding organizations and publisher, but also suggestions directed to researchers in these particular scientific areas. DFG is willing to further support such kind of self-reflecting analysis of the research processes and intensify their communications and collaborations about reproducibility with other research funding organizations and research organizations.nk auf PDF-Dat

Recommendations on the establishment of a science based professional development programme for medical specialists in university medicine (March 2018)

The model Advanced Clinician Scientist Programme recommended by the Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research is a further development of the recommendations by the 2015 Senate Commission that Clinician Scientist Programmes be developed for doctors’ training as specialists. The responsibilities named by the Senate Commission for Advanced Clinician Scientists include research-driven teaching and involvement in the training and further education of early career researchers, along with heading a scientific working group and patient care.nk auf PDF-Datei

Discussion Paper of the Working Group ‘Research and Health Policy Frameworks for Clinical Research’ (September 2017)

In this discussion paper, the DFG Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research offers suggestions as to how the situation regarding clinical research at universities can be improved. The Commission focuses on four areas in which it perceives an urgent need for action.

Statement on Deep Brain Stimulation. Current State of Research and Future Prospects (April 2017)

The term Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) refers to the application of electrical pulses in brain structures located not on the surface of the brain but deep inside the brain. The Permanent Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research has issued this statement with the aim of providing the statutory bodies of the DFG, researchers and members of the public with an overview of the current state of research in deep brain stimulation.

Statement on Enabling a Better Balance between Research and Speciality Training through the Amendment of the German Medical Association’s Model Speciality Training Regulations (February 2017)

The DFG Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research (SCCR) together with the German Medical Faculty Association (MFT) has issued a statement on the amendment of the German Medical Association’s Model Speciality Training Regulations (MWBO), which is currently being drafted. This amendment will make it possible to significantly improve the official recognition of periods of research during speciality training. The aim is to organise speciality training into competence-based blocks and enable more flexibility in training periods.

Statement on Human Genome Sequencing (August 2016)

Human genome sequencing is currently revolutionising medical research and finding its way into the prevention and diagnosis of diseases. This gives rise not only to numerous opportunities resulting from the technological development, but also to new ethical and legal challenges that science must face. This statement, prepared by a joint working group of the Permanent Senate Commission on Genetic Research and the Permanent Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research, describes these challenges and offers solutions. The recommendations are aimed particularly at universities, university hospitals and other research institutions.

Statement on Sharing Primary Clinical Trial Data (April 2016)

The Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research, together with the Association of Medical Schools (MFT), the Network of Coordinating Centres for Clinical Trials (KKS Network), and the Technology and Methodology Platform for Networked Medical Research (TMF), has issued a statement on the proposal by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) regarding the sharing of clinical trial data. The general approach of making data from clinical trials available for further analysis is supported, but some elements of the ICMJE proposal are viewed critically.

The statement is formatted according to the guidelines given by the ICMJE for comments. It has been uploaded via the ICMJE website.

Recommendations on Key questions in Clinical Research on the further development of clinical research universities (June 2015)

In this statement, the SCCR recommends dependable career paths in clinical research as well as modern staff management. The SCCR sees an urgent need for action in various fields in order to enable university medical centres to continue to perform their role in patient-oriented, disease-oriented and basic research, and to retain the high level of teaching and patient care. From the SCCR’s perspective, special priority should be given to targeted long-term investments in essential infrastructures along with the required staff. This applies in particular to clinical trials, personalised medicine, new bioinformatics methods and, in general, to archiving and the utilisation of materials and data.

Recommendations on establishing an integrated research and training programme for Clinician Scientists in parallel to residency training (April 2015)

Clinician scientists are indispensable for clinical research. To motivate and qualify physicians for scientific work, particularly during specialist training, the SCCR recommends that medical faculties start to offer more structured programmes for clinician scientists.

Statement on Key Questions in Clinical Research on the structural conditions for clinical research at German universities (June 2014)

The DFG believes that the framework conditions for clinical research in university medical training in Germany must be improved. The SCCR has drafted a statement with specific recommendations designed to support and enhance the effectiveness of clinical research, which is very important both for the scientific investigation of diseases as well as for quality assurance in medical care and the expansion of therapeutic possibilities.

Recommendations and statements of the former Senate Commissions on Clinical Research (until 2011):