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Press Release No. 51 | 8 October 2019
Strengthening Translational Research in Germany

DFG Senate Commission publishes recommendations for strengthening university medical centres / Joint symposium with Berlin Institute of Health

Translation, i.e. the process of applying basic scientific research into new preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for use on humans, is one of the main responsibilities of university medical centres. University medical centres and infrastructures need to adapt structurally, financially and strategically so that they can continue to meet this responsibility. The Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has compiled a set of recommendations designed to help strengthen translational research at university medical centres. They will be presented to the public on 8 October 2019 at a symposium co-hosted with the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT).

"The prerequisites for successful translation processes are in place at German university medical centres, as basic research, clinical research and university health care are very closely linked there. However, this potential is currently not being exploited," says DFG Vice President Prof. Dr. Britta Siegmund, the new Chair of the Commission. Prof. Dr. Georg Duda from the Julius Wolff Institute at Charité, Deputy Director of the BCRT at BIH and Chair of the working group that compiled the recommendations, added: "The basic conditions under which translational research is carried out are constantly changing due to new technical possibilities, the shifting role of stakeholders and new legal provisions. The recommendations of the Senate Commission are designed to help strengthen translational research in Germany over the long term."

The statement by the Senate Commission on "Recommendations for Funding Translational Research at University Medical Centres" (available in German only) outlines three main action areas and takes account of the specific situation and requirements of university medical centres. Firstly, a research culture geared towards translation – a translation mindset – is to be further strengthened in medical faculties. Training structures need to be expanded and further developed so that researchers can be introduced to translational research at an early stage and the related requirements met. It has also been recommended that the infrastructure of university medical centres be further developed and so-called translational hubs created. These translational hubs should complement existing structures and provide infrastructure, qualified staff and financial resources, which will be made available to all researchers in medical research. Finally, researchers are invited to continue making active use of the existing opportunities for the funding of translational research offered by the DFG.

The Senate Commission will present the recommendations to the public on 8 October 2019. Together with the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), it will host the symposium "Strengthening Translational Research at University Medical Centres" in Berlin. The event will be attended by representatives of university medicine and medical faculties, non-university research institutions, research organisations and funding bodies and representatives of relevant ministries. A panel discussion entitled "Value of Translation – Translational Incentives" will close the event.

Further Information

The statement entitled "Recommendations for Funding Translational Research at University Medical Centres", available only in German, is available for download at:

Information on the Senate Commission:

Information on the symposium:

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Programme contact at the DFG Head Office: