Education and training are important aspects of biomedical research and development. As the landscape and the technologies are constantly changing, it is important that the training providers also adapt quickly. By bringing together industry and academic partners, EMTRAIN established a pan-European platform for education and training, covering the entire life cycle of medicines, from basic research, clinical tests and market authorisation to follow-up research of drugs already on the market. More specifically, the project strengthened cooperation among industry and academia, enabling faster implementation of new scientific and technological developments into academic teaching, and improving the mobility of professionals across disciplines, sectors and national borders.
The most comprehensive on-line catalogue in Europe
One of the main project achievements is on-course®, a comprehensive online course catalogue which covers everything that is taught in pharmaceutical medicine and sciences across Europe and neighbouring countries. The catalogue lists more than 8 000 different courses, ranging from one-day courses to PhD programmes. Free and easy to use, it allows users to search for courses by type (master, PhD, short course), schedule (full or part-time, modular), learning type (distance, face-to-face, mixed), language, location, and scientific / therapeutic area. For each course, the catalogue provides a description, list of modules (if relevant), details of fees, contact information, and links to the course websites. It is continuously updated by course administrators and can be accessed for free. The portal is intended to become the reference platform for education and training in biomedical sciences, and will help ensure that the biomedical education and training landscape is geared towards keeping Europe at the forefront of research. It already has more than 100 000 users.
Creating a generation of industry-aware students
EMTRAIN also developed a workshop for PhD students to provide young researchers with a holistic understanding of medicines development and an insight into the pharmaceutical industry. This week-long workshop is creating a growing alumni network of industry-aware students, facilitating employment opportunities and strengthening cooperation between industry and academia.
Another project achievement is a LifeTrain, a community-based platform for life-long learning which brings together employers, course providers and students. The platform established the principles for mutually-recognised lifelong learning and developed competency profiles, assessment of competencies and recognition processes. The platform also enables students to adapt their training to industry needs, increasing their chances of employment; helps academia tailor their programmes according to real-time industry needs; and helps industry get access to professionals with specific training.
For the benefit of industry and academia
By participating in this project, the academic community learned more about how the industry works, enabling them to adapt their courses according to real-time industry needs. Thanks to this project, young PhD researchers also gained insights into career opportunities in the private sector.
Industry partners benefitted by gaining access to industry-aware professionals with specific training tailored to their needs. Furthermore, EMTRAIN’s framework for competency development allows better comparability of job profiles, supporting the mobility of professionals in this field. Last but not least, the on-course® catalogue gives industry easy access to continuous professional development courses which are not covered by companies’ own training activities, saving time and resources.
Finally, the project strengthened the pan-European community of scientists in medicines development, benefitting both the industry and academia.
Even though the project ended, most of its tools and platforms continue to operate.
- The LifeTrain concept and framework has been taken up by one of the project partners, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. Its work continues through workshops and conferences.
- The PhD course has been taken up by the Horizon 2020 project C-COMEND and is being further optimised as part of this project.
- The on-course® platform continues to operate in the context of other Horizon 2020 projects (e.g. RITrain).
Read the interview with project coordinators
Achievements & News
EMTRAIN established a pan-European platform for education and training covering the whole life cycle of medicines research, from basic science through clinical development to pharmacovigilance. ###In an interview with the IMI Programme Office, industry co-coordinator Matthias Gottwald of Bayer and academic coordinator Michael Wolzt of the Medical University of Vienna, explain what the project achieved and how it benefitted both industry and the academic community. ‘Thanks to this project, the academic community had a great opportunity to get out of their ivory towers and see what the industry actually does,’ said Wolzt. ‘We learned that we have a lot in common and that we can work together quite effectively.’
Read the full interview
The IMI-funded LifeTrain initiative is organising a conference on lifelong learning in the biomedical sciences in Heidelberg, Germany, on 5-7 July. The event represents a new international forum to bring together the key influencers, policymakers, trainers and stakeholders from academia, industry and the professional bodies who will shape and implement how career-long continuing professional development is managed in the future.### It will encompass career-long continuing professional development for both the academic and industry sectors. Participants will benefit from:
- insights into the latest developments in education and training for biomedical professionals;
- an introduction to competency profiles as effective means to support recruitment and retention of key staff;
- means to empower your staff to manage their own continuing professional development (CPD);
- an opportunity to promote your organisation at the free showcase event;
- networking with other course providers and trainers, employers, professional bodies, researchers and policy makers;
- a choice of interactive workshops to assist delegates to implement continuing professional development practices in their organisations or contribute to further discussions of conference topics.
On-course ® has launched an online toolkit designed to support biomedical science trainers in designing effective course formats. Created by experts from academia and the pharmaceutical industry, the new toolkit helps trainers to study and explore new ways of teaching the biomedical sciences in a way that meets students’ needs.### A key feature is the guided search app, which enables instructors to select the best training strategies based on their goals and target audience. Each method includes a description with guidance, plus trainers can also share their experiences on using these various teaching approaches with the wider community. The toolkit also includes a fun quiz to encourage trainers to consider the diverse learning styles they might encounter in the classroom. Most importantly, the toolkit provides an opportunity for instructors to share how they have used different methods, so that they can learn from each other and exchange best practice. Instructors can already submit their own use cases and they will soon be able to submit new methods too. On-course ® is an online course catalogue developed by IMI’s education and training project EMTRAIN.
IMI education and training project IMI-TRAIN is working to address the competencies (i.e. the skills, knowledge and behaviours) needed by people working in safety sciences for medicines and devices. Now, the project has set up a specially-created task force to set out the competencies needed in a range of academic, industry and regulatory settings regarding safety sciences. Examples of competencies identified so far include:###
- access, integrate and critically analyse data from multiple sources to help answer drug safety questions;
- define and implement safety analysis strategies;
- demonstrate high-level knowledge of global regulations with respect to drug safety and adverse event reporting, and the development, implementation and monitoring of risk management activities.
- evaluate safety data to assess benefit versus risk to individual patients, research subjects, and/or to a given population and its environment.
The task force is now gathering input from experts in academia, industry and regulatory authorities with regards to the competencies for those working in the area of safety sciences. The project hopes that the outcomes will help professionals, employers and those providing education in this area to assess the courses to ensure that the needs of all the stakeholders are met. The various courses and programmes currently on offer are aligned with what the sector requires. More broadly, the competencies, along with an accreditation system, will help to recognise and consolidate the expertise gained from attending the safety science’s courses. This will, going forward, contribute towards a certified profession of safety scientists.
‘The ongoing IMI projects on education and training aim to promote lifelong learning and continuing professional development among all biomedical professionals,’ reads a recent letter in the scientific journal Nature. The article highlights IMI’s effort to strengthen the skills of biomedical professionals in Europe.###
LifeTrain is IMI’s education and training projects’ pan-European framework for continuing professional development in the biomedical sciences, which will enable all biomedical professionals to work collaboratively across disciplines and national boundaries.
By integrating the strengths and competencies of employers, professional and scientific bodies, course providers and individual scientists, IMI’s projects on education and training are helping to develop a framework for implementing the cross-disciplinary and team-based modern research.
By providing guidance and information, the projects help biomedical professionals to recognise the competencies that they will need as their careers progress and encourage scientists to think beyond traditional disciplinary silos.
April saw the launch of the imi-train website. imi-train is a new joint European platform that provides education and training solutions in the medical, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences.### Established by the IMI Education and Training projects EMTRAIN, Eu2P, PharmaTrain and SafeSciMET, imi-train is set to become the most broadly recognised point of reference for scientists who seek guidance for their continuing professional development. Visitors to the website, such as course providers, professional bodies, employers and individuals, can browse academic postgraduate programmes and short courses, benefit from career development services and find information and access to course portals, quality standards, accreditation and e-learning possibilities.
IMI education project EMTRAIN will hold a workshop for young researchers in Beerse, Belgium on 26-29 April 2015.
The theme of the 2015 workshop is translational medicine.### The workshop is designed for PhD students enrolled in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and junior postdocs with PPP experience.
The workshop programme includes scientific lectures, interactive seminars, oral presentations from the students and round table discussions with the faculty, and participants are encouraged to use the workshop as an opportunity to share their experiences, network and grow into their role as industry-aware scientists. Previous workshops have been highly successful, with participants stating that they would recommend the event to a friend.
- Details of how to apply or nominate a participant can be found on the EMTRAIN website
- Deadline for applications: 29 January 2015
The upgraded site boasts a number of new features designed to make the site more effective and convenient for both course seekers and providers.
The new features include new search filters, an automated search option, a bookmarking option for courses and course providers, and a geographical search using Google maps. For course providers, the upgrade will make it easier to enter and edit course information, allow them to save data at any point, and programme automatic updates to their course information. On-course also has a new look and feel to complement the technical improvements.
On-course is the most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal in Europe. It offers access to short courses (CPD), Master and PhD programmes offered in the EU and associated countries. Searching and advertising courses in on-course is free of charge. Find out more about what’s new.
IMI’s education and training projects have launched a website for LifeTrain, their new pan-European framework for continuing professional development in the biomedical sciences.### The LifeTrain framework will enable biomedical professionals to work collaboratively across disciplines and national boundaries. Furthermore, LifeTrain’s unique collaborative approach aims to provide the critical mass to make a major contribution to strengthen the skills and competencies of European biomedical professionals in a rapidly changing environment. In particular, LifeTrain will:
- support course providers in developing and delivering excellent training that meets the needs of biomedical professionals;
- help professional/scientific bodies to identify synergies with other professions and help them to support their members’ changing needs;
- give employers the tools to build an agile workforce, better equipped to serve the needs of healthcare research, development and practice;
- support medicines development professionals in enhancing their employability and accelerating their career progression.
The signatories to the LifeTrain platform include multinational pharmaceutical companies, research infrastructures, professional and scientific bodies, higher-education institutes and research institutes. They have agreed on certain common principles and pledged to continue to collaborate to implement LifeTrain.
- Learn how you can benefit from the LifeTrain framework
On-course, the online course portal developed by IMI’s EMTRAIN project, now has information on over 6 000 courses in its catalogue.### On-course was launched in 2012 with the goal of becoming Europe’s most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal. The 6 000 courses featured on the site today include Masters courses, PhDs, and short courses taught in organisations across Europe as well as over the internet. Users can search for courses by course type, language, location, scientific area and therapeutic area. It is also possible to select only courses taught under IMI’s Education & Training projects. The site provides extensive information on each course, including details of the course content, course fees, the credits given, and contact details of the course provider. A new release of on-course, with additional content and functionality, will go live in September.
- Visit on-course
There are five projects within IMI’s research training platform aiming to revolutionise education and training to deliver more effective and safe new medicines for patients – EMTRAIN, Eu2P, EUPATI, PharmaTrain, and SafeSciMET.### Collaboration is the key to success and equally important is the projects' ability to reach intended audiences with information to raise awareness and encourage people to get involved in project activities.
Over the next six months these projects will be represented at a variety of European and international conferences through display booths, dedicated sessions or individual presentations. If you are planning to attend any of the following events, please take the opportunity to stop by and find out what is happening in the IMI training and education programmes and how you can benefit, either from a professional or personal perspective.
IMI’s EMTRAIN project has been shortlisted for the Regulatory Affairs Award in Innovation. Organised by TOPRA (Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs), the Regulatory Affairs awards recognise excellence and best practices### in Regulatory Affairs in a high-profile way, which helps reinforce the contribution and value of the work of all regulatory professionals. The winners for 2013 will be announced at ceremony in London on 27 November.
EMTRAIN’s contribution to the innovation field is its on-course® portal which has been developed specifically to help biomedical course seekers find training programmes that are right for them, and to provide a platform for direct interaction between industry, students, professional / scientific bodies and course providers. With its list of 65 scientific and therapeutic areas as search options, on-course® provides the most specific search options for biomedical courses to date.
The EMTRAIN project has developed a Learning Tools Navigator a web application which allows search and navigation through a catalogue of 388 learning tools offered by a range of software providers.### The Learning Tools Navigator has been designed to help IMI’s Education & Training programmes and other biomedical science course providers to find suitable learning tools to deliver their courses. The current version of the web application contains the following functionality: browse and text search; filtering of search results; guided search; user guide and user feedback.
The Learning Tools Navigator was developed by the ‘Learning and teaching tools and methodology’ working group of the EMTRAIN project, with the aim of effectively applying currently available teaching methodologies and tools to a future European training platform in drug development that could be used by all relevant stakeholders in medicines research.
EMTRAIN, the European Medicines Research Training Network, is establishing a sustainable, pan-European platform for education and training covering the whole life-cycle of medicines research, from basic science through clinical development to pharmacovigilance.
- Try the Learning Tools Navigator
IMI’s EMTRAIN project has reached an important milestone – more than 5 000 courses are now available through its on-course® catalogue, including more than 2 400 European Master Programmes and a continuously-growing set of continuing professional development (CPD) and PhD courses.### The on-course® catalogue represents the most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal in Europe and is fast, free and easy to use. EMTRAIN provides a pan-European forum for the interaction of industry, academia and regulators for a joined-up approach to post-graduate life sciences education.
The on-course® portal developed by IMI’s EMTRAIN project is the subject of an article in the April issue of Drug Discovery Today. Currently providing detailed information on 4 598 (and counting) biomedical courses, on-course® is the most comprehensive postgraduate course portal in Europe.###
The portal lists all master’s degrees, continued professional development (CPD) and PhD courses in Europe. In addition, on-course® hosts advanced search options designed by the pharmaceutical industry, academia and regulatory bodies allowing the course seeker to ﬁnd courses that are most relevant for them.
The April 2013 issue of Drug Discovery Today depicts the key role that on-course® plays for the enhancement of life-long learning as an EU objective to increase competitiveness, employability and prosperity. on-course® responds to Europe’s need to enhance life-long training and is a major tool in helping the EU reach this strategic objective for the biomedical sector. The portal is intended to become the reference platform for education and training in biomedical sciences, and will help ensure that the biomedical education and training landscape is geared towards keeping Europe at the forefront of research.
• EMTRAIN is an IMI project that will establish a sustainable, pan-European platform for education and training (E&T) covering the whole life-cycle of medicines research, from basic science through clinical development to pharmacovigilance.
• Read the article published by Drug Discovery Today
• Discover on-course®
IMI and the IMI Education & Training projects will participate in BIOVISION - the World Life Sciences Forum, which will be held in Lyon, France, on March 24-26 2013.### It is the place where key stakeholders can debate the impact of the latest scientific advances on society and share their vision on how to overcome health, environment and nutrition challenges. IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman will participate in the plenary session ‘How to make better use of collective intelligence’. Mike Hardman, project coordinator of EMTRAIN, will represent IMI and the IMI E&T projects in the BIOVISION Investor Conference workshop. Moreover, the IMI E&T projects are organising a satellite event on ‘Training and Education in Europe’ where they will present their activities to the forum’s participants at a booth in the exhibition area.
This year’s DIA EuroMeeting, which will be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 4 to 6 March, features an entire theme dedicated to IMI’s five Education & Training (E&T) projects.### The sessions will feature the latest news from the projects and demonstrate how they are helping to advance education in the biomedical sector in Europe. DIA EuroMeeting visitors can also catch up with the projects and find out how IMI’s E&T projects can boost their careers at Booth 918 in the exhibition area.
- View the agenda for the IMI theme in the DIA EuroMeeting programme (page 46)
Four of IMI’s Education & Training projects have put together a short video on their activities. In the six-minute clip, the coordinators of the EMTRAIN, SafeSciMET, Eu2P, and PharmaTrain projects### present their courses and the benefits they offer for students and course providers alike. The film also features a presentation by IMI Executive Director Michel Goldman.
on-course ® has released a video explaining how different groups (especially current and potential students and course providers) can get the most out of on-course ®.### Developed by IMI’s EMTRAIN project, on-course ® is the most comprehensive and sustainable biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal in Europe. Currently, the portal contains information on over 3 800 courses, and more are being added all the time. While on-course ® is probably EMTRAIN’s most visible outcome so far, the project is also making good progress on its other activities. The team sets out the project’s highlights so far in a recent press release and concludes: ‘EMTRAIN has made considerable progress in the first 2.5 years of the project. We are now in the process of developing robust performance metrics to assess the impact of the project, and we are exploring models of sustainability beyond the public funding period of the project.
IMI Education & Training project EMTRAIN has launched on-course® - Europe’s most comprehensive biomedical and medicines research and development postgraduate course portal.### The portal gathers together information on over 3 000 courses taught in 20 languages in 39 countries and covering over 60 scientific and therapeutic areas. Free and easy to use, on-course allows users to search for courses by type (Masters, PhD, short course), schedule (full or part time, modular), learning type (distance, face-to-face, mixed), language, location, and scientific / therapeutic area. Users can also search for courses delivered by IMI’s Education & Training projects. For each course on the site, on-course® provides a course description, list of modules (if relevant), details of fees, contact information, and links to the course website. In addition, users can compare courses quickly and easily. Finally, for people looking for courses while on the move, there is the on-course® app, which can be downloaded to smartphones for free from Google Play (for Android phones) or the AppStore (for Apple products).
IMI’s Education & Training projects have launched a consultation on a common framework for continuing professional development (CPD) in the biomedical sciences.### The basis for the consultation is a concept paper, which was drawn up in collaboration with diverse professional and scientific bodies. The paper explains why a common framework for CPD is needed, and sets out what is needed to develop the framework, such as discussions with stakeholders, a measure of course quality, the mutual recognition of training, and a way of testing the framework. All comments on the paper should be sent to the EMTRAIN Project Office (Ulrike Mayerhofer-Sebera) by 29 June 2012. The Education & Training projects’ work on quality standards in CPD training is also discussed in a recent paper in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Some 26 students involved public-private partnerships, including IMI projects, took part in the inaugural EMTRAIN PhD workshop in Manchester, UK in February.### The aim of the event was to create a forum for the students to share experiences and help them develop as industry-aware scientists. During the four-day workshop, experts from academia and industry provided an insight into the various aspects of industry-driven drug development, the opportunities for public-private partnership, and the relevant European initiatives and accessible European research infrastructures.
IMI projects EMTRAIN and EUPATI (European Patients' Academy on Therapeutic Innovation) are mentioned in a new report on facilitating international cooperation in non-commercial clinical trials.### The report, by a working group of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Global Science Forum, sets out recommendations to overcome the main barriers facing the international clinical research community in setting up international clinical trials. Among other things, the report highlights the need to improve education and training support as well as the infrastructure framework in clinical research, and to enhance the involvement of patients in trials. EMTRAIN is mentioned in the section on infrastructure support, while EUPATI (which will start soon and is funded under IMI’s 3rd Call for proposals) is highlighted in the section on patient involvement.
IMI’s Education & Training projects have successfully launched an initiative to draw up a common framework for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in the pharmaceutical sector.### The first LifeTrain workshop, held in early October in the UK, gathered representatives of professional and scientific bodies from across Europe to start work on the development of a common framework for CPD. Such a framework will help scientists working on all aspects of drug discovery and development to maintain their professional skills and knowledge and adapt to changes in the sector. The hope is that this will ultimately help to make Europe more competitive. ‘There was tremendous enthusiasm from all participants to combine forces for the good of research and development in Europe,’ commented AstraZeneca’s Mike Hardman, who chaired the LifeTrain workshop steering committee. ‘The workshop outputs exceeded our expectations and we are now working together on the next steps.’
- More information on LifeTrain can be found on the EMTRAIN website.
EMTRAIN, on behalf of all of IMI’s Education & Training (E&T) projects, has become an affiliate of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA)###, a pan-European body that aims to contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of European higher education. Joining the ENQA is an important move for the IMI E&T programmes, which are jointly developing standards for the quality assessment of continuous professional development courses in biomedical and medicines research. It is also important for the IMI life-long learning/continuous professional development initiative LIFETRAIN, in which the IMI E&T programmes work together with professional and scientific bodies, course providers, and employers across Europe to encourage them to recognise these quality standards. Finally, ENQA affiliate status will enable the IMI E&T programmes to keep abreast of the latest developments, engage with experts, and share experiences with other ENQA members.
Applications open for the 5th EMTRAIN PhD workshop
Applications are now open for the 5th EMTRAIN PhD workshop which will be held in Berlin, Germany on 24 – 27 April. The aim of the workshop is to provide young researchers with a holistic understanding of medicines development and an insight into the pharmaceutical industry. ### The programme includes lectures, group work, presentations, discussions and team-building exercises. The workshop is open to PhD students in their second year or above who are enrolled in a public-private partnership (PPP) PhD programme or in an industry collaboration.
- Deadline for applications: 15 February 2016 (January 2016)
Missed the LifeTrain workshop? Catch up online
Materials from the recent LifeTrain workshop are now available online. Claire Johnson of EMBL, who was the head of this year’s workshop programme committee concluded after the event that ‘with the 2015 LifeTrain workshop we have made yet another significant step ###in creating awareness for education and training in biomedical research among the very heterogeneous group of signatories, supporters and friends….’ A summary of the conclusions, presentations, agenda, photos and posters from the LifeTrain workshopnbsp;are now available online. (April 2015)
ParticipantsShow participants on map
- Almirall SA, Barcelona, Spain
- Astrazeneca AB, Södertälje, Sweden
- Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany
- Boehringer Ingelheim Internationalgmbh, Ingelheim, Germany
- Esteve Pharmaceuticals, SA, Barcelona, Spain
- F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Basel, Switzerland
- Genzyme Europe B.V., Naarden, Netherlands
- Glaxosmithkline Research And Development LTD., Brentford, Middlesex, United Kingdom
- H. Lundbeck As, Valby, Denmark
- Janssen Pharmaceutica Nv, Beerse, Belgium
- Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
- Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark
- Orion Oyj, Espoo, Finland
- Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GMBH, Frankfurt / Main, Germany
- UCB Biopharma, Brussels, Belgium
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
- Biobanks And Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Consortium (Bbmri-Eric), Graz, Austria
- Centre Europeen De Recherche En Biologie Et Medecine, Illkirch, France
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany
- Helmholtz-Zentrum Fur Infektionsforschung GMBH, Braunschweig, Germany
- Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen Deutsches Forschungszentrum Fuer Gesundheit Und Umwelt GMBH, Neuherberg, Germany
- Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale, Paris, France
- Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
- Medizinische Universitaet Wien, Vienna, Austria
- Medizinische Universitat Graz, Graz, Austria
- Ministry of Human Resources, Medical Research Council, National Healthcare Service Center, Budapest, Hungary
- PharmaTrain Federation, Basel, Switzerland
- The University Of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
- University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
|Name||EU funding in €|
|Biobanks And Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Consortium (Bbmri-Eric)||9 754|
|Centre Europeen De Recherche En Biologie Et Medecine||106 844|
|European Molecular Biology Laboratory||768 930|
|Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen Deutsches Forschungszentrum Fuer Gesundheit Und Umwelt GMBH||1 200|
|Helmholtz-Zentrum Fur Infektionsforschung GMBH||215 400|
|Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale||157 200|
|Karolinska Institutet||662 060|
|Karolinska University Hospital (left the project)||60 110|
|Medizinische Universitaet Wien||1 266 786|
|Medizinische Universitat Graz||15 445|
|Ministry of Human Resources, Medical Research Council, National Healthcare Service Center||58 400|
|PharmaTrain Federation||202 000|
|The University Of Manchester||750 470|
|University of Oxford||50 400|
|Total Cost||4 324 999|