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CiiEM Strategy for the next 5 years
The CiiEM (Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar Egas Moniz) is the Research centre of Egas Moniz – Cooperativa de Ensino Superior CRL. The Centre is one of the priorities of the Cooperative and represents a nucleus of innovation and knowledge creation. It fosters a paradigm of translational research and teaching in collaboration with other functional structures of Egas Moniz. It also focuses strongly on community interactions in different contexts, including health, health-related sciences and social services.
The strategic actions of the CiiEM consider:
1) The needs of Egas Moniz concerning the creation and dissemination of knowledge and advanced training in a research environment. This focuses mainly on graduate and post-graduates and their integration in a translational research and teaching context, thus positioning the Centre between academic education, industry and clinical practice.
Strategic Plan organisation
The Plan sets the guidelines for the Centre's activity for the next 5 years, defining objectives considered essential to the development of CiiEM as an instrument of the Cooperativa.
The CiiEM mission consists of the development of advanced research, basic and applied, in subjects connected to the study and teaching of biomedical sciences as well as other scientific fields applied to health care.
CiiEM provides an environment tailored to promoting the advance of knowledge in the scientific fields associated with health and health care, including sociology, psychology and forensic sciences, while implementing a demanding culture of quality. This environment is an essential part of the translational interface promoted by Egas Moniz, Cooperativa de Ensino Superior CRL, linking the needs of industry, clinics and society.
CiiEM seeks to impart an effective dynamic to specific actions that include research projects using collaborative activities where appropriate, services based on advanced research and training, dissemination actions and outreach activities, thus complementing the professional training and development of Egas Moniz students with relevant soft skills.
During the period of this plan, CiiEM will organise programmes to foster the development of projects, based on research lines of strategic importance to Egas Moniz, aligned where relevant with the priority objectives of Regional, Interregional, national and international funding programmes. These lines should achieve a critical mass needed for the implementation of high quality projects, meeting the highest international standards, while participating in leading consortia and establishing networks of excellence in their areas of activity.
The research to be developed shall follow strict ethical rules, and shall aim at innovating thus providing solutions to the challenges of the XXIst Century, contributing directly or indirectly to the overall improvement of the response to societal demands in health care.
The functioning of the research lines will be based on the infrastructure provided by the functional units of the CiiEM, complemented by partnerships with other academic players, health providers and industry, to ensure the exploitation of the project’s results.
This Strategic Plan is intended to shape the overall approach of CiiEM; it requires the commitment of all CiiEM members. It will be the engine of the changes that will allow CiiEM to successfully overcome the challenges involved in achieving external recognition at the highest level and to maximize the social and professional impact of its work.
The strategic priorities of CiiEM are:
1. Research lines
To promote the creation and development of strategic research lines to mobilise the potential of Egas Moniz.
To promote internationalisation, supporting its members in the gathering of financial support to foster their international exposure.
Expected outputs: Participation in European Consortia and networks.
a. To establish and consolidate collaborations with strategic partners in complementary areas of knowledge.
b. To increase the financing received by the CiiEM through collaborations with the industrial sector, supply of services and participation in National and International calls for research support.
Expected outputs: The research lines and functional units will establish partnerships with suitable institutions at a Regional, Interregional, National and International level thus improving their capabilities for participating in fund gathering activities and Societal impact.
4. Community interactions
To set up and carry out activities with a positive impact on the community and global society's unmet needs, such as information actions, training and services, as well as to ensure the inclusion in the curriculum of skills to facilitate the participation of students in the social and economic tissue of the community.
Expected outputs: Better trained personnel in complementary skills, and programmes established for the implementation of new services that respond to the current needs of society.
a. To modernise and develop the communication strategy of CiiEM with the objective of fostering a strong “organisational culture” and improving the external visibility of CiiEM and the access of external organisations and the general population to information on the Centre's activities.
b. To foster Regional, Interregional and National dissemination of activities, bringing knowledge of CiiEM's actions and research achievements to the appropriate actors in Portuguese society.
c. To set up meetings and other actions on up-to-date subjects, in order to contribute to the dissemination of scientific knowledge and to increase the external scientific visibility of CiiEM and Egas Moniz. Besides the internal know-how, it will be important to draw on the contribution of staff, alumni, National and International experts and other figures with public visibility.
Expected outputs: Implementing a regular program of scientific meetings of excellent quality, guaranteed by peer review practices for acceptance and publication of communications.
To promote and participate in coordinated training with other educational structures of Egas Moniz in order to complement the traditional teaching activities, equipping students, researchers and staff with soft skills that create competitive and international value.
Expected outputs: Setting up protocols with the teaching units of Egas Moniz for incorporating research-directed skills in the training of students, specially but not exclusively, at Master degree and higher levels.
7. Internal culture
To promote the establishment of a quality culture that ensures convergence of all dimensions of CiiEM’s activities to the highest international standards.
Expected outputs: To increase the interaction of Egas Moniz researchers with high level international research units and researchers and set high research standards within the research lines and functional units.
To develop and implement recognised independent evaluation processes of the researchers and research groups, to support the strategic plan and improve quality and efficiency.
Expected outputs: An external peer review, carried out at least annually, by panels of internationally-recognized experts, unrelated to the Egas Moniz activity.
The research lines represent the core of CiiEM's Research activity, to encourage the concentration of efforts and resources in structured programs. Egas Moniz offers support and services to the community, both through its own services and through cooperation with authorities and other institutions. Some of the structures interacting with the community have reached a high level of sophistication and size, making them relevant not only at a local, but also at a National and International level. This is the case for the Dental medical clinics with a performance of about 50000 consultations/year. Community directed services require the support of an efficient R&D activity to keep improving and innovating on the practice thus maximizing their societal impact. This will be the main focus of CiIEM’s research lines over the next few years. Additionally, there will be other research projects, which do not fall within any of the present research lines, but that arise from the diversity of CiiEM's internal and collaborative research activity.
Research lines set up for the onset of this Strategic plan are:
1. Environmental Health Research Line
Environmental agents can have direct toxicities and influence biological processes. The resulting disease processes often develop insidiously and are recognized at a late stage severely affecting the health and life quality of the elderly and imposing a heavy burden on National health systems.
2. Clinical Research Line
This research line is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of society by boosting both innovation and fundamental and applied research on clinical problems. Egas Moniz has a large commitment to health care among local and Regional communities, hosting a major dental clinic, a third age rest house and physiotherapy units. This line aims to foster a translational research initiative bridging the gap between Fundamental Science and Clinical Research through:
3. Public Health Microbiology Research Line
Public health microbiology is a cross-discipline area that spans the fields of human, animal, food, and environmental microbiology, with a focus on human health and disease. It requires laboratory scientists with the ability to work effectively across disciplines. The development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the emergence of new pathogens pose severe threats to society, and this has a huge impact in health units where hospital-acquired infections become increasingly dangerous.
Forensic Science and Psychological research line takes a translational approach to its functioning, linking fundamental and applied research to professional practice in Forensics and Psychology. This is achieved through the creation of a strong bridge between scientific research and the professional context. This multidisciplinary line is unified by a conceptual umbrella linking psychological processes
and human behaviour with neural degeneration and designed novel psychoactive substances. This research line encompasses several branches aimed at the accomplishment of its main aim. Specific longitudinal research goals include deviant and violent human behaviour, toxicological impact of newly designed drugs and chemical-induced neural degeneration. The translational approach of this research aims at answering several issues from individual and social environments improving the prevention, intervention, forensic strategies and operational practice of professionals in the field.
The research lines:
a) Shall support their operation with the budget and material resources provided by the functional units of CiiEM (Labs, Clinics, Centres etc.), complemented (where appropriate) by external resources obtained through consortia, networking, participation in projects, etc.
b) Shall articulate their activity in order to converge on common objectives and improve the impact of their operation upon Egas Moniz Institution as a whole and the community.
c) Shall develop integrated programs of medium- to long-term duration, promoting their operation through interconnected short-term activities such as projects, meetings etc.
d) Shall foster, through Congresses, meetings and other dissemination actions, such as webinars, the diffusion of knowledge acquired or created within CiiEM by its members, at all levels.
e) Shall promote training, dissemination activities and support for MSc and eventual PhD programs and theses internally and within the community through outreach activities.
f) Shall identify and try to resolve limitations and bottlenecks of research activity, and ensure the use of results for societal development.
The functional structures of CiiEM are research infrastructures such as laboratories, centres, clinics, etc. which operate within Egas Moniz and are incorporated in CiiEM by decision of the Cooperativa. CiiEM complements its capabilities by interacting with other research, teaching and social infrastructures through consortia, networking, and other joint activities such as conferences and workshops.
The responsibilities of the functional structures include
a) Providing the resources that allow for the development of the research lines to the relevant quality standards, and ensuring excellent scientific performance in accordance with the By-laws and other relevant regulations.
b) Drawing up, for approval by the President, the regulations governing their operation and interactions within and outside CiiEM, according to CiiEM's By-laws and regulations.
c) Ensuring support for their activities either by identifying sources of funding for projects, or by other means such as providing services to the community, actively seeking participation in networks and consortia, etc.
d) Contributing to the performance and external image of the CiiEM, deploying the necessary resources, such as web pages, dissemination actions etc.