WEEK 4, 2020
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Quidquid agis prudenter agas et respice finem
Launched in 2015, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to achieving 17 ambitious global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The SDGs relate to issues such as the eradication of poverty, gender equality, quality education for all, improved healthcare systems, action on climate change and promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies (for further information, visit https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs). The agenda is an action plan for a sustainable, fair and peaceful global future. In June 2018, the Swedish government presented a series of implementation briefs aimed at positioning Sweden as a leader in achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Given that universities will play an important role in realising these aims, the Faculty of Medicine decided to increase its focus on contributing to the SDGs.
But what can be done? As a faculty of medicine, we are not in a position to develop new technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions or address climate change, nor can we establish global strategies to reduce poverty. While the aforementioned are all vital and ambitious intentions, the SDGs offer the scope to go much further, including a paradigm shift in the mindset that can be applied at all levels of our own faculty, whether that be in education, research or administration. There is no need to reinvent the wheel in order to implement sustainability aspects in our professional practice. The origins of sustainability as a concept stretch far back in time and it is probably best reflected in a quote from the fourteenth-century volume Gesta Romanorum: “Quidquid agis prudenter agas et respice finem” or “Whatever you do, do it wisely and consider the consequences”. By adopting this reflective, farsighted approach, The Faculty of Medicine can make an enormous contribution to the 2030 Agenda.
So, how can this be achieved? The Faculty of Medicine is especially influenced by Wilhelm von Humboldt's humanism. The Humboldtian model of higher education advocates a holistic combination of teaching, education and research, a concept that is just as relevant today as it was 200 years ago. The independence of universities is paramount to maintaining the Humboldtian education ideal; hence, the preservation of academic freedom must be one of our most important goals. Only when this is guaranteed can concepts, curricula, and research projects be linked to the Agenda 2030 SDGs.
In practical terms, this implies the development of strategies that allow the implementation of sustainability goals in study programmes, research activities and the administration of the faculty; for example, the inclusion in first, second and third-cycle courses of discussion on how the knowledge being taught can be made available in countries with less developed education systems. Another topic for discussion might be the relative consequences of the latest scientific discoveries for developed and developing countries and what can be done to change these. When it comes to research, the faculty can encourage scientists to apply for grants that emphasise the 2030 Agenda while, from an administrative point of view, the Agenda deals with many issues that can be addressed, such as gender equality, discrimination, and equal opportunities. These are just a few of the aspects for consideration and there is enormous scope for other ideas; however, what they should have in common is that they are not restrictive, as a ban on rules may prove devastating. What we need are door-openers, since only an open attitude will allow us to present ourselves as an open-minded faculty willing to share our contributions to the 2030 Agenda with others. To this end, we will be appointing a working group tasked with implementing the SDGs within our faculty. Anyone interested in contributing to the working group is welcome to contact the Board of the Faculty of Medicine.
Heiko Herwald, Vice Dean
WEEK 48, 2019
Research politicians want to see more excellence!
On 13 November, I attended a seminar at the Swedish Parliament as a representative of the Academy. The seminar was organised by the Forska!Sverige (Research!Sweden) foundation, which brings together actors in the fields of academia, healthcare, business and patient organisations, and the subject was the upcoming research bill.
The seminar was opened by Matilda Ernkrans, Minister for Higher Education and Research. Her message was that the time is right for research in the field of climate and life sciences, and that all research must be evaluated in a sustainability perspective in line with the global sustainability goals of Agenda 2030.
In the panel representing actors in the field of life science, I emphasised the value of the external evaluation of funds for research, but also that there is a need for increased basic funding if Sweden is to seize the opportunities available in the field of life sciences. I also had the opportunity to highlight the financial situation of the faculties, where the government agency capital is, and why the indirect costs are necessary for implementing research projects.
All of the parliamentary parties were represented and shared their views on the significance of research for society and their parties’ research policies. There is a relatively broad consensus in the area of research policy. One common feature across the whole political spectrum is an expectation that Swedish medical research must lead the way at an international level. A clear pursuit of excellence is expressed, also manifested as an expectation that Sweden should receive a greater share of research funds distributed within the EU.
In relation to patient-oriented research, a common desire is expressed for rapidly developed mechanisms to exploit healthcare data for research that results in better care, and many express a desire for more combined positions in all healthcare professions.
The way that politicians view research plays a major role in the future of our sector. There is quite a high level of engagement, but no party is currently volunteering a plan for major investments. This does not mean that there are no expectations; they want to see “more quality” and “less quantity”. It is difficult to fully predict how politicians will evaluate excellence in the field of research; there is a risk that an unbalanced application of simple bibliometric parameters and narrow attitudes will have a major impact if those of us in academia do not offer a more in-depth narrative.
After the seminar I took the opportunity to chat with the politicians. I urge everyone to do the same! Politicians have enquiring minds and want to do the right thing. As few of them have their own experience of research, many such conversations are needed.
Erik Renström, Dean
News about quality work in our courses
On Friday 15 November, the Faculty of Medicine held its annual quality dialogue with University Management. The dialogue focuses on follow-up on the faculty’s quality work and its results. The quality dialogue is a primary, overarching process in Lund University’s policy for quality assurance and quality development, encompassing both first cycle and third cycle education.
Internal quality dialogues
On 2 and 3 March 2020, it will once more be time for the Faculty of Medicine’s quality dialogues for education at first cycle and third cycle level. These dialogues are held between faculty management and representatives from the programme committees and the student union. The content consists of follow-up on the previous year’s issues and a look to the future. This year’s special focus and theme is internationalisation.
The faculty has two internal pilot evaluations under way at the moment. The programmes included in the pilot are the Masters in Public Health and the Physiotherapist programme. The self-evaluations are submitted at the end of November. A group of assessors is then given the documentation to examine it. The assessments are expected to be completed in March 2020, and the programmes will then receive their feedback.
Book in 1 October 2020 (13:00-16:00). At the faculty’s internal quality conference, we will be sharing experiences of the faculty’s internal pilot evaluations of Masters in Public Health and the Physiotherapist programme.
We will also have more programme items relating to the current quality theme for the year.
To find out more about the faculty’s internal quality work and processes, see the faculty’s website for quality:
Maria Björkqvist, Vice Dean
WEEK 36, 2019
Focus on medical humanities
I am convinced we are in for a great autumn. I feel rested and alert, which is a terrific feeling. Our strategic plan states that over the coming years, we will develop a stronger platform for medical humanities and elevate its significance. I believe this is important. Few if any other fields of study come closer to the human being than ours, and as such, the field of medicine must always be paired with a human perspective. Over the course of this autumn, we will be focusing on medical humanities and I would like to call extra attention to the following:
Medical humanities in the faculty’s undergraduate programmes
In the autumn of 2018, post retirement professor Anders Palm was tasked with mapping the prevalence of medical humanities in the faculty’s undergraduate programmes, as well as contributing to the formulation of important questions for the future strategic work.
The report has now been completed and is available to read here. LÄNK TILL RAPPORTEN (återkommer med länk när Katrin är på plats)
I would like to sincerely thank Anders Palm for a job well done. I would also like to thank the faculty programme coordinators for generously giving their time. Thank you to Susanne Brokop (Physiotherapy Programme), Magnus Sandberg (Nursing Programme), Jenny Gårdling (Radiography Programme), Marianne Kyhlberg (Occupational Therapy Programme), Viveca Lyberg-Åhlander (Speech-Language Pathology Programme), Boel Heister-Trygg (Audiology Programme), and Jenny Lindberg and Peter Svensson (Medical Science Programme).
We will now proceed to study the following three topics more thoroughly:
- How can medical humanities be made more visible in the faculty programmes?
- How can we expand the number of interprofessional points of contact for the faculty study programmes within the field of medical humanities?
- What can the faculty do to create a platform for people conducting research, or whom may have other interests, in the field of medical humanities?
- What can the faculty do to stimulate collaborative research efforts, make them more visible and increase the level of coordination?
Sandblom Day with a focus on intelligence
Sandblom Day takes place on 24 October. It is a collaborative effort between the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund and the faculty. Sandblom Day is an event where students of medicine and the humanities meet. The theme this year is ”Intelligence – Artificial and Emotional”. As always, the meeting place will be the assembly hall at Skåne University Hospital in Lund. It is an exciting and interesting theme – which is also “spot on” in terms of timing.
Premiere for Kunskapskrogen
On 11 September, the faculty’s latest venture sees the light of day: Kunskapskrogen – Evening discussions about medicine and the human aspect. The idea is for this to become a recurring event aimed at employees, students and the public. The first theme is art, the body and resistance. Stina Wollter starts off with a lecture, which is then followed by a conversation with Per Johnsson, senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology. The conversation will be moderated by Katarina Bernhardsson, literary scholar and senior lecturer in medical humanities. Interest in the event has been massive, all the seats are booked and I am very much looking forward to the premiere.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the group in charge of Kunskapskrogen: Jonatan Wistrand, PhD student at the Department of History of Medicine, Katharina Bernhardsson, senior lecturer in medical humanities, Communication Officer Anna Hellgren och Ella Stensson, Faculty Project Manager.
Jimmie Kristensson, Vice Dean
WEEK 25, 2019
We are now evaluating the quality of our research!
Autumn will see the start of Lund University’s major research quality evaluation, RQ20. The framework for this work is now taking shape.
RQ20 can help us to make clear-cut assessments of how we can strengthen the international impact of our research. This is the essential purpose, rather than comparing different fields with one another here at home!
I would like to thank all of you – and, indeed, you are many – who, with a great deal of agility and constructive attitude, have allowed us to come so far despite the tight schedule and the many challenges, both technical and otherwise.
Moving forward, we will require a good deal of contact and discussion between various research groups in order to maximise the benefits of RQ20. The departments have received additional funding to facilitate this work. This alone is one positive consequence of the work; however, I look forward to many more!
Learn more about RQ20 https://rq20.blogg.lu.se/
Erik Renström, dean
Open meeting on the future of pharmacology
Pharmacology is a central field of medicine. Despite this, for many years the field has been gradually falling behind. This does not mean that there has been a lack of research and new ideas.
Comprehensive mapping and the development of individualised treatments and biomedicines has changed the landscape and opened up new areas of development in pharmacology; areas in which academic research can play a new role.
In order to examine the needs arising from the new age of pharmacology, the Faculty of Medicine is arranging an open meeting on 13 August between 15:00 and 17:00 to consider various aspects of the field’s future.
The programme, venue and registration link will follow later!
Erik Renström, dean
News on research infrastructure
This year, the faculty has received 25 applications for infrastructure grants, compared to 11 applications last year. These applications will be considered during the summer. Lund University’s call for funding for university-wide infrastructure has received 25 applications.
Lund University is currently conducting a needs assessment of research infrastructure. This will then be submitted to the Swedish Research Council for inclusion in the national needs assessment that they will be conducting in autumn 2019.
SciLifeLab has requested that researchers in Sweden submit proposals for those services that are most vital to establish in Sweden in order to take Swedish life science research to the next level. Learn more about this initiative.
Martin L. Olsson, vice-dean
Graduate School Agenda 2030
Agenda 2030 provides a framework for transitioning to a sustainable society. The 17 global sustainable development goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030 are the result of a decision by the United Nations in 2015. In order to contribute to achieving the objectives of Agenda 2030, last year Lund University decided to start a new graduate school to address all of the SDGs described in the agenda. A specific emphasis has been placed on social challenges and sustainability issues. Agency capital from the faculties will finance 12 PhD projects.
The Faculty of Medicine has been allocated one PhD project and the faculty decided to announce a call for funding for two projects, each with 50% funding from the faculty. A total of 11 applications were received, all of which were assessed by three external reviewers. Based on their recommendations, it was decided to support the projects Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), under the leadership of Benedict Oppong Asamoah, and Food for People and the Planet, under the leadership of Emily Sonestedt. The recruitment process is underway and the two doctoral students will be appointed no later than 1 September.
Learn more about Graduate School Agenda 2030 https://www.sustainability.lu.se/agenda-2030-graduate-school
Heiko Herwald, vice-dean and Anette Agardh, the faculty’s representative on the research school steering group
Panel discussion on the future of European research funding
It is highly unlikely that any decision on research funding has polarised the scientific community to such an extent as the debate on Plan S (www.coalition-s.org). This was also evident from the panel discussion arranged by the Library and ICT unit, which took place on 20 May in Lund(www.med.lu.se/kalendarium/190520_openaccess). The panel of internationally recognised researchers, moderated by Lund University’s Professor John Semple, discussed the EU’s controversial decision to introduce a new funding concept that will make it compulsory for all scholarly publications resulting from public research funding to be published in Open Access journals or on Open Access platforms.
The original idea was for the new regulations to enter into force as early as the beginning of 2020; however, as Stan Gielen – chair of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and a key player behind Plan S – informed the panel, this goal is no longer realistic. It now seems that implementation will be delayed by a year.
Younger researchers, represented by the Young Academy of Sweden and Future Faculty at Lund University, were concerned that Plan S will have a negative impact on the quality of scientific publications and the career opportunities of young researchers. They saw Plan S as a step in the right direction but believed that much more needs to be done.
One important point emphasised by Stan Gielen is that all stakeholders worldwide would need to follow the EU’s lead, otherwise the concept will not be applied. Given that countries such as the United States and China are unlikely to comply with Plan S, it appears that a certain amount of effort on the part of the EU will be required to achieve this goal.
Other issues raised during the panel discussion touched on the quality of Open Access journals and the need for peer review. Professor Lars Kloo, representing the Swedish Research Council, encouraged researchers to take a more active role in the debate on future research funding. He also mentioned that, while the Swedish Research Council has a positive attitude to Open Access, there are some concerns about Plan S. More time is needed for a the implementation of a more comprehensively designed programme. The Council therefore has doubts about the implementation of Plan S.
It was obvious from the panel discussion that Plan S and Open Access polarise scientific opinion and it seems unlikely that any consensus will be reached in the immediate future. The decision to postpone the implementation of Plan S is therefore wise and will allow all parties more time. Some of the changes announced in the updated version – such as that “financiers promise to ignore journal benefits when making funding decisions” – will lead to new controversy and discussions on academic freedom and career opportunities. It is therefore certain that the debate on Plan S will continue.
Heiko Herwald, vice-dean
A lot going on within the field of work environment
Yet another term has passed and I suspect that many of us are longing for the holidays. There is a great deal going on at the moment in the field of work environment. It is very good to see that the Strategic Plan has been adopted; however, it is now time to translate rhetoric into action. Together with head of human resources Mikael Rydahl, work environment coordinator Aldiana Sikiric and policy officer Birgitta Larsson, I am in the process of laying the groundwork for a faculty-wide operational plan for work environment, HR, gender equality and equal opportunities. Broadly speaking, this plan will focus on harmonising processes and procedures, clarifying responsibilities and raising competences, with a major emphasis on leadership, employeeship and management skills. The aim is to have a first draft ready before midsummer, so that the consultation process can begin in the autumn. I shall be returning to this topic again on several occasions. I am aware that there is a great deal of engagement on the part of both staff and management and I would like to extend a heartfelt vote of thanks to all of you who work with work environment issues at the faculty. You are tremendous!
During the spring, communications officer Björn Martinsson has been working on the new websites for work environment and health. The intention is to create common communication channels that we all find straightforward and easy to understand. The results have been very good. We will continue to work with communication procedures during the autumn but please feel free to visit the sites and take a look at: https://www.med.lu.se/intramed/stoed_verktyg/arbetsmiljoe_haelsa
The Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Committee has enjoyed a particularly successful term. During the spring, the second round of the mentor programme for senior researchers focusing on gender was concluded. I would once again like to say a big thank you to Ulrica Englund Johansson (IKVL) and Karin Stenkula (EMV) for so expertly coordinating the programme. The spring also saw the faculty adopting a cohesive approach to the systematic prevention of discrimination, something that we do in a number of ways.
On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May, we arranged the first seminar in the series Equal Opportunities – Equal Rights. Over a two year period, the Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Committee will be arranging four seminars taking the basis for discrimination as their point of departure. The seminar series is aimed at students and staff at the faculty, as well as other stakeholders, with the intention of both increasing awareness of discrimination by sharing people’s stories and promoting a better understanding of how care interventions may be perceived from the human perspective. The theme of the first seminar was “the transgender individual’s encounters with healthcare”. The moderator was journalist Ceciilia Nebel and guests included actor Saga Becker, cultural profile Chris Schenlaer, head of unit for BUP’s regional gender identity team Maja Lastavica and gender studies researcher Signe Bremer Gagnesjö. Approximately 80 people attended to listen to a very gripping, engaging and professional seminar. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Maria Alvarado Kristensson (ITM), Lisette Eklund (EMV), Björn Rosengren (IKVM), Birgitta Larsson (Kansli M) and Anna Hellgren (Kansli M) for all of their work on this. There is probably only one word that adequately summarises my feelings a I sat in the audience: Proud!
Learn more about the seminar series here:
We have also kick-started our systematic preventative work against discrimination (SFAD) on a broad front. All departments and all study programmes have been tasked with implementing SFAD in their operations. During the spring, I will be visiting all departments and holding workshops. We are the first faculty to introduce SFAD in a systematic manner and our departments are currently making great efforts. Many thanks!
The faculty will be launching a new leadership programme during the autumn, Peer Support and Career Development Towards Professorship (PREP), which will be targeted at senior researchers/lecturers with the long-term aim of increasing the number of female professors. There are 25 places available on the programme, which is aimed at adjunct professors and will begin in the autumn. The programme is coordinated by Anna Ekwall (IHV) and Susanne Sundell of the faculty’s Career Centre. In my opinion, the design of this programme is spot on and I have great hopes for it.
Jimmie Kristensson, vice-dean
WEEK 17, 2019
LU Research Evaluated in RQ20
Over ten years have passed since research at Lund University was last evaluated systematically. It’s now time again!
This time, emphasis will be on critical self-reflection with help from international advisors. This evaluation is not linked to any planned financial activities, but nevertheless it should be taken very seriously. The impact of Swedish research, including medical research at Lund University has dwindled over the past ten years, even though funding has been invested into the higher education sector over the same period. There are several reasons behind this, of which many are part of the world around us rather than amongst ourselves.
Nevertheless, the conclusion is the same: we need to be even better. All research domains will all have the chance to identify and formulate what we can do.
Work with RQ20 is being led by Freddy Ståhlberg and Mats Benner. The Faculty of Medicine will be divided into nine thematic panels, all roughly the same size and will have 4-8 units of assessment to evaluate. Additional guidelines and instructions will be sent to the contact persons for each unit of assessment, who are being appointed at time of writing.
We have high hopes that RQ20 will provide valuable keys to positive future developments at the Faculty of Medicine.
Erik Renström, Dean
WEEK 9, 2019
The annual accounts for 2018 are now closed. The financial situation is developing as we expected, and the faculty’s external income has increased somewhat. In the next few years we will have a tighter situation because a very large number of employment cases at senior lecturer and professor level are under processing as are - to a lesser extent - the faculty’s building projects. We in faculty management are therefore following financial developments very closely and preparing ongoing long-term forecasts.
The trend seen over the last three years of a slightly decreasing number employed out in the research groups has been reversed during the year. This will probably mean that the increase in administrative capital that we have seen for a number of years will stop and perhaps even see a decrease in 2019.
During 2018, on the other hand, the faculty’s administrative capital and the 15% that Lund University set as a target figure increased. The Faculty of Medicine will therefore pay approximately SEK 8.3 million to the central administration of Lund University (this amount corresponds to 10% of the funds that exceed the target figure of 15%).
The board of the Faculty of Medicine decided in 2018 on a basic principle for how the amount that is to be paid to the central administration of Lund University shall be divided. This means that the departments and units that have an administrative capital that exceeds their target figure shall finance the transfer in proportion to their surplus. Extra high requirements are set for activities that are not dependent on external contributions. This applies to support activities such as the faculty office. These will therefore bear a heavier financial burden when the settlement is to be paid to Lund University. The departments that need to pay will decide for themselves which funds within their activities are to be used.
Erik Renström, Dean
As many of you may be aware or have read about in the media, the faculty has been criticised by the Work Environment Authority for deficiencies in the handling of a complicated work environment case. In brief, the case concerned a former employee who was reported for dishonesty in research in early autumn 2017. This person and another employee were subsequently subjected to a large number of written threats. This is a very difficult, unusual and tragic work environment case involving many employees from different departments.
All of us who work at the faculty have the right to a safe workplace and this is, and has been, our most important focus. We have taken a number of measures to secure the work environment. But we failed to report the threats to the Work Environment Authority, besides which there are deficiencies in the documentation of measures and follow-up action. Here the criticism is justified, but we do not consider that the lack of reporting affected the choice of the measures taken. We assess safety continuously and there is no reason for other employees to feel uneasy.
We have also held our own investigation and can confirm that the doctoral student who reported the dishonesty has been the victim of abusive treatment. After the report, the doctoral student was treated in an unacceptable way and the social and organisational work environment has failed. There is reason to criticise ourselves over how we have handled the situation as an organisation. It is particularly serious that the abusive treatment occurred after the doctoral student made a report of suspected dishonesty in research. Unfortunately, what is done cannot be undone but we are now doing our best to look after our colleagues and prevent anything similar from happening again.
A number of measures have been taken during the last year and more are planned, including regular meetings to secure the work environment and support victims. Support and resources have also been put in place to enable the doctoral student to continue to study.
We will also be taking further action at a systematic level. This includes following up on the work environment in the relevant units and creating an overall plan for how we shall act when serious failures occur in the work environment. We will also draw up an action plan for supporting persons involved when irregularities are reported.
Jimmie Kristensson, Vice-Dean
Some weeks ago, I had the great privilege of listening to the medical students who presented their advanced study projects within the framework of the advanced study course on Medicine and the Humanities. The students gave some thought-provoking presentations and I was deeply impressed. The presentations covered everything from the doctor’s nearness and distance and experience of being closely related to a sick person to how perceptions of clinical supervision can be expressed through acrylic painting. Many thanks to the students and to the course teachers Katarina Bernhardsson and Anders Palm. Fantastic!
Another very interesting event is that Region Skåne is now announcing the first ST course in Medical Humanities. The course is being given by Senior Professor Anders Palm in collaboration with the regional AT/ST organisation. Many of our colleagues in the faculty will be involved in the course. I am delighted with the collaboration with the region and greatly look forward to it continuing. For more information.
Jimmie Kristensson, Vice-Dean
WEEK 5, 2019
International visibility: The Conversation, Honorary Doctors and international partnerships
In an ever-changing academic world, it is important for the Faculty of Medicine to be well known internationally, and for the right reasons. The most important factor for success is that we continue to contribute to scientific progress that brings about a breakthrough. After this, news of how our science and scholarship contributes to people's life and health must be given a wider audience, so that it remains in the global consciousness.
One highly prestigious environment in which Lund University can rub shoulders with Oxford University and the University of Cambridge is The Conversation [https://theconversation.com]. The Conversation is a web forum that enables learned discussion on what research gives to mankind and how society is changed by scientific and academic progress. A number of colleagues have already made use of the opportunity, such as Professor Henrik Jörntell whose contribution received widespread attention. But it could be even better! Everyone is welcome to suggest contributions, but during 2019 the faculty’s Communication section will proactively select 4 to 6 areas in which basic material will be created for publication in this forum.
Other outstanding ambassadors for the medical research at Lund University are our Honorary Doctors. It is invaluable that they can get to know the faculty beyond the existing collaborations and be given the incentive to spread knowledge about us to a wider audience. In the same way, international members of academic and scientific councils, our own senior professors and all colleagues in different learned gatherings and boards help to create contacts and spread knowledge about the Faculty of Medicine and Lund University.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sylvia Schwaag-Serger has been investigating, on behalf of the government, how we should work towards collaboration with China. The report can be found on the government’s website. This is a highly readable investigation that provides a deeper understanding of how we can relate to this rapidly developing superpower and its environment. These ideas will be formulated in a new Asia Strategy for Lund University, which we can already expect to bring about changes to many of our working methods.
Dean Erik Renström
The university’s collaboration – with the commercial world, other public sector bodies, culture and society – is perhaps the aspect of the university that has developed most in recent decades. For all the hungry new research universities of the world, this is a self-evident part of their operational planning, and the same is true of teaching-oriented educational institutions.
At the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Roland Andersson has a specific responsibility here and makes a great contribution in the Life Science Innovation Board. Collaboration has been included as a basis for career development in the employment of teaching staff and the subject has also been introduced as a third-cycle course in 2018. This course (coordinated by Johan Flygare) has succeeded beyond expectations, which shows that the time is ripe and the competence exists to develop the subject further.
Successful collaboration for the Faculty of Medicine depends on good cooperation with the health care system in Region Skåne. This is made considerably easier by dependable functions such as Lund University’s innovation system and on a national level Vinnova’s MedTech4Health in the field of medicine and SWElife in life science.
It is not easy to quantify what makes a successful collaboration, but one very good sign is the successful activities that can be found in the region’s incubators in life science: SMILE at Medicon Village has a number of very successful years under its belt and is an important client for the Faculty of Medicine, as is the expanding Medeon, which serves many organisations in Malmö.
For us, this is a sign that our activities are helping to create value for people’s life and health, but we must also think about how we could be even better. A significant part of this is to ensure that our students and PhD students are well equipped, with many potential choices of future careers, that they can help to make our regional industries and community strong and that they have the tools to do well anywhere in the world. One important initiative is the mentoring programme for PhD students (https://www.med.lu.se/english/intramed/employment/career_development/resources_for_young_researchers/careers_centre/mentoring_programme_for_phd_students ) that Vice-Dean Heiko Herald has developed from the earlier mentoring network Mentlife together with Susanne Sundell (Careers Centre) and business developer Annie Chandy of LU Innovation, who also has a background as innovation adviser in the field of diabetes and in the Malmö part of the faculty at CRC. One of the purposes of the MentLife programme is to involve Swedish and Danish medicines companies in the education of PhD students. This service will be of great benefit because it increases the competitiveness of PhD students on the labour market.
Dean Erik Renström and Vice-Dean Heiko Herwald
A proposal for the Faculty of Medicine’s strategic plan is currently penetrating on a broad front in around thirty different focus group discussions. At the end of February, the results will be put out for general consultation in which all faculty employees will be able to provide input.
It is the task of a strategic plan to capture the spirit of the work for change that we have before us. It seldom includes specific details – these are found in the operational plans that are developed with the strategy as a starting point – but instead it must be general, so that it can also be used for things that we cannot yet put into concrete terms. By working from a prepared proposal, rather than starting with a white sheet of paper, we in faculty management see better opportunities for considering the viewpoints of all employees in a constructive manner. A number of very valuable viewpoints have already come to light and we look forward with anticipation to receiving more!
Dean Erik Renström
In order to better understand conditions for clinical research in the various operational areas and university care units of Skåne university health care (SUS), we have had dialogue meetings with the operations and their academic representatives, jointly led by the head of research at SUS, Ingemar Petersson, and myself. The starting point for this was the survey and questionnaire performed during the spring regarding R&D councils: what issues are discussed in these councils and what support needs there are. It emerged from this survey that half the operational areas had R&D councils and it further emerged from the dialogue meetings that most of those which had not had one previously are in the process of starting. The dialogue meetings also featured presentations of research economics, research time being taken, the number of doctorates taken in the various professional categories and the proportion of docents.
Many expressed the strategic value of having a forum for research and educational issues. One issue that was raised in all the areas was the shrinking proportion of docents, which means that there will be even fewer to supervise and lead clinical research in the future. This is a vitally important strategic issue on which we shall need to work together. On the other hand, it is heartening to see that most of those who have funding for research are given the opportunity to take research time. After a steady increase over the last five years, about 90% of research time can now be taken. This is excellent but taking out time for research still presents a challenge, especially in the narrower clinical competences, when it comes to handling illness, parental leave and other unforeseen events.
Pro-Dean Kristina Åkesson
Last year, Lund University laid the foundation for a new research school with a focus on the objectives stated in the agenda 2030 (www.globalgoals.org). The programme will start in the fall 2019 and will involve all faculties at Lund University. Twelve PhD students will be financed. To this end, the Faculty of Medicine will receive funding equivalent to one full-time PhD position. Each faculty will develop a 7,5 point course that will be offered to all PhD students in the research school and also open to other doctoral students.
In order to coordinate this, the Faculty of Medicine has formed a team headed by Professor Anette Agardh who also represents the Faculty in the steering committee for Agenda 2030. An invitation regarding suggestions for courses will be sent out shortly. A call for submission of research project proposals for doctoral students will be sent out in the beginning of February. For further information, please contact Anette Agardh (email@example.com).
Vice dean Heiko Herwald
2018 was the year of the summer!
After a quick early start, the summer went on, month after month.
In the same way, 2018 got off to a cracking start for me and the rest of the newly appointed faculty management, and since then it has carried on at a great pace. People say that reality exceeds poetry, and it really is true.
Leading the Faculty of Medicine into the future is very much more challenging, complex, but above all fun, than you could possibly imagine. It is very satisfying to look back at what we have managed to achieve, and to know that we are operating in an agile organisation that is open to change.
For the Faculty of Medicine, 2018 mostly brought sunshine, but also a few rain showers. The greatest source of joy was all the wise, constructive and competent colleagues, who do not hesitate to strive a little harder for the good of the whole faculty. All forces for good in our part of the world – including our colleagues within Lund University, Region Skåne and our donors – also enhance life.
To all those working at, or with, the Faculty of Medicine, I wish happy holidays with relaxation, celebration and a gathering of strength for 2019 which promises to be at least as exciting as the year that is coming to a close!
Erik Renström, dean
Lund University’s cancer centre
Cancer research constitutes a large and important part of the faculty’s collective research. The strategic research area BioCare will be discontinued and replaced with a new organisation, the Lund University Cancer Centre, which will become operational in the new year. Several of its duties will be the same: to promote excellent education, research and external engagement with wider society.
LUCC is to function as an open meeting place for cancer research throughout Lund University and in Region Skåne, and to promote national collaborations.
Work is currently underway to appoint a coordinator for LUCC in consultations with the heads of department and the departments, and subsequently the rest of Lund University and Region Skåne.
Erik Renström, dean
Focus on equal opportunities
The gender equality and equal opportunities committee is particularly active and that is wonderful to see. Lund University has a policy on gender equality, equal opportunities and diversity that we are to follow. It covers six areas on which the University has chosen to focus particularly: discrimination, equal opportunities, recruitment and promotion, leadership, salaries and terms of employment and gender perspectives and intersectionality. In other words, it is important for us to be active within as many of these areas as possible.
Next year we will be working to further systematise our systematic prevention work against discrimination. In 2017 the Discrimination Act was amended and it sets requirements for continuous work in four steps that deal with identifying risks, analysing causes, planning and taking measures, and then following up on results. I will return to this during the year with more information.
At this time of year, I usually think that the spring feels dreadfully far off and that there is not a lot to look forward to once the Christmas ham has been consumed. But this year really is an exception. There is so much going on and I want to draw attention to the seminar series that the faculty will launch in May for students and staff, based on the seven grounds on which discrimination occurs. The series, entitled Equal opportunities – equal rights will be launched on 17 May on the theme of Trans people’s experiences of public healthcare. The seminar series is intended to increase awareness of discrimination, by hearing people’s stories, and to increase our understanding of how public healthcare can be experienced from the individual’s perspective. Lisette Eklund (EMV), Anna Ekvall (IHV), Björn Rosengren (IKVL), Maria Alvarado Kristensson (ITM) and Birgitta Larsson (Kansli M) are working on the seminar series. More information will be available in early 2019.
So, reserve the date, this is going to be really good!
Jimmie Kristensson, vice dean
Research Day – a popular success
Research Day is the Faculty of Medicine’s major shop window for the wider world, featuring popular science communication of the highest calibre and awards to the Nordic countries’ leading medical researchers and Sweden’s particularly promising young medical researchers. Research Day is organised in cooperation with university healthcare within Region Skåne and the Eric K. Fernström Foundation.
The year’s theme Sepsis – when an infection becomes life-threatening drew capacity audiences at both Malmö and Lund with around 1 200 visitors. Adam Linder, Pontus Nordenfeldt and Oonagh Shannon achieved an organisational success in managing to combine easy-to-understand communication for the general public with interesting updates for colleagues.
In Lund, Maiken Nedergaard, University of Copenhagen, was presented with the Eric K. Fernström Nordic Prize of SEK 1 million by Dr. Elisabet Edholm Fernström and gave a prizewinner’s lecture that will live long in the memory. The particularly promising young researchers at Sweden’s medical faculties were also recognised and each one was awarded SEK 100 000, including our own prizewinner Professor Åsa Petersén. In Malmö, Andreas Edsfeldt received the 2018 prize awarded to a young successful clinical researcher within Region Skåne.
If you missed the event, you can see it here.
Erik Renström, dean
Major grants to the faculty
This year’s grants from the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Cancer Society were very gratifying in general. Lund University has satisfactorily maintained it position despite a clear ongoing generation shift in several areas. There was also a positive trend evident in funding from Forte (https://forte.se/sok-finansiering/bidragsbeslut/), which announced its decision a few weeks earlier.
An analysis is now being carried out at each department in order to discern trends and shape suitable initiatives by the faculty to improve the outcome in the years ahead. Last year’s support for applications to the Swedish Research Council produced good results, and will be repeated with certain adjustments.
Erik Renström, dean
A welcome life science visit
In October, the Faculty of Medicine and Region Skåne were visited by the Government’s life science office, led by Jenni Nordborg, for a broad discussion on the future of the medical field. The focus was on interdisciplinarity, education and talent management in healthcare, the future of healthcare and collaboration with industry and other social functions.
One theme that was particularly emphasised was interaction zones, or the physical conditions required to achieve the collaboration needed to create a vital medical sector.
Erik Renström, dean
ALF funding allocated
This year’s round of applications for ALF funding has concluded and funds have also been allocated to projects. The allocation for young researchers and resident physicians was completed earlier. There was a record number of applicants among young researchers and ALF-funded resident physicians, which is pleasing but this also means in relative terms that fewer receive funding.
However, we hope that no-one gives up and will continue to apply in the 2019 call for applications. Project funding was granted to 192 projects for a total sum of SEK 210 million. The success rate for grants is 64 per cent, which is in line with previous major calls for applications.
ALF funding is a cornerstone for enabling us to continue to conduct high-quality clinical research within Region Skåne and is based on an agreement between the government and certain county councils concerning cooperation on the education of doctors, clinical research and the development of healthcare.
In the spring of 2018, the first evaluation of ALF-funded research was carried out by the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. The good outcome of the research council’s evaluation means we will receive an even larger allocation for the next four years.
As this was the first time an evaluation has been carried out, site visits are now being made in the seven county councils covered by the ALF agreement to ascertain how the next evaluation round can be even better.
Kristina Åkesson, pro dean
A systematic approach for a better work environment
I know that many staff members are currently engaged in follow-ups of systematic work environment management (SAM). I thought I would take the opportunity to provide some brief information on what this work entails. Each year there is an extensive follow up of work environment management at all faculties based on the University’s central guidelines. The aim of the annual follow-ups is to identify strengths and weaknesses and assess what measures need to be taken at department, faculty and central level.
At department level or equivalent, it is the head of department or manager in charge who is responsible for implementing the follow-up in cooperation with health and safety representatives, HR coordinators and work environment coordinators.
The students are to be involved in matters affecting their work environment and other people working on work environment issues may need to take part in the follow-up. The information is collected via an electronic questionnaire. The follow-up also includes creating action plans to rectify any deficiencies in the work environment.
At faculty level, the local health and safety committee, based on the reports that are submitted, decides on how well work environment management is functioning and in turn sends a report to the University’s central health and safety committee, which draws up targets and action plans for the University’s overall work environment management.
I would like to thank all those who are engaged in this very important work and give a reminder on the importance of keeping to the schedule.
Jimmie Kristensson, vice dean
Pursuing good ideas for gender equality proposals
Do you have a good idea about how we can pursue our work on gender equality? If so, you can apply for funding from the University’s management group for gender equality and equal opportunities.
This year, applications are particularly welcome that are in line with the University’s assignment on gender mainstreaming, applications with a intersectional perspective that are aimed at reviews or initiatives that combine several areas within equal opportunities, and applications concerning initiatives that contribute to the University’s systematic work to combat discrimination.
The management group will allocate at most SEK 1 million, but normally grants up to SEK 100 000. The application deadline is 7 February next year.
Seize this opportunity and apply!
Jimmie Kristensson, vice dean
PhD education on the move!
With limited career opportunities in academia, many European universities have realised that their PhD programmes have to adapt to the current job market. To this end, the Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Science in the European System (Orpheus) has released guidelines to establish international quality assurance standards that are intended to make PhD students more attractive for an academic or non-academic career path.
When thinking about Orpheus you may recall an ancient Greek myth. Orpheus was one of the most dedicated poets and musicians of his time. After the death of his wife, Eurydice, he grieved so much that he decided to go down to the underworld, where he asked for her return. Due to his charm, his request was granted, but only on condition that Orpheus was not allowed to look back at his beloved wife who had to follow behind him on the way out from the underworld.
Unfortunately, the story did not end well. On his way home, Orpheus became extremely worried when he realised that he could no longer hear Eurydice’s footsteps. With fear in his heart, he could not resist – he turned around and saw his disappearing wife for the last time.
In contrast to this myth, the Orpheus PhD programme (www.orpheus-med.org) is a successful project, as it only looks forward with an aim to prepare PhD students for a challenging future. To this end, there are plans to compile an attractive educational programme that should be implemented in as many medical faculties as possible, in and outside Europe.
Considering the different cultural traditions at European universities, this is a demanding goal. International standards are therefore needed to ensure quality assurance. This is particularly important, as a PhD degree is an international title. Bearing in mind that the mobility aspect is crucial for a professional career, it is obvious that PhD students from certificated universities will increase their value in the labour market.
Now that Orpheus has defined such international standards, the organisation gives medical faculties the opportunity to apply for a so-called Orpheus label. In order to receive this certificate, there is a three-step procedure. Firstly, a self-evaluation report. Secondly, a questionnaire involving two members of the Orpheus labelling board, and finally a site visit by external experts. So far, only a handful of universities have been awarded an Orpheus label.
At the Faculty of Medicine, we feel that our PhD programme is of a high and internationally competitive standard, so we decided to apply for an Orpheus label.
We are now involved in the first, self-evaluation, stage. We aim to submit our application at the beginning of next year, and hopefully in 2019 we will become one of a few medical faculties in Europe that can proudly display an Orpheus label certificate on our website.
Heiko Herwald, vice dean
We have made several visits to important collaboration partners during the autumn. Together with deputy vice-chancellor Sylvia Schwaag-Serger and the deans of all the other faculties, I travelled to Copenhagen. The Danish Ministry for Research gave us a summary of the important structural decisions that have affected the Danish higher education sector from the early 00s, coinciding with both increased funding and increased international impact. At the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), we were shown how virtual reality technology is used to teach complex elements of mathematics and how a creative innovation hub has been set up through what is known as Skylab http://www.skylab.dtu.dk/: a very attractive idea to bear in mind!
We also visited the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, led by its dean of 12 years, Ulla Wewer. A concrete collaboration project was identified, to which I hope to have the opportunity to return later on.
On 8 October, there was a meeting between the management teams of the faculties of medicine at the University of Gothenburg and Lund University. The day gave us an opportunity for mutual reflection on how the same tasks can be approached in completely different ways. Very inspiring! In addition, we discussed common challenges and potential collaborations.
Erik Renström, dean
We take students’ mental health seriously
For a long time, attention has been drawn to students’ mental health, not least by the students themselves. The undergraduate education board has therefore taken the initiative to start a pilot project on mental health.
The national centre for suicide research and prevention of mental illness at Karolinska Institutet offers an instructors’ training course in “First Aid for Mental Health”. The concept is similar to that of physical CPR training, i.e. to communicate knowledge so that people are able to step in and provide first aid until the person affected can get professional help. The intent is to disseminate knowledge about mental illness to reduce prejudice and stigmatisation. The instructors’ training course covers a full week of training; on completion of the course, the instructors are authorised to offer their own courses in First Aid for Mental Health.
We will now purchase an instructors’ training course open to around fifteen teaching staff members and study advisors. In turn, the course attendees will then offer the course to all students in the first and second cycles. A student counsellor will also be employed to project manage the initiative.
Maria Björkqvist, vice dean
Several higher education institutions and county councils are concerned about the introduction of the new medical degree programme, finding the current schedule to be unrealistic. The country’s faculties of medicine have produced a common statement in which the deans write that “There is a long process to apply for permission to issue professional medical degrees, with several decisions to be taken at various levels within the university as well as within the Swedish Higher Education Authority. It is of the utmost importance that a new programme syllabus leading to professional qualification, and thereby authorisation to practice the medical profession autonomously, is not rushed through but given sufficient time for processing.”
Read more in an article in Läkartidningen (in Swedish)
Maria Björkqvist, vice dean
For a while now, the faculty has had a new work environment organisation. The change is due to Lund University having a new work environment agreement which entails, among other things, that all faculties have a local health and safety committee. The local health and safety committee is a coordination body between the employer and the principal health and safety representative on matters concerning planning, implementation and follow-up of systematic work environment management. Our three health, safety and environment committees will remain as important cooperative functions at the local level and as important links to the local health and safety committee. I believe that the change creates an opportunity for increased clarity both internally and externally.
At the end of the year, Anna Darabi (Department of Clinical Sciences in Lund) will leave her position as the faculty’s work environment coordinator to become the new chair of the health, safety and environment committee at BMC instead. Anna Darabi has made an excellent contribution as coordinator and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to her; I am both happy and grateful that we will continue to work together. Aldiana Sikiric (Faculty Office) will take over the role of work environment coordinator and will mainly function as management support for the faculty management and the local health and safety committee. Thank you Aldiana! There are many people within the faculty who work actively on work environment issues in a fantastic way and I look [SE2] forward to our continuing collaboration.
Find more information about the local health and safety committee here:
I would also like to take the opportunity to inform you about the faculty’s staff support group. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that employees find themselves in difficulty. This can be due to victimisation or other unfair treatment, or in cases of suspected research misconduct. It can also be caused by negative attention in the mass media. These matters are to be managed according to the procedures that exist at each department, but there is an additional source of care in the form of a staff support group. The group consists of experienced employees and is convened by professor emeritus Bengt Sivberg (Department of Health Sciences). The group is to work in a supporting role. No documentation or detailed reporting takes place and the group works under a strict duty of confidentiality. It is an important group and I would like to thank its members for their commitment.
Find more information on the staff support group here:
Jimme Kristensson, vice dean
There has been a dramatic change in the publishing landscape in recent years. More and more journals have moved towards the open access model, which means that anyone can read and use published material for free. However, is it really superior to traditional publishing? To address this question it is worth exploring the advantages and disadvantages of open access publishing.
“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.”
This is the opening sentence of Yuval Noah Harari’s new book entitled “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, which was published in August 2018.
It is a sentence that truly sums up the problem in modern publishing. We are currently experiencing tremendous changes in the scientific landscape. This is combined with an attempt by powerful and influential stakeholders to force researchers to publish their data in open access journals. Considering the current momentum of this trend, one might wonder whether there has been time for interim analyses or critical reflections.
This said, it is worth taking a deep breath, reflect on history and anticipate the consequences for the future. Not everything that is old is necessarily bad and should be replaced by something new.
Lessons can be learnt, for instance, by looking at the development of the internet from a historical perspective. Here we can see obvious parallels with the concept of open access publishing. The internet was launched in the late 1960s. Initially, it was mainly used by universities to exchange scientific information. With its commercialisation in the 1990s, the internet offered many companies the opportunity to change their business model by selling their products worldwide. Many of us remember the time when shops entered the online market as enterprises selling a single product, such as books. Over the years some of these shops continued to increase their portfolio and expanded to become some of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world. Due to this development, small companies can only survive today by selling their products via these sometimes gigantic online shops. By doing so, they not only lose their independence, but they also provide the main sellers with valuable information that these companies use to send special tailored and personalised commercials to their customers. Along with these developments the number of cybercrimes is also increasing exponentially. Today, almost everybody has been a victim because of hacked accounts, intellectual property piracy and banking fraud.
Similar tendencies are also seen in the publishing world. Over the years some publishers have succeeded in launching open access journals that publish tens of thousands of articles a year. The logistics of such giant journals appears to be a considerable challenge and requires editorial boards with over one thousand members. The reason for these strategies is obvious as in contrast to the traditional subscription system, the profit from open access journals is based on the number of published articles. Thus, it is no surprise that some journals lack a “reject button” or mention in the instructions that a sound “Material and Methods” section is sufficient for acceptance. Fraud in the publishing world is increasing, as shown by the growing number of predatory open access journals. These journals offer open access publishing without any peer-reviewing. Many of these journals can be found on Beall's List of Predatory Journals (www. beallslist.weebly.com). In 2015, BMC Medicine reported that the number of articles published in predatory journals increased from 53 000 in 2010 to 420 000 in 2014 (1). These articles were published in more than 7 000 predatory journals. Notably, most of them are open access journals. One can argue that Asia and Africa in particular have contributed 75% of the authors, but articles from our faculty have also been published in such journals.
The consequences of the open access trend are particularly devastating for niche journals for two reasons. Firstly, many giant journals have a higher impact factor than journals publishing non-mainstream research. As some of these open access journals accept all kind of articles, it seems more tempting for many scientists to submit their contributions to them rather than to the most highly regarded journals in their area of research. Secondly, if the impact factor of a journal is not high enough, many researchers are not willing to revise their articles after peer-review and decide to submit them to another journal. As many of the giant open access journals have low rejection rates, it is tempting to choose the path of least resistance.
One of the most interesting questions, however, is whether open access really promotes open access. It is worth taking a closer look at this issue. Many of the most prestigious traditional journals have introduced a cascade journal system. While their flagship journals with a high impact factor are still published traditionally, their newly launched journals are open access. The idea behind this concept is that all articles that have been submitted to a high impact journal can be cascaded after rejection to another journal from the same publisher. The process is facilitated, as authors only have to press a button to forward their manuscript. No reformatting is necessary, no new cover letter has to be written and no rearrangement of the figures is needed. It is tempting to speculate that some of the profit made by the open access cascade journals is used to support the traditionally published journals run by the same company. Most interestingly, however, is the development of the impact factor. Although the impact factor is not a good tool for judging the quality of an article, it does give an idea of how often on average articles are cited in a journal. Considering that open access articles are freely available to everyone, one would expect that their impact factor has increased over time. However, the opposite is true for most open access journals. The situation is different for traditionally published high impact factor journals where an enormous increase is evident. It therefore seems that despite the free availability of open access articles, researchers tend to place more trust in research that is published in highly regarded journals. This conclusion brings us back to Harari’s statement and emphasises the importance of high quality publishing, regardless of whether it is a traditional or open access journal.
Does this mean that open access has failed? The answer is “no”. However, open access is not the one and only solution and thus critical reconsideration is urgently needed. In order to maintain scientific diversity, guarantee an in-depth peer-review process and publish sound science, traditional publishing has to be maintained. Maybe it is time to go one step further. If stakeholders really want to make research results available to everybody, the focus should not be on original articles, but on popular scientific contributions. If such articles are published according to the open access concept, they would reach a much bigger audience and help to increase the general level of awareness in all areas of scientific research.
Heiko Herwald, vice dean
1. Shen, C., and Bjork, B. C. (2015) BMC Med 13, 230
ResearchDay – a popular success
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
The sepsis theme attracted capacityaudiences in Malmö and Lund when the general public was invited to find outabout current research and attend formal award ceremonies. The dean, ErikRenström, was pleased with the success.
Research Day is the Faculty ofMedicine’s major shop window for the wider world, featuring popular science communicationof the highest calibre and awards to the Nordic countries’ leading medical researchersand Sweden’s particularly promising young medical researchers. Research Day isorganised in cooperation with university healthcare within Region Skåne and theEric K. Fernström Foundation.
The year’s theme Sepsis – when an infection becomes life-threateningdrew capacity audiences at both Malmö and Lund with around 1 200 visitors.Adam Linder, Pontus Nordenfeldt and Oonagh Shannon achieved an organisationalsuccess in managing to combine easy-to-understand communication for the generalpublic with interesting updates for colleagues. In Lund, Maiken Nedergaard, Universityof Copenhagen, was presented with the Eric K. Fernström Nordic Prize of SEK 1million by Dr. Elisabet Edholm Fernström and gave a prizewinner’s lecture thatwill live long in the memory. The particularly promising young researchers at Sweden’smedical faculties were also recognised and each one was awarded SEK 100 000,including our own prizewinner Professor Åsa Petersén. In Malmö, Andreas Edsfeldtreceived the 2018 prize awarded to a young successful clinical researcherwithin Region Skåne.
If you missed the event, you cansee it here:
Erik Renström, dean
Majorgrants to the faculty
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
The faculty was very pleased to receiveconsiderable grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish CancerSociety and Forte. However, dean Erik Renström considers nonetheless that wecan be even better at applying for grants.
This year’s grants from theSwedish Research Council (https://www.vr.se/utlysningar-och-beslut/beslut-om-bidrag/beslut/2018-09-06-medicin-och-halsa.html)and the Swedish Cancer Society (https://www.cancerfonden.se/press/cancerfonden-delar-ut-over-en-halv-miljard-till-svensk-cancerforskning)were very gratifying in general. Lund University has satisfactorily maintainedit position despite a clear ongoing generation shift inseveral areas. There was also a positive trend evident in funding from Forte (https://forte.se/sok-finansiering/bidragsbeslut/),which announced its decision a few weeks earlier.
An analysis is now being carriedout at each department in order to discern trends and shape suitableinitiatives by the faculty to improve the outcome in the years ahead. Last year’ssupport for applications to the Swedish Research Council produced good results,and will be repeated with certain adjustments.
A welcomelife science visit
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
When the Government’s life science office visitedSkåne, the focus was on interdisciplinarity, talent management in healthcare, thefuture of healthcare, and collaboration with industry. Dean Erik Renström commentson the visit.
In October, the Faculty ofMedicine and Region Skåne were visited by the Government’s life science office,led by Jenni Nordborg, for a broad discussion on the future of the medicalfield. The focus was on interdisciplinarity, education and talent management inhealthcare, the future of healthcare and collaboration with industry and other socialfunctions. One theme that was particularly emphasised was interaction zones, orthe physical conditions required to achieve the collaboration needed to create avital medical sector.
Many colleagues do great work incommunicating research news and increasing knowledge. One brilliant example ofthis is Stroke Day (https://www.med.lu.se/om_fakulteten/evenemang_samverkan/evenemang_allmaenheten/strokedagen_i_lund_2018) organised by the Faculty of Medicine and Region Skåne with support fromSparbanksstiftelsen Färs & Frosta, under the leadership of Arne Lindgrenand Tadeusz Wieloch. The SwedishHeadache Society celebrated its 50th anniversary in Lund, headed by LarsEdvinsson, on 22 October. We were updated on how serious chronic headache canbe relieved through systematic care and new principles for the treatment ofmigraine, which originated in Lund.
On 28 November, one of ourstrategic research areas, Exodiab,in the field of diabetes and metabolism, will organise a mini-symposium (https://www.ludc.lu.se/event/exodiab-minisymposium) about a few current studies that have garnered a lot of attention.
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
Now that the decision on ALF funding hasbeen taken, pro dean Kristina Åkesson states that a particularly gratifyingaspect was the record number of applicants among young researchers and ALF-fundedresident physicians. And, thanks to good grades,there will be increased funds to allocate next year.
This year’s round of applicationsfor ALF funding has concluded and funds have also been allocated to projects. Theallocation for young researchers and resident physicians was completed earlier.There was a record number of applicants among young researchers and ALF-fundedresident physicians, which is pleasing but this also means in relative termsthat fewer receive funding. However, we hope that no-one gives up and willcontinue to apply in the 2019 call for applications. Project funding wasgranted to 192 projects for a total sum of SEK 210 million. The success ratefor grants is 64 per cent, which is in line with previous major calls forapplications.
ALF funding is a cornerstone forenabling us to continue to conduct high-quality clinical research within RegionSkåne and is based on an agreement between the government and certain countycouncils concerning cooperation on the education of doctors, clinical research andthe development of healthcare.
In the spring of 2018, the first evaluationof ALF-funded research was carried out by the Swedish Research Council and theSwedish Board of Health and Welfare. The good outcome of the research council’sevaluation means we will receive an even larger allocation for the next fouryears. As this was the first time an evaluation has been carried out, sitevisits are now being made in the seven county councils covered by the ALF agreement to ascertain howthe next evaluation round can be even better.
KristinaÅkesson, pro dean
A systematicapproach for a better work environment
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
Systematic work environment management is takingup a lot of time at present. But what is it? And what are the benefits? Vice dean JimmieKristensson explains the concept.
I know that many staff membersare currently engaged in follow-ups of systematic work environment management(SAM). I thought I would take the opportunity to provide some brief informationon what this work entails. Each year there is an extensive follow up of workenvironment management at all faculties based on the University’s central guidelines.The aim of the annual follow-ups is to identify strengths and weaknesses andassess what measures need to be taken at department, faculty and central level.
At department level or equivalent,it is the head of department or manager in charge who is responsible forimplementing the follow-up in cooperation with health and safetyrepresentatives, HR coordinators and work environment coordinators. The studentsare to be involved in matters affecting their work environment and other peopleworking on work environment issues may need to take part in the follow-up. Theinformation is collected via an electronic questionnaire. The follow-up alsoincludes creating action plans to rectify any deficiencies in the workenvironment. At faculty level, the local health and safety committee, based onthe reports that are submitted, decides on how well work environment managementis functioning and in turn sends a report to the University’s central healthand safety committee, which draws up targets and action plans for theUniversity’s overall work environment management.
I would like to thank all thosewho are engaged in this very important work and give a reminder on theimportance of keeping to the schedule.
JimmieKristensson, vice dean
SandblomDay with a focus on medical humanities[JS2]
On 25 October, I had the greatprivilege to take part in Sandblom Day (https://www.med.lu.se/om_fakulteten/evenemang_samverkan/evenemang_allmaenheten/sandblomdagen_2018), whichis an annual – and highly appreciated – event in medical humanities. The themefor this year was sick healthcare and fithealthcare and the publicheard several interesting and well-presented lectures focusing on, among otherthings, the patient’s need to be taken seriously and how we can work to improvehealthcare. Sandblom Day is arranged to honour the memory of Professor PhilipSandblom and is funded by the Grace S. Sandblom Endowment and conducted incooperation with the Royal Physiographic Society. I would especially like tothank professors Per Alm, Nils-Otto Sjöberg and Anders Palm for a clearlywell-planned and interesting afternoon.
JimmieKristensson, vice dean
Pursuinggood ideas for gender equality proposals
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
Do you have a good idea about how we pursue work on gender equality? Jimmie Kristensson, vice dean, calls on you toapply for funding from the University’s management group for gender equalityand equal opportunities!
Do you have a good idea about howwe can pursue our work on gender equality? If so, you can apply for fundingfrom the University’s management group for gender equality and equalopportunities. This year, applicationsare particularly welcome that are in line with the University’s assignment on gendermainstreaming, applications with a intersectional perspective that are aimed atreviews or initiatives that combine several areas within equal opportunities,and applications concerning initiatives that contribute to the University’ssystematic work to combat discrimination. The management group will allocate atmost SEK 1 million, but normally grants up to SEK 100 000. The applicationdeadline is 7 February next year.
Seize this opportunity and apply!
JimmieKristensson, vice dean
PhDeducation on the move!
Förslag till ingress i själva nyhetsbrevet:
Only a handful of universities have so farbeen awarded an Orpheus label for their PhD education. Vice dean Heiko Herwaldhopes that in 2019 we will becomeone of a few Medical medical Faculties facultiesin Europe that can proudly show display an Orpheus label certificate.
With limiting limited careeropportunities at in academia,many European universities have realizedrealised that their PhD programmeshave to adapt to the current job marketsituation. To this end, the Organisation for PhD Education inBiomedicine and Health Science in the European System (Orpheus) has releasedguidelines to establish international quality assurance standards that are meant intendedto make PhD students more attractive for an academic and aornon-academic career path.
When thinking about Orpheus one may have in mindyou may recall an ancient Greek myth.Orpheus was one of the most dedicated poets and musicians at of his time. After the death of hiswife, Eurydice, he was grievingedso much that he decided to go down to the underworld,where he asked for her retrievalreturn. Using Due to his his charm, ingvoice his request was granted, however,but only underthe provisiononcondition that Orpheus was not allowed to look back at his belovedwife who had to follow behind him on the way out from the underworld.
Unfortunately, the story has not a good enddid notend well. GoingbacOn his k way home,Orpheus became extremely worried,when he realized realisedthat he was notable tocould no longer hear Eurydice’s footsteps any longer. With fears in his heart,he could not resist –, he turnedback around andsaw for a last time his disappearing wife for the last time.
In contrast to this myth, the Orpheus PhD programme (www.orpheus-med.org) is a successfulproject, as it is only looking looks forward with the an aim to prepare PhD students for achallenging future. To this end, thereare plans it is planed to compile anattractive educational programme that should be implemented in as many Medical medical Faculties facultiesas possible, in-and outside Europe aspossible. Considering the different cultural traditions atEuropean universities,this goal is a demanding goal. International standards aretherefore needed to ensure quality assurance. This is is of particularlyimportance important, asa PhD degree is an international title. Keeping Bearing in mind that the mobilityaspect is crucial for a professional career, it is obvious that PhD students coming from certificated Universities universitieswill increase their value for in the labourmarket.
As Now that Orpheus has defined suchinternational standards, the organizationorganisation offers gives Medical medical Facultiesfaculties theopportunity to apply for a so-called Orpheus label. In order toreceive this certificate,there is a three-step procedure. has tobe completed starting withFirstly,a self-evaluation report.Secondly,followed by a questionnaireinvolving two members of the Orpheus labellingboard, and finally a site visit by externalexperts. So far, only a handful of universities were havebeen awarded an Orpheus label. As we,atAt the MedicalFacultyFacultyof Medicine, we feelthat our PhD education programme is at aof ahigh and internationally competitive levelstandard, so wedecided to apply for an Orpheus label. This,said, wWeare now entered involved in thefirst, self-evaluation,stage and areperforming the self-evaluation questionnaire. We aim to submit ourapplication in at thebeginning of next year,and hopefully in 2019 we will becomeone of a few Medical medical Faculties facultiesin Europe that can proudly show display an Orpheus label certificateon our homepagewebsite.
HeikoHerwald, vice dean