Clinical Fellows

Preamble

Stiftung Charité supports outstanding personalities and innovative projects from the entire spectrum of the life sciences through various programs. Some of these programs very specifically take into account the special features of career paths in university medicine with its diverse interfaces between science and the clinic. In particular, the Clinician Scientist Program, developed and initiated by the Stiftung Charité, has become known far beyond Berlin and has paved a new career path in the specialist training phase. With the Clinical Fellows program, the Stiftung Charité also aims not only to support individual personalities and projects, but also to provide structural support for transitions between science and the clinic and, in doing so, to shape appropriate career paths - in this case for senior physicians who are already significantly more advanced in their career.

Funding objectives

Clinical Fellows are experienced senior physicians (German: "Oberarzt/Oberärztin" position) who perform particularly strongly in patient care. Stiftung Charité supports them with projects that are inspired by their clinical commitment and thus promise added value for their individual activities in patient care as well as for their further scientific-clinical career development as senior physicians. The funding is intended to provide the experienced clinicians with protected time that is otherwise not available in everyday clinical care and for which no comparable funding opportunities currently exist in the publicly funded science and healthcare system.

Clinical Fellows can apply for projects that can be classified under the following headings:

  • knowledge acquisition / own further education and training (e.g. attendance of specialized scientific or clinical further education or training programs, systematic participation in academic events or training on the job measures),
  • knowledge exchange with other university medicine locations or relevant actors in the scientific and healthcare system in Germany and abroad (e.g. hospitations or transfer projects),
  • knowledge transfer (e.g. offering university courses and lectures or novel educational formats, information events for a broader public, innovative publication projects, provided they clearly go beyond the mere publication of scientific results), and
  • research projects, provided that they do not primarily pursue a scientific question, but have a very clear clinical application orientation and are also flanked by measures under the aforementioned headings of knowledge acquisition, knowledge exchange or knowledge transfer.

Applications that, without a research project, are aimed solely at the individual's own knowledge acquisition, the exchange of knowledge or the transfer of knowledge are explicitly encouraged within the Clinical Fellows program. 

Pure research projects, including clinical (pilot) studies and trials, will not be funded through the Clinical Fellows program. They might be eligible for public third-party funding, though.

Funding volume

A Clinical Fellow receives funding of up to 75,000.00 euros for a total period of up to 36 months. The Clinical Fellows may use the designation “Clinical Fellow, funded by Stiftung Charité”.

Application of funds

Funding may consist of personnel and material funds that are needed to carry out the project applied for.

In accordance with the funding objectives of the program, the focus should be on personnel funds with which the Clinical Fellow is granted protected time off for the project. In the case of a Clinical Fellow who is employed full-time, the leave is granted by employing clinical replacement personnel in the respective clinic using the provided personnel funds. The clinical replacement personnel must be additionally employed to the extent that the Clinical Fellow is released from medical duties in the clinic to pursue his/her project, e.g. by hiring new medical staff or by increasing part-time medical staff.

In the case of a Clinical Fellow employed on a part-time basis, it is possible to grant protected time for the project by using the personnel funds provided to increase the Clinical Fellow's own position by up to 25 percent of the full-time equivalent. The volume of employment at the time of application is what matters. Subsequent changes in the extent of medical employment in the clinic from that indicated in the application will usually not be considered.

Personnel funds may also be used in part to hire scientific or technical personnel to carry out the project. In any case, the Clinical Fellow must be able to lead the project in terms of time.

In addition to personnel funds, material resources required to pursue the project may be funded.

The funding of a Clinical Fellow by Stiftung Charité is carried out in the form of an approval addressed to Charité for onward transfer to the Clinical Fellow; Charité remains the employer of the persons funded by Stiftung Charité and administers the granted funds. There are no contractual relationships between Stiftung Charité and the Clinical Fellow.

Eligibility requirements

Applications can be submitted by all those who

  • are currently employed as senior physicians (at the Charité (including all its organizational units with partial legal capacity, such as the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité or, in the foreseeable future, the German Heart Center of Charité),
  • can demonstrate at least five years of work experience at the level of a senior physician, at least one year of which must have been spent in a position as a senior physician and not only as a substitute for a senior physician, and 
  • currently perform predominantly patient care duties and are not already performing research and teaching duties to a significant extent through leaves of absence already agreed with Charité or through other external funding.

The respective head of the clinic in which the applicant works as a physician must support the application and give a binding commitment that, in the event of funding, the leave of absence will be granted in the manner applied for. 

Proposal and assessment criteria

The proposal consists of

(a) information on the applicant’s own clinical and scientific qualifications and achievements (incl. CV and a selected list of the five own publications most relevant to the project; no complete publication list may be submitted),

(b) a description of the applicant's own area of medical responsibility in the respective clinic and the applicant's own focus areas in patient care during the last five years, and

(c) a description of the project with special emphasis on its added value for the applicant's own medical activity in his/her individual patient care context. 

In assessing the application, particular importance is attached to the clinical achievements of the applicant and the expected added value of the project for the medical activity. Scientific qualifications and experience should be taken into account; however, it is not relevant how successful the applicant has been in previous years in the usual competitions for third-party research funding.

The proposal is drawn up using the proposal form provided by Stiftung Charité (the next call will open in spring 2023).

By submitting an application, the applicant declares that he or she has read Stiftung Charité’s grant conditions (Bewilligungsgrundsätze) as well as the program information of the program to which his or her application refers and accepts them as the legally binding basis for any funding of his or her project. Furthermore, the applicant acknowledges Stiftung Charité's standards for the realization of funded projects and data protection information (Datenschutzhinweise).

Selection procedure

Applications are submitted to Stiftung Charité, where they are reviewed for form. Stiftung Charité subsequently conducts a review procedure. For each formally admissible application, a statement is obtained from the Charité's Chief Medical Officer. Thereafter, a selection panel appointed by Stiftung Charité and consisting of experienced clinicians from the Charité and external experts first makes a preselection of applicants, taking into account the statements received. The preselected applicants are then invited to a selection colloquium, where they can present themselves and their project once again and answer questions from the selection panel. The panel makes its funding recommendations on the basis of the selection colloquium. Stiftung Charité’s Board of Trustees makes the final funding decisions.

Deadlines / dates

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Calls for applications are published annually. The next call (Clinical Fellows 2023) will open in spring 2023.

November 2023

Announcement of funding decisions for the Clinical Fellows 2023

December 1, 2023

Earliest possible start of funding for the Clinical Fellows 2023

Contact

Marie Hoffmann
Project Manager Research Funding

Stiftung Charité
Karlplatz 7
10117 Berlin

Telefon:  +49 (0)30 450 570 - 577
E-mail:   hoffmann(at)stiftung-charite.de  
Internet:  www.stiftung-charite.de