Research

Health and disease increasingly demand an integrated approach, ‘integrated care’. Next to disease and defect, health and health risks are central to the research of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML). Future health care is not only about patients but also targeted at people who are at risk to develop certain diseases. Hence, the entire continuum from health to disease is taken into account. This integrated approach of health care is characteristic to the research and education of FHML.

The UAEM SRRL Policy

Maastricht University recognises that health is a human right. However, health outcomes are not equal for all people. Many of these disparities are avoidable. Promoting research on neglected diseases and access to essential medicines can contribute to the improvement of global health. As an educational and social institution involved in multidisciplinary research in the field of health, medicine and life sciences, Maastricht University feels deeply concerned by these issues.

The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is a multidisciplinary international student organisation with the overall aim to improve 'access to medicine' and to increase the research on neglected diseases by adapting the patent and licensing system of Maastricht University.

On the 8th of December 2015, Prof. Dr. Martin Paul, president of Maastricht University and Prof. Dr. Albert Scherpbier, dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, signed the Socially Responsible Research and Licensing (SRRL) policy  Maastricht University is the first University of the Netherlands and one of the few in Europe in signing the SRRL policy.

By signing this SRRL Policy, Maastricht University demonstrates its commitment to promote needs-driven research in the field of health, medicine and life sciences, and to implement effective technology transfer strategies that can contribute to the availability of medical treatments and technologies both domestically and globally.

Valorisation

Valorisation is the process of creating value from knowledge, by making this knowledge available and suitable for economic and social exploitation and to translate this knowledge into products, services, processes and new business. The Maastricht Valorisation Center (MVC) provides support to researchers, students and businesses in promoting:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Valorisation of knowledge
  • Making high-level knowledge, skill and talent accessible

The MVC is integral to UM and MUMC+, a one-stop-shop for valorisation hosting a wide range of expertise and capabilities.

Research for Education

The Institute for Education of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences also focuses on research for education. This is especially the case for the Department of Educational Development & Research  . As laid down in the strategic programme, FHML aims to provide top-level education. High quality educational programmes require a dynamic and continuous process of educational evaluation and innovation. Research for Education is a R&D programme that supports and enables educational development. The programme has two central themes: ‘learning in innovative learning arrangements’, and ‘assessment and evaluation’. In both domains, educational researchers seek scientific evidence for new learning and assessment methods.

In order to achieve the societal ideal of ‘lifelong learning’, the focus of the research programme will increasingly shift from ‘inside-school learning’ to ‘outside-of-school learning’. Not only participation in high-end research in this domain but also the link between educational research and practice will be furthered. The aim is to counteract the often-heard criticism that research for education fails to impact on educational practices and on the educators. With its research for education the faculty will further strengthen its (intern)national research profile.

Knowledge transfer

Knowledge transfer is becoming more and more important. For the years to come, participation in knowledge networks is high on the FHML agenda. The faculty participates in the following research initiatives: Top Institute Food & Nutrition (TIFN), the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM), the BioMedical Materials Research Center (BMM/Bioterials), and Top Institute Pharma. 

Research collaboration

FHML and MUMC+ collaborate closely with the other Dutch university medical centres (teaching hospitals) on the so-called Parelsnoer Institute  (the String of Pearls Initiative). With the ACZIO network, FHML also participates in the National Care for the Elderly Programme, a research programme that focuses on the innovation of the care for elderly people with complex care needs. Furthermore, plans for a centre for Sports, Movement and Health (“MOVE”) are still at the drawing-board stage.