Focus and Evaluation


Focus of Research Activities and Evaluation by the Council of Science and Humanities

The first considerations and efforts to focus the research activities began in the middle of the 90s.

Tighter budgets led to the implementation of a "Strukturkommission für die Medizinischen Einrichtungen in NRW“ or "Structure Committee for Medical Institutions in NRW" by the Ministry of Science and Research.

In the structural concept it sent to the committee the Faculty defined the following five focuses and an area of development:

  • Cellular Signal Transduction
  • Implantology
  • Central Nervous System
  • Oncology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine – Environment – Technology (area of development)

The committee's report, published in middle of 1999, contained — aside from subject-specific recommendations about equipment for each of the subjects — transdisciplinary recommendations:

  • Development of cooperative structures to use synergies and conserve resources (in this context there was also a suggestion to close the Vorklinik in Aachen, Bonn, and Essen; this recommendation was impeded for Aachen at the end of 2000)
  • Implementation of a cost analysis of the poly-clinics, to reduce the number of poly-clinic treatment cases
  • Introduction of separate budgets for research, teaching, patient care
  • Time limit on appointment acceptances
  • Establishment of a process for performance-related and restricted allocation of spatial resources for research
  • Establishment of a process to redistribute the budget among research, teaching, and patient care
  • Introduction of lean basic equipment/funding as a non-disposable base, allocation of the remaining budget based on performance in an open competition

2000: Evaluation of the Faculty by the Council of Science and Humanities

The Council of Science and Humanities' visit to the Faculty of December 9, 1999, however has been considerably more sustainable. In the Faculty's report, it had settled on three scientific focuses:

  • Cellular Signal Transduction
  • Implantology
  • Neurosciences

Additionally, it defined two scientific-clinical working groups:

  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Prognosis Factors of Malignant Tumors

In its "Statement on the Further Development of the RWTH Aachen Faculty of Medicine" in November 2000, the Council of Science and Humanities commented on the following:

  • "RWTH Aachen's medical institutions are characterized by their strong orientation towards patient care in combination with a —measured against other university hospitals— below average orientation towards research Research focuses and interdisciplinary structures for promoting the creation of a stronger profile in research were established at a relatively late point.“
  • "Due to the dominance of patient care in combination with a below average research orientation, the Council of Science and Humanities questions the academic claim of the Faculty and does not currently see evidence of its competitiveness as a place for university medicine."
  • "Regardless of this fundamentaly critical evaluation, acknowledgement should be given to the University and Faculty's efforts to change the Faculty's course, given the extreme need to strengthen its research orientation. The Faculty recognized the need for a distribution of funds based on transparent performance […]
    The Council of Science and Humanities finds it inevitable however, to allocate all funds transparently and to distribute the funds available to the RWTH Aachen Faculty of Medicine into sub-budgets for research, teaching, and patient care, and to create a system for allocating funds based on performance criteria, in order to increase the Faculty's performance in research and teaching and ensure its competitiveness in patient care."