Science for care, care for science

Every procedure in clinical practice and public health should ideally take place based on proof, instead of intuition or 'experience'. Or in words of W. Edwards Deming, a renowned US methodologist: "In God we trust, all others must bring data". This reflects the mission of the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences:

To improve clinical practice and public health by providing evidence about the efficacy and efficiency of existing and new tests, treatments and policies, by training young researchers in the methodology to obtain such evidence, and by developing new methodology for more optimal research in this field.

Generally speaking, the biomedical sciences can be broadly stratified into two areas. 'Deterministic' research into biological mechanisms and 'probabilistic' research that provides frequency-type data (evidence) about such mechanisms. The first area is the scope of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Sciences, the second is the scope of the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences. Where the first Institute typically uses objects such as cells or mice for its research, the 'probabilistic' research in the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences typically deals with groups of people: real people or simulated people in model situations. Groups of people in clinical situations (patients) or in the general population. Through these groups of people, evidence is obtained about the relation between a determinant and an outcome.

In science, there is a clear link between probabilistic and mechanistic research. After all, mechanistic knowledge should always be supported by probabilistic data before policy can be made. Research can be based on theories or principles, policies should not. On the other hand, probabilistic research should ideally be based on mechanistic knowledge and frequently yields new leads for mechanistic research. In the Radboudumc, both research domains are connected to each other through a focus of both Research Institutes on disease-oriented research themes.

Research is being done with fun, not for fun. The starting point for research in the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences is a concrete (bio)medical problem in clinical practice or public health for which a solution is sought. The Radboudumc's mission is to "have a significant impact on healthcare". In line with this mission, the Institute tries to bridge the gap between science and society, e.g., by involvement in the development and evaluation of guidelines and protocols. Societal impact is at the core of the Institute's ambition.

The training of young researchers within the Institute is organized in a KNAW accredited Graduate School. The Institute has firm ties with the Radboudumc Biomedical sciences MSc program where students can get training in research methodology with majors in, e.g., epidemiology and health technology assessment. Further training is provided in a 4-year PhD program. In addition to these programs, the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences is committed to promoting career track models, such as the Hypatia Tenure Track.

The longer-term policy of the Institute, along with those from the other two Radboudumc Institutes, has been described in the recent Research Agenda 2025.

We would like to welcome you to the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences and its Graduate School and invite you to navigate through our website. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Prof. Bart Kiemeney, Scientific director
Dr Dagmar Eleveld-Trancikova, Scientific manager
Dr Marieke de Visser, Scientific manager