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The European Commission is promoting responsible research and innovation (RRI) as key action of the ‘Science with and for Society’ objective.

Together with the European University Hospital Alliance (EUHA), the QUEST Center aims to be a driving force for responsible research and innovation and to contribute to the global discourse by sharing views in all research and innovation related issues. In this common project we will be working on three different topics: Tracking and improving timely publication of EUHA interventional trial results; Making EUHA research results FAIR; Novel responsible indicators and good evaluation practice in hiring and promotion at EUHA hospitals.

All three subprojects start with the mapping and benchmarking of specific RRI activities within EUHA and progress via discussion and consultation to concrete suggestions and help for implementation, with the development of specific action plans which provide concrete guidance to EUHA members when aiming at enhancing RRI within their institution.

Patients and society are ultimately the main stakeholders for EUHA members. Research is undertaken at our organizations with the ultimate aim to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of their patients. The initiatives outlined in this proposal are designed to increase outreach, transparency and dissemination of data, thus also empowering the patients and patient associations by putting them center stage in research and healthcare.

Subproject 1: Tracking and improving timely publication and accessibility of summary results of EUHA interventional study results

Timely and comprehensive reporting of clinical trial results build the backbone of evidence-based medicine and responsible research and is a clear WHO mandate. Various studies, including by QUEST, have demonstrated that there is an unacceptable and unethical delay or even lack of result dissemination for many trials, and that academia lags behind industry with respect to timely publication. The first step will be to track the completed trials at all EUHA institutions for timely publication and availability of publicly accessible summary results.

Subproject 2: Making EUHA research results FAIR

Good research data management is not a goal in itself, but rather the key conduit leading to knowledge discovery and innovation, and to subsequent data and knowledge integration and reuse. Being acutely aware of legal, ethical and practical issues, this subproject will work on a joint strategy towards Open Data (OD). Concrete activities include webtools, data stewards, and institutional research data policies. Through a text-mining based process developed by the QUEST Center a mapping of the current status quo of Open Data in EUHA member publications may be followed by semi-automatic progress reporting and benchmarking.

Subproject 3: Novel responsible indicators and good evaluation practice in hiring and promotion at EUHA hospitals

Robust research mechanisms as well as innovative and relevant research should be incentivized by introducing responsible indicators to the institutional decision-making in hiring, tenure and promotion. The aim of this subproject is to select transparent, multidimensional criteria and apply good evaluation practice based on a joint policy development and implementation program. The criteria will be informed by, and integrate a number of recent recommendations (e.g. DORA, EU) aimed at de-emphasizing the use of journal-based metrics such as the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and considering the value and impact of all research outputs (e.g. including datasets and software) in addition to research publications, and will be tailored to the research context of the applicants (e.g. preclinical vs. clinical research). As a first step we propose to map the current EUHA member hiring, tenure and promoting policies, with the aim to then develop a joint policy and corresponding implementation plan for hiring, tenure and promotion of academics at EUHA institutions.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Dirnagl

Gründungsdirektor | BIH Chair | AG Leiter

Telefon:+49 30 450 560 134/450 543 060