The QUEST - Protected Writing Time Program

Potential participants will be targeted by employees of the QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research, based on the criteria for pre-selection and selection.

Interested persons can also contact us directly if they feel that they meet the criteria for preselection and selection described below. If you would like to be considered, please send an e-mail with the subject QUEST-protected writing time and all relevant information to quest@bihealth.de.

What does the program offer?

  • Financing of the exemption from clinical duties  
  • Advice and support during the application process

What do we expect from you?

  • Submission of your initial application at the end of the funding period, verified by proof of DFG receipt
  • Each week exceeding the three months limit will be charged against your future performance oriented funds (Leistungsorientierte Mittelvergabe, LOM) (exception: illness with certificate).
  • Regular status reports
  • Participation in a DFG consultation for first-time applicants (internally, possibly at the DFG - cost payed by the QUEST program)

Funding conditions and criteria

Criteria for preselection:

  • Researching physicians who are currently involved in patient care
  • At least 3 first author publications (original works in journals indexed by MEDLINE; journals not indexed by MEDLINE are checked separately. Authors with publications in journals without recognized or doubtful peer review procedures are excluded from funding)
  • Has not previously submitted a first proposal to the DFG
  • Completed Dr. med.

The preselection of publications is based on the publication performance recorded in FactScience and PURE (2013-2017).

Criteria for the selection:

  • First author publications will be evaluated against the following QUEST criteria:
    • Pre-registration (for non-pharmaceutical studies)
    • Clearly defined study design o Use of reporting guidelines, e.g. CONSORT, ARRIVE, STROBE, etc. (depending on study type)
    • Consideration of sex- and gender-specific factors, or. sex as a biological variable
    • Strategies for minimizing bias, comprehensible representation of sampling and allocation to groups
    • Use of figures that clearly show the data points and/or data distribution, especially for small numbers of cases (e.g. no bar charts for continuous data)
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Public availability of raw data (open data) (for non-clinical or anonymous studies)
    • Reports of null results or replication studies
    The QUEST criteria were selected in accordance with DFG-relevant criteria for the submission of proposals (e.g. methodological implementation, scientific added value, scientific environment).

To be eligible for selection, at least two of the above features must be represented in at least one of the candidate’s first authored publications. If more than 60% of the publications are Open Access, an additional point is awarded.

Publication performance is evaluated step by step in groups of 12 persons. The allocation to the groups is random and adjusted according to CharitéCentre and gender.

Further criteria for the selection are:

  • Thematic Preparations for a DFG Proposal
  • Nomination of a mentor with DFG application experience and who will provide subject-related mentoring
  • Consent and guarantee of the Charité Centre management and director regarding the exemption of clinical care (also of ward services)

The final selection takes place after receipt and examination of all documents. Even if all conditions are met, there is no entitlement to funding. The award is made on a competitive basis.