You have before you the new “Connecting Further” strategy of the Julius Center for
Health Sciences and Primary Care of the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht for
the period 2015-2020.
This strategy came about with the input of numerous
employees of various organizational units within the Julius
Center. We first held so-called cappuccino brainstorming
sessions regarding the future of our division. The staff
members of the Julius Center subsequently discussed
the key topics relating to research, education, healthcare
and operational management during the staff day held in
October 2014. Naturally, the UMC Utrecht’s new Connecting
U strategy was an important factor in several of the decisions
made. Since its establishment in December 1996, the Julius
Center has developed into an internationally authoritative
institute in the areas of applied medical scientific research,
(bio)medical education and primary care. An important
feature of the Julius Center is that all its research – both
disease-related and methodological research – ensues from
a multidisciplinary approach taken by the various scientific
disciplines, such as (clinical) epidemiology, general practice,
public health, biostatistics and medical humanities. In
addition, our division organizes a wide range of educational
activities and collaborates closely with the academic primary
care environment, Leidsche Rijn Julius Care Centers, in the
areas of education, research and innovation in primary care.
We will continue doing what we do best in the upcoming
strategy period and we will build on the existing success
formula of our division, with multidisciplinary cooperation
within and outside the division being pivotal. In anticipation
of the healthcare of the future, we will focus on a number of
topics within research, education, healthcare and operational
management. The Julius Center has traditionally played a
uniting role between the various departments of the UMC
Utrecht, for instance through joint appointments of Julius
employees in clinical divisions and departments. The Julius
Center has strong connections with regional, national and,
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increasingly, international healthcare providers, hospitals
and research institutes. We aim to reinforce this unifying role
in the coming years. By means of our “Connecting Further”
strategy, the Julius Center aims to increase the impact of
scientific research and education on patients and society in
line with the UMC Utrecht’s “Connecting U” strategy.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Julius Center,
Prof. A.W. (Arno) Hoes, MD, PhD
This booklet contains the abridged version of the Julius Center
Strategy 2015 -2020. The full strategy is available on our website
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The Julius Center:
mission and ambition
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Motivated by the relevance and practical application for patients and society, the
Julius Center seeks to play a leading national and international role in the acquisition
and dissemination of knowledge and innovation in Health Sciences and Primary Care.
This mission translates into the following goals:
• We provide a working environment in which the quality
of scientific research and education, development and
innovation are pivotal, making us the preferred choice of
national and international talent.
• Our research contributes substantially to the quality of
national and international health and healthcare.
• We provide high-quality educational programs, which
is why national and international (bio)medical students,
researchers and (clinical) professionals opt for us and
acquire the knowledge that is important for their future.
• We play an important role in the regional healthcare
network, through evidence-based transmural
collaboration and by designing and introducing
innovations in healthcare.
We aim to achieve these goals by:
• Conducting high-quality research in populations
of patients and/or healthy people in which we
study descriptive and causal relationships between
determinants on the one hand and health outcomes on
• Translating the knowledge about these relationships
directly into better prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and
treatment of these diseases so as to improve the health
of patients and the population at large.
• Conducting our research in research programs in which
multidisciplinary collaboration between epidemiology,
general practice, public health, biostatistics, health
technology assessment and medical humanities is
• Adding social value to our research by means of
innovation and entrepreneurship, in addition to its
• Bringing our knowledge to the general public through
high-quality educational programs.
• Sitting on leading medical science and healthcare bodies
and committees, both nationally and internationally.
• Developing , improving and providing academic primary
care in the regional care network.
• Setting up our organization in such a way that ensures
the best possible collaboration between employees
and provides them with opportunities to maximize their
potential and realize their aspirations.
The relevance and practical
application for patients and society
are of paramount importance to us.
- Prof. A.W. (Arno) Hoes, MD, PhD
Chair of Board of Directors, Julius Center
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For many years now, the Julius Center is one of the best performing divisions of the
UMC Utrecht in terms of quality and quantity. Both our applied research and our
methodological research score highly on the international stage as well.
We aim to maintain this leading position. In light of the
sharp increase in the number of innovations in day-to-day
care, the increasing attention given to the societal impact of
scientific research and the UMC Utrecht’s new strategy, we
have decided on a number of focus areas, some of which are
new, in our plans for 2015-2020.
On the one hand we will continue to optimize our current
scientific research by (1) intensifying multidisciplinary research
and (2) expanding translational research. We will also invest
explicitly in the following new initiatives in the coming years:
(3) Center for Healthcare Innovation Research and (4) Clinical
Trial Center of Excellence.
of scientific research
1. Intensifying multidisciplinary research
The Julius Center is organized as a matrix structure in which
our disciplines work together on clinical and socially relevant
care issues. An important feature of our scientific research
is the integration of the clinical problem in healthcare,
the ensuing research question and the applied research
methods. In the coming years we will continue to work
towards optimizing and, if necessary, developing this
multidisciplinary collaboration both with our partners in
the UMC Utrecht and with our national and international
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2. Expanding translational research: even closer to
In the coming period we will continue to focus on
translational, patient-oriented research. We aim to optimize
this by focusing our attention even more on the following:
• Collaboration with research programs in the UMC
We will continue to expand the existing collaboration
with the research programs and the clinical divisions
within the UMC Utrecht and emphasize the added value
of this collaboration.
• Clinical epidemiology of cancer, infectious diseases
and cardiovascular diseases.
We will invest in extensive and innovative intervention
research as well as research into new diagnostic and
prognostic interventions in oncology, infectious diseases
and cardiovascular diseases.
• Organizing contact with the (future) patient.
We will seek ways to make scientific output easier to
find and to understand for patients and other interested
parties, and we will increasingly involve patients in
deciding which clinically relevant research questions to
Investing in new initiatives
3. Center for Healthcare Innovation Research
experiments) call for an increase in applied medical research
that generates knowledge regarding the effects of these
interventions and innovations. We will combine expertise in
the field of healthcare innovation research, not only within
the Julius Center but also within the UMC Utrecht and our
strategic partners in the vicinity. The Julius Center will be
in charge of setting up a UMC-wide, or even Utrecht-wide,
expertise center for healthcare innovation research. Various
internal stakeholders (e.g. research programs and clinical
departments of the UMC Utrecht) and external stakeholders
such as the National Institute for Public Health and the
Environment (RIVM), other hospitals and health insurers
have a role to play in this. The Leidsche Rijn Julius Healthcare
Centers and the Leidsche Rijn Health Project are ideal pilot
sites for primary care innovation projects and therefore play
an important part.
4. Clinical Trial Center of Excellence
Since its establishment, the Julius Center has built up a
strong track record when it comes to acquiring, setting
up, conducting, analyzing and reporting large-scale, often
international, randomized trials. In the coming years the
Julius Center will continue to expand and combine its
knowledge with partners within the UMC Utrecht in a
Clinical Trial Center of Excellence. This will occur in close
collaboration with Julius Clinical, the academic clinical
research organization of the UMC Utrecht and a spin-off of
the Julius Center. Within this Center of Excellence we will
further expand the collaborations in the UMC Utrecht with
research programs and other divisions.
The changing healthcare landscape and a significant increase
in the number of innovations in daily practice (ranging
from new surgical techniques and devices to transmural
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The Julius Center participates in Medicine programs (both CRU and SUMMA),
Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Health Sciences and in advanced medical training.
The Julius Center provides more training than any other
division of the UMC Utrecht. We also provide several programs
of our own, including a postgraduate General Practice
raining Utrecht, Master of Science in Epidemiology, MBI Life
Sciences & Health, and we have established a platform for
online education (Elevate). In recent years we have worked
hard on a coherent quality assurance policy for education.
Our goal for the coming strategy period remains to keep our
education at a high level by continuing to operate based
upon the quality of our teachers, our learning practices, our
organization and our testing.
The Julius Center will continue to evolve so as to continue to
dovetail as best as possible with the current developments
in (bio)medical education and research. We will continue
to provide the best education for current and future health
professionals. We will therefore focus in 2015-2020 on the
following strategic educational themes: (1) Evidence-based
lifelong learning; (2) From research to education and vice versa
(3) Securing improvement and (4) Internationalization of
1. Evidence-based lifelong learning
• Better use of existing knowledge.
We will ensure that teachers can make better use of
existing knowledge in their teaching. This includes both
educational knowledge and qualitative and quantitative
information about our in-house training.
• Collecting evidence.
We will develop methods for evaluating and examining
our teaching: we regard education as a complex
intervention and will use our own expertise to measure
and map quality parameters.
• Integrated education continuum for the
(international) health professional (in training).
In the coming period we will work on a distinctive “Julius”
programming from student education and PhD training
to advanced medical training and refresher and postgraduate
courses. It is important that the Julius Academy
products become more distinctly coupled to our profile.
• Own teachers to “the next level”.
We will ensure that our own teachers can continue to
learn in terms of both the subjects they teach and their
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2. From research to education and vice versa
In the Julius Center we opt for constant cross-fertilization
between research and education. All our researchers are
permanently involved in the education we provide and
the research focuses within the educational programs are
highly integrated. This enables us to provide better quality
education at a high scientific level.
• From education to research.
The students of today are our colleagues of the future.
We get people enthusiastic about our disciplines and
get to meet talent with whom we can work to improve
health and healthcare.
• From research to education.
Via our teaching (future) healthcare professionals will
receive the latest (evidence-based) insights.
3. Securing improvement
We believe that a solid organization, educational support
and providing room for the utilization of specific qualities
of individual teachers are paramount to the quality of
education. All researchers have a role to play in the education
our division provides. Employees are given the opportunity
to contribute their own expertise to a strong education
4. Internationalization of education
We will continue to focus on international activities through
ongoing cooperation with the international learning
portal (and our spin-off ) Elevate. We will also work towards
internationalizing our training programs, for example, by
developing a joint international Master of Epidemiology
(e.g. in collaboration with University College London) and
organizing an international (curricular) MBI Life Sciences &
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The ultimate goal of everything the Julius Center undertakes is to improve the
quality of health and healthcare.
We focus our attention on the entire health and disease chain:
from the “base level” in which prevention, self-management
and patient information are important factors; via the primary
and secondary level, where most care interventions occur,
to the tertiary level, with which we link up directly with the
population of our home base, the UMC Utrecht.
In the coming strategy period we will continue to contribute
directly and indirectly to better care, with our themes linking
up with a number of future developments in healthcare on
which we will place emphasis. In particular, the effective
organization of regional care chains, a central role for the
patient, substitution and expansion of diagnostics and
prognosis at the primary level.
1. Optimizing academic workplace function of LRJG
Following on recent developments in healthcare, we will
work towards expanding the function of the Leidsche Rijn
Julius Healthcare Centers as academic workplaces for care
innovation, education and research.
2. Contributing to effective care in the region
The Julius Center will actively contribute to the process
initiated by the UMC Utrecht in collaboration with hospitals,
GP cooperatives and health insurers, to coordinate the care
in the region more efficiently by setting up regional care
chains and diagnostic facilities.
In the coming period we will focus specifically on:
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In recent years the Julius Center has established a solid foundation for the
organization’s operational management. The division is financially sound, we work
in accordance with a planning and control cycle, and a new organizational structure
has been implemented. As an added result, we have ensured firm embedment in
UMC-wide processes and systems.
At the same time, the Julius Center aims to continue to
invest in the further professionalization of its operational
management via the following themes:
1. Focus on talent
Employees are the principal capital of the Julius Center. We
want top talent to consciously make the Julius Center their
preferred choice. We consider it our task to guide employees
and to assist them in their further development. By means of
talent management we will select and train future leaders.
2. Optimization of organizational structure
Our matrix structure has proven to be very useful but can
still be improved. Tasks, responsibilities and competencies
will be defined more explicitly. Budget decentralization will
Leadership is essential for achieving the Julius Center’s
ambitions. Leadership in the sense of taking responsibility,
identifying and seizing opportunities, bridging differences
and establishing cooperation, and thinking in terms of
solutions instead of impossibilities. During the next few
years we will work on leadership (inside and outside our
4. Management Information
Accurate and timely management information is essential
for managing the research, education and operational
management processes. We will work with UMC applications
such as SAP and PURE to acquire this information. Because
some of this management information cannot be accessed
from central systems, we will determine whether databases
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should be developed separately or in cooperation with other
5. Branding and Marketing: “Julius Center on display”
The Julius Center aims to show its stakeholders how it
contributes directly or indirectly to health and healthcare.
Much of our knowledge is traditionally translated into
guidelines and protocols for professionals. Julius Support
for Research & Trials is a new way for sharing our knowledge
within the UMC Utrecht. We introduce healthcare
professionals (of the future) to the latest insights via the
education we provide. In the coming period we will also
consider other channels inside and outside the UMC Utrecht
for distributing our knowledge to the patient and the
general public. We also aim to show students, prospective
employees and professionals what we stand for.
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> Intensifying multidisciplinary research
> Expanding translational research: even closer to the patient
> Center for Healthcare Innovation Research
> Clinical Trial Center of Excellence
> Evidence-based lifelong learning
> From research to education and vice versa
> Securing improvement
> Internationalization of education
> Optimizing academic workplace function of LRJG
> Contributing to effective care in the region
> Focus on talent
> Optimization of organizational structure
> Management Information
> Branding and Marketing: “Julius Center on display”
HP STR. 6.131
P.O. Box 85500
3508 GA UTRECHT
Tel +31 (0)88 75 68181