UMC Utrecht, Julius Center Strategisch plan (ENG)


Connecting Further

UMC Utrecht

Julius Center


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

the other.

• 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

scientific impact.

• 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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Strategic themes


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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.

Further optimization

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

the patient

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

tackle first.

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

teaching skills.

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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 &

Health program.

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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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Operational management

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


3. Leadership

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

Operational management

> Focus on talent

> Optimization of organizational structure

> Leadership

> Management Information

> Branding and Marketing: “Julius Center on display”

UMC Utrecht

Julius Center

HP STR. 6.131

P.O. Box 85500


The Netherlands

Tel +31 (0)88 75 68181

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