Research pyramid

Our educational programmes for teaching researchers are structured like a pyramid. The form symbolizes how the large group of medical students (but also students from other important studies for our profession) eventually results in a small group of research leaders.

The pyramid consists of four (partly overlapping) layers:
The bottom layer represents the training and supervision of medical students in their sixth and last year during their Science Participation internship.

The second layer is formed by the first year of the two-year International Primary Care Research Training Curriculum. The first year is intended for general practitioners (in training) and other interested professionals who wish to critically evaluate published research. In the same layer we find the international training program of the European General Practitioners Research Network (EGPRN), the leading European network of GP-researchers.

The third layer includes year 2 of the International Primary Care Research Training Curriculum which aims for participants to become independent researchers. The second year is accessible for researchers who have successfully completed the first year or have completed a comparable training. Here we find a large number of PhD candidates.

The fourth and top layer consists of participants in the ‘Brisbane Initiative’ (BI). The BI is intended for postdoctoral researchers who are or wish to be leaders of research programs in general practice. The participants come from Europe, North America and Australia. Almost all postdoctoral researchers from our Department participate in the BI.

A special staircase in the pyramid is our AIOTHO programme: a combination of Vocational Training and a PhD at the same time during six years. The AIOTHO-initiative started in Maastricht in 1996 and was succesfully continued during the years.
Most AIOTHOs are involved in scientific research in addition to their work in practice, often focusing on the implementation of new knowledge, providing training, providing supervision to other researchers, writing guidelines and initiating new research. This initiative responds significantly to the objective of educating young people to scientifically trained general practitioners who are able to substantially develop our profession scientifically, though practice-based. Recruiting young talent starts very early in the curriculum. Maastricht University has a so called extracurricular Honours programme for talented students.