The MUG with the status of Research University

StartNewsThe MUG with the status of ...

The MUG with the status of Research University



The Medical University of Gdańsk was selected to the elite group of 10 best Polish universities awarded in the prestigious competition “Initiative of Excellence – Research University”. The results of the first edition of the program were announced on October 30, 2019 in Warsaw by the Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin. Obtaining the status of a research university confirms the MUG’s leading position in the field of research, development and implementation, as well as an impulse to compete with leading centers in Europe and in the world. Among the winning universities, next to the Medical University of Gdańsk, there were also: the University of Warsaw, the Gdańsk University of Technology, the Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań, AGH University of Science and Technology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Warsaw University of Technology, Silesian University of Technology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and University of Wrocław. Each of the 20 universities was evaluated by a team of 15 outstanding experts. Among them were former rectors, presidents or vice-rectors of leading European universities, including Universities in Göttingen, Amsterdam, Aarhus, Manchester and Southampton. The team members were also scientists with authority in the international scientific community. The selection of experts was made to ensure participation in the team of representatives of each field of science.

The ceremony of announcing the results was attended by the University’s representation, including: prof. Tomasz Bączek – vice-rector for science, prof. Edyta Szurowska – vice-Rector for clinical affairs, prof. Ryszard Smoleński – head of the chair and department of biochemistry, mgr Katarzyna Grzejszczak – deputy chancellor for strategy and development and Ph.D. Joanna Śliwińska – spokesman of the MUG. According to the assumptions of the project, the Medical University of Gdańsk intends to intensify its scientific activity in three priority research areas, which include: oncology; cardiology and cardiovascular medicine as well as biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. These fields were selected through an analysis of the MUG’s scientific and research potential, prepared by external experts. The methodology used took into account, inter alia, industry rankings, cooperation with renowned research centers, the number of prestigious international publications, the quality and effectiveness of research, the level of internationalization, as well as modern research infrastructure. Such profiled scope of activity will provide the MUG in a way with the greatest opportunities to increase the impact of scientific activities on the development of world science.

- The Medical University of Gdańsk is characterized by a high scientific and potential, which includes in particular: experienced and reputable research teams, a growing number of prestigious international publications and grants, as well as a wide range and quality of research confirmed by high categorization of research units – says prof. Tomasz Bączek, vice-rector for dcience. – The competitiveness of the University on the national and international arena is undoubtedly demonstrated by the modern infrastructure, created on the basis of patterns from leading international research centers, as well as many years of cooperation with renowned scientific institutions with great potential for further development.

The project was prepared by an interdisciplinary team of specialists, which included representatives of the rector’s authorities, as well as academics, research and administration. The employees of the MUG Main Library also played a significant role. As part of the implementation of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” program, the MUG intends to support the potential of the most outstanding scientists and teams working in the areas recognized as priority areas. New organizational solutions are of great importance, in particular the development of core facilities. The possibility of cooperation in one place of specialists from various disciplines, environments and countries will contribute to strengthening the MUG’s research potential, as well as increasing the importance and range of impact of research carried out at the University.

- We have a goal for strong, recognizable scientific achievements, in particular in the field of clinical medicine, we strive to tighten and strengthen effective intra-university cooperation between the most ambitious clinicians and modern researchers in the areas of basic sciences: biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics. In my opinion, the Translational Medicine Center is the key to our success – adds prof. Bączek.

A chance for successful implementation of tasks is the establishment of the First Doctoral School within the structures of the Medical University of Gdańsk with a new education program, which also includes the recruitment of candidates from abroad. This will allow the teaching offer to be adapted to the requirements of priority research areas and will allow international PhD students to access a research-oriented program offered in English more easily. The University intends to focus its activities on the comprehensive development of science, didactics and academic staff, including young scientists, who carry out tasks in the field of priority research areas. This is to be achieved by the simultaneous improvement of the quality and internationalization of the teaching offer, as well as the significant increase in the share of foreign partners in teaching the most talented students and doctoral students of the MUG.

- Very important for the commercialization of research conducted by scientists is the implementation of other specific goals that will facilitate synergy between science and business and will increase the interest of investors and foreign entities in cooperation with our University – said prof. Bączek. – We are convinced that close cooperation with the key universities of Pomerania – Gdańsk University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk will facilitate research activities and allow for the creation of new development and implementation mechanisms in key areas for us. It will increase our chances of competing for places in world rankings at levels comparable to the positions achieved by – considered as model reference universities – foreign partners from Glasgow, Utrecht or Uppsala on the international arena in the field of clinical medicine. Activities supporting the development of the MUG as a research university include the consistent shaping of the organizational culture and optimization of personnel processes. Cooperation based on the principles of partnership, mutual respect and reliable performance of the entrusted duties will allow not only to fully build and develop the competences of members of the university community, but will also have a real impact on improving the quality and comfort of work.

The Medical University of Gdańsk is a leading center not only in the area of medical trends; The university itself creates research niches based on the analysis of the directions of civilization development. As part of the proposed project, a program was developed to increase the MUG’s impact on world science in priority research areas such as oncology, cardiology and cardiovascular medicine, as well as biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. It makes sense to focus on these research areas, especially as cardiovascular and oncological problems are the most common causes of death in the European Union.

The listed activities can be find in the MUG’s development strategy for 2019-2025. The main goal is to strengthen the position in world science by: increasing the number of significant publications, further expanding the internationalization of research cooperation, obtaining more grants with foreign partners and strengthening the effectiveness of the process of commercialization of research results.

photo Joanna Śliwińska/the MUG

“Excellence Initiative – Research University” – about the competition

The program is one of the most important initiatives provided in the Constitution for Science. Its main aim is to select and support universities that will strive to achieve the status of a research university, and will be able to successfully compete with the best academic centers in Europe and in the world. Out of 20 universities in Poland eligible to take part in the competition, the 10 best ones have been selected, which in 2020-2026 will receive a subsidy increased by 10%. The other universities that participated in the competition will also receive financial support – a subsidy increased by 2%. Development plans, which are a key element of applications submitted by universities, include objectives and activities that will increase the level of research and quality of education, and as a result will contribute to increasing the international importance of the institution. The universities were assessed by an international team of experts related to the science and higher education sector.

20 best universities in the country were qualified to participate in the first competition “Excellence Initiative – Research University”. All of them met the conditions for the scientific categories obtained during the last comprehensive evaluation of scientific units with the number of fields and disciplines in which the university conducts research. Moreover, none of the fields of study conducted by the university could have had a negative assessment of the Polish Accreditation Committee.

Universities qualified for the competition next to the Medical University of Gdańsk, are: the University of Warsaw, the Gdańsk University of Technology, the Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań, AGH University of Science and Technology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Warsaw University of Technology, Silesian University of Technology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and University of Wrocław.

In the applications assessed by experts, universities presented analysis of own potential and development plans including goals. The activities that were also considered were: increasing the impact of the university’s research activity on the development of world science, research cooperation with research centers of high international reputation, improving the quality of education of students and doctoral students, improving the staff policy at the university and improving the quality of university management. The universities were also obliged to indicate priority research areas within which they will conduct intensified scientific activity. In 2018, all universities eligible to participate in the first Excellence Initiative – Research University program competition received, under the project “Excellence Strategy – Research University”, additional funds (in the amount of PLN 700 thousand to PLN 1 million) to support the preparation of applications and relevant research and analysis.