Current translational medicine fails to sufficiently bridge the gap between bench and bedside. This results in a tremendous waste in research investments and numerous biomedical innovations that never reach the bedside. There is broad consensus that clinician-scientists (doctors/surgeons with a full scientific training) hold the key to bridge this gap. However, the number of clinician-scientists is declining due to the failure to retain them in the academic and industrial workforce.

In order to bridge the gap between bench and bedside, a consortium of partners, consisting of University College London, Universiteit Gent, Universidad de Grenada, Nutricia Research Bv and University Medical Center Utrecht, has applied for an Erasmus+ grant. Every year, thousands of projects are submitted by organisations across Europe in order to receive financial support from the Erasmus+ Program. The consortium has successfully applied through the Dutch National Agency ‘Nuffic’. In September 2017, an ‘ERASMUS + grant’ has been awarded to the consortium. The project is entitled ‘PATHWAY: International career pathways and online curriculum for clinician-scientists’. UMC Utrecht has the lead in the project and will make sure that the project team will meet the following three objectives:

  1. Creating efficient, sustainable and attractive career pathways for clinician-scientists, including the development and implementation of a mentorship program.
  2. Raising awareness amongst all stakeholders of the added value of clinician-scientists in bridging the gap between bench and bedside.
  3. Generating impact by raising awareness amongst stakeholders throughout Europe (including policy makers and regulators) of the added value of clinician-scientists in bridging the gap between bench and bedside.

During the lifetime of the project, the consortium will receive help and input from four associated partners. These partners are University of Toronto, ENCA/PRES network, Ljubljana University and Eureka Institute. Together with the expertise of these partners, the consortium is well equipped to effectively address the three objectives and to achieve the long-term goal of the project: bridging the gap between bench and bedside by retaining clinician-scientists for the academic and industrial workforce.

The Kick-off meeting of the PATHWAY project did already take place on November 10th 2017 and was a great success. A few experts of each consortium partner travelled to Utrecht to quick start the project and to divide tasks. Further information on the progress of the project will be given soon.

Should you have any questions regarding this project, please feel free to contact Nadine Nonnekes (





This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein