News items Minister Dijkgraaf in conversation with young researchers at Radboudumc

4 September 2023

Robbert Dijkgraaf, outgoing Minister of Education, Culture and Science, paid a working visit to the Radboudumc in Nijmegen on the initiative of the Dutch Federation of UMCs (NFU). The minister got a glimpse of projects made possible by extra funds from his ministry. Dijkgraaf spoke mainly with students and young researchers.

Bertine Lahuis, president of the NFU and Radboudumc, and Dean Jan Smit welcomed the minister. The theme of the program was collaboration. Dijkgraaf: "Society needs teams to function. Wonderful to hear from researchers and students at the Radboudumc how they shape teamwork in all kinds of ways, within the umc but also in cooperation with institutions in the region and other umc's."

Sector plan funds

An important purpose of the visit was to show the minister how the funds from the sector plan "Accelerate on Health" are being spent. Thanks to these funds, the umc's are creating peace and space for researchers and teachers, through additional jobs and more permanent appointments. The minister talked to researchers and teachers who showed how the Radboudumc uses the sector plan funds for prevention. Bertine Lahuis: "Every umc has its own spearheads within the sector plan. In NFU context, we ensure coherence, and share lessons learned."

A concrete example from the Radboudumc are the so-called lifestyle care desks, where lifestyle coaches teach residents how to have the right conversation with patients about lifestyle.

The Ministry of OCW also provides start-up and incentive grants. Young researchers told Dijkgraaf of their positive impact. "Instead of spending a lot of time writing grant applications, we can now fully focus on research."


In the Experience Center, a meeting place to learn, innovate and connect, the minister was able to experience for himself what everyone's role is in the care around a vitally endangered patient. Simulation education lends itself very well to actually practicing interprofessional teamwork in a safe environment. For this type of education the Radboudumc works together with the Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen and the ROC Nijmegen - a fine example of cooperation in the 'range' of continuing education.

Jan Smit: "So you see that in the umc's teams cannot consist only of academics. Whether you are a lifestyle coach, nurse, intern, doctor or trainer, everyone has his or her own role. From that team idea, we work together."

At the end of the program, we talked about CZO Flex Level, a modular form of educating nurses that focuses not on obtaining a diploma but on the ability to deliver the right care. Finally, the minister spoke in a private setting with young researchers on the topic of social safety in education and research.

More information

Margie Alders



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