EHCL initiative: competence building for future healthcare leaders

NRP 74's Emerging Health Care Leaders (EHCL) training initiative empowers a new generation of researchers to engage in dialogue with practitioners, policymakers, and community stakeholders.

The innovative Emerging Health Care Leaders (EHCL) training programme was an integral part of the National Research Programme (NRP) 74 and had two goals:

  • To build a strong community in the field of health services research, which offers internationally competitive top-level research in the field of "Health Service Research".
  • To provide skills and competencies to navigate the modern health care system focused on integration and coordination and to engage in fruitful dialogue with representatives from politics, practice, and society.

A total of 57 doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents from NRP 74 participated in the EHCL program. About 40 events were held with specific "skill trainings" on leadership, policy development, soft skills, and project management, always combined with social events. The courses were geared towards concrete learning outcomes, they were organised in a participatory way and were oriented towards the needs of the researchers. Individual career coaching sessions was another centrepiece of the programme. The programme lasted four years; participation was voluntary and complementary to the respective academic doctoral programs.

The community-building process was based on a trust building approach. Through regular meetings, participants were given the opportunity to get to know and appreciate each other. After an initial exchange of ideas, they began to develop and carry out joint projects; events were organized together, publications were produced, and research proposals were written. This process has enabled the formation of an "EHCL community" in which members are connected to each other.