What is the Institute for Health Research of La Paz University Hospital - IdiPAZ?
IdiPAZ is a result of the union, through a legal bond in the form of an agreement between the La Paz University Hospital, the Autonomous University of Madrid, the Lain Entralgo Agency for Training, Research and Health Studies in the Region of Madrid and the Foundation for Biomedical Research of La Paz University Hospital – FIBHULP, which is the managing body of the Institute. In accordance with this agreement, the purpose of IdiPAZ is to foster collaboration between researchers, promote translational biomedical research and innovation, foster collaboration between the centres which form part of IdiPAZ, promote the training of researchers (focusing particularly on the training of health professionals), increase the ‘critical mass’ at local level, synergies and the efficient use of the available infrastructures, promote the participation of groups in network research and the dissemination of research results and obtaining resources.
How long has IdiPAZ been in existence?
The relationship between all of the institutions that form part of IdiPAZ is the result of a long collaboration, as witnessed by the various agreements between the different institutions. The IdiPAZ birth document in the form of an Agreement was signed on 15 December 2009 by representatives of the participating institutions that form part of IdiPAZ.
Is IDIPAZ already accredited?
Yes. The Institute for Health Research of La Paz University Hospital was officially accredited by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia Mendizabal, on 19 April 2010 for a period of five years.
Who accredits IDIPAZ and how?
Royal Decree 339/2004 was promulgated in 2004, accrediting Institutes for Health Research. This Royal Decree establishes the basic requirements that the partnership centres must possess around a university hospital in order to establish themselves as Institutes for Health Research. These requirements are:
• Having a Strategic Plan
• Having a legal bond that covers the association
• Offering Joint Support Services
• Having a Record of Performed Activities
• Having a Record of Research Staff
• Having a Training Plan
• Having a written guide to ensure quality, ethics and good practice
• Appointing an External Scientific Committee
• Having an Organisational Structure with a scientific director and governing body
• Having a single structure for the management of research
Subsequently, ORDER SCO/1245/2006 of 18 April was published in 2006, with the aim of regulating matters relating to the coordination of the authorities involved in the research procedure in order to implement the requirements and criteria established in the Royal Decree, so that the final outcome of the accreditation is a recognition of excellence in research work, through an accreditation procedure that allows the assessor to ensure that the process is carried out in a logical and systematic manner. In October 2006, in order to contribute to and facilitate the accreditation process, the Health Institute Carlos III (ISCIII) published an accreditation guide that contains:
• The five mandatory criteria for any institution considering accreditation.
• The compliance criteria rated as essential or recommended that the institute needs to successfully obtain accreditation.
• A detailed explanation of the accreditation procedure..
The institution that ultimately accredits Institutes is the Ministry of Science and Innovation. However, this requires that the Institute be proposed by the ISCIII.
What does accreditation involve?
Accreditation is a process by which an authorised Body formally recognises that an organisation is competent to carry out a specific activity of conformity assessment. This means that the Ministry of Health and Social Policy certifies that IdiPAZ performs high quality translational research consistent with the established canons.
How many years has IdiPAZ been granted accreditation for?
After initial accreditation, the Ministry of Science and Innovation will set a timeframe which stipulates that IdiPAZ must pass the assessments in order to remain accredited. This means that the work that must be performed to obtain an excellence rating in all aspects evaluated by the Ministry must be continuous and constant.
What do I gain by forming part of IdiPAZ?
The main objective of the establishment of the Institutes for Health Research is the convergence between basic and clinical research so as to create groups engaged in performing high quality translational research. The centralised management structure of IdiPAZ facilitates access to project information by researchers, giving them new tools for internal control of their projects. Moreover, belonging to an Institute for Health Research allows its researchers to attend public fundraising opportunities for research specific to these entities.
Can more groups form part of the structure of IdiPAZ?
The structure of IdiPAZ is and should be dynamic and open to the participation of other groups and institutions. The strategic situation in which La Paz University Hospital and IdiPAZ find themselves, surrounded by leading research institutions, supports the future addition of new groups.
The External Scientific Committee (CCE) of IdiPAZ, formed by reputable researchers, will meet annually to evaluate the candidate groups, confirming that they meet the minimum requirements to form part of the IdiPAZ structure. Once the CCE gives a favourable evaluation, the Governing Council will finally approve their entry into IdiPAZ.
What type of research should I perform to form part of IdiPAZ?
Six strategic areas have been defined on which the research carried out by group members of IdiPAZ focus. These areas are as follows:
1. Neuroscience Area
2. Cardiovascular Area
3. Area of Infectious Diseases and Immunity
4. Area of Organ System Pathologies
5. Area of Cancer and Human Molecular Genetics
6. Area of Surgery, Transplants and Health Technologies
All groups that form part of IdiPAZ, as well as those that wish to be integrated into its structure in the future, must conduct their research within one of the areas submitted with a clear cross-departmental aspect.
This does not mean that the management of the Institute imposes the research that each group must perform. Each group will have the freedom to research what they want, provided that it meets the requirements embodied in the Strategic Plan of the Institute for Health Research, which establishes a system of periodic evaluation of the groups forming part of IdiPAZ, ensuring compliance with the targets set for each of the groups and areas and determines their continuity or otherwise, in the Institute.
Can the strategic areas and groups that form them be changed?
Yes. Depending on the achievement or otherwise of the objectives defined for each of the areas and groups, it will be possible to redefine the areas and groups within them. Based on the results of such future assessments, areas that now do not appear as strategic can become part of IdiPAZ thus giving the opportunity to a greater number of research groups from other areas of research.
Why the distinction between emerging, consolidated groups and associated clinical groups?
One of the highlights of the Institute is the presence of a Support Plan for Emerging Groups. To this end, the first thing that was done was to define what, for IdiPAZ, an emerging group is and what criteria it must meet.
Emerging Group: Joint researchers grouped around a group director collaborating in the study of a homogeneous subject and having, at least, the following features:
• Having carried out jointly at least one research project regionally, nationally or internationally, publicly or privately funded in the last 3 years.
• Having during that period of time a joint publication record (global IF ≥ 5 in last three years) and/or contracts with the private sector and/or health and care activities as a team.
Emerging groups will have a period in which to be treated and protected as such and then, if eligible, will become IdiPAZ consolidated groups.
In the same way, and in order to bring together all the research conducted at the Hospital, the post of Associated Clinician has been created. The definition and features to be met are the following:
Associated Clinician: Post created to include those clinical researchers who are not part of consolidated or emerging IdiPAZ groups. This type will be evaluated with less frequency and subsequently it will be decided whether they can become part of any of the other two types of groups.
Must the groups necessarily include members of the UAM and the Hospital?
Groups can be made up of only Hospital staff, only UAM staff or be mixed. However, the accreditation criteria are particularly important with regard to previous collaborations and the mix in the groups.
Can the same researcher be part of two different groups?
The answer is no. Each researcher can only belong to one research group within the organisational structure of IdiPAZ.
Appropriate citation of IdiPAZ
In addition to the affiliation they wish to make when citing in scientific publications, IdiPAZ must always appear. It is up to the author of the article whether or not to write the IdiPAZ acronym in full. The full name in Spanish is "Instituto de Investigation Sanitaria del Hospital Universitario La Paz" and in English "Hospital La Paz Institute for Health Research".