prof. RNDr. Ivan Varga, PhD et PhD
vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine, CU for science, research, and doctoral studies
phone: +421 2 9011 9547
Medical education has been inextricably linked with science and research since its beginning. Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava (FM CU), the oldest and largest medical faculty in the Slovak Republic, knows the direct connection between science and education. That is also why scientific research is one of its fundamental activities. Pedagogical activity and science are inseparable at research-oriented medical faculties. The management of FF CU supports all forms of research at the faculty, including basic, applied, and clinical research.
The level of scientific research is one of the leading qualitative and quantitative indicators of every higher education institution of a research nature. The Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education in the Slovak Republic also emphasises scientific and research activities when assessing the granting of the rights to conduct study programmes and habilitation and inauguration proceedings. We consider Faculty of Medicine, CU, a place of free scientific research and excellent scientific and research activity in clinical and basic medical sciences in the Slovak Republic.
Doctoral studies are very closely connected with scientific research. Students of doctoral study programmes are vital to the research potential of the Faculty of Medicine, CU, and the entire university. Increasing the current level of doctoral studies is a condition for establishing in the European and global research space.
Currently (the academic year 2022/2023), we have accredited 23 doctoral (PhD) study programmes – from A to Z, i.e., Anatomy to Dentistry. It has the broadest portfolio among all medical faculties in Slovakia. Details can be found at www.fmed.uniba.sk/studium/doktorandske-studium/
Many of these doctoral study programmes are followed by habilitation and inaugural procedures, of which our faculty currently has 18 accredited (details at www.fmed.uniba.sk/veda/habilitacne-konanie/ or www.fmed.uniba.sk/veda /inaugural-event/
PERIODIC ASSESSMENT OF RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, ARTISTIC AND OTHER CREATIVE ACTIVITIES AT FM CU
In 2022, based on an invitation from the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, we participated in the Periodic evaluation of research, development, artistic and other creative activities. This is a nationwide peer-review project evaluating the publication and other creative activities of Slovak scientific institutions from 2014-2019, while the inspiration was the British Research Excellence Framework ("REF"). Our full-time creative staff had to select their top 5 unique publications from 2014-2019, with no duplicates with other staff. In cooperation with the Academic Library of the Faculty of Medicine, CU, we selected 25 publications for each evaluated area based on a key approved by the ministry while observing the principles of representativeness and uniformity. Subsequently, these outputs were evaluated by an international committee of experts and divided according to quality into 5 categories: world level, significant international level, international level, national level and unclassified (for example, abstracts or zero outputs). The result of such a peer-review evaluation is a quality profile for each evaluation area.
In the evaluated area of Clinical Medical Sciences (235 employees of the Faculty of Medicine, CU were evaluated), we achieved the following quality profile:
· world level – 8%
• significant international level – 32%
• international level – 28%
• national level – 16%
• unclassified (including zero outputs) – 16%
In summary, we can conclude that up to 68% of our output in this area is at least of international character. If we look at the evaluated 25 outputs only from the point of view of scientometric indicators (according to Web of Science – Journal Citation Reports), then of the 25 publications in the field of clinical medical sciences: 64% were from quartile Q1, 16% were from quartile Q2, 8% were from the Q3 quartile, 4% of outputs were from the Q4 quartile, 4% were abstracts, and 4% were zero outputs.
In the evaluated area of Basic Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (150 employees of the Faculty of Medicine, CU were evaluated), we achieved the following quality profile:
• world level – 0%
• significant international level – 32%
• international level – 48%
• national level – 8%
• unclassified (including zero outputs) – 12%
In summary, we can conclude that 80% of our outputs in this area are at least of international character. However, if we look at the evaluated 25 outputs only from the point of view of scientometric indicators (according to Web of Science - Journal Citation Reports), then from 25 publications in the field of basic medical and pharmaceutical sciences: 44% were from quartile Q1, 28% were from quartile Q2, 12% were from the Q3 quartile, 12% were collections, and 4% were zero output.
The reason why many of our high-quality outputs published in the world's best journals (e.g., 3x outputs in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology, Lancet Neurology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Circulation, PLoS Med, PLoS One, Annals of Oncology, Journal of Neuroinflammation, Journal of Urology, Cells, Drugs, etc.) were not evaluated during the peer-review process as "world" can be many. One of them may be the overly narrow scientific focus of the three international evaluators from the Ministry of Education.
The evaluated area of Health Sciences (14 employees of FM CU) were evaluated, mainly from the Institute of Social Medicine and Medical Ethics of FM CU and the Department of Emergency and General Medicine of FM CU) we achieved the following quality profile:
• world level – 0%
• significant international level – 4%
• international level – 20%
• national level – 76%
• unclassified (including zero outputs) – 0%
In the evaluated area of Philology (9 employees of FM CU were evaluated, mainly from the Institute of Medical Terminology and Foreign Languages of FM CU), we achieved the following quality profile:
• world level – 4%
• significant international level – 12%
• international level – 32%
• national level – 20%
• unclassified (including zero outputs) – 32%
Detailed evaluation results of all research institutions are published on the website: https://ver.cvtisr.sk/vysledky/