The LEARN programme connects all researchers interested and experienced in health professions education. The programme has been designed to meet the changing needs of society, healthcare, education, medical practice, and research.

The LEARN programme is a well-known network of institutionally, regionally, nationally, and internationally collaborating and visiting educational researchers. The LEARN team has created a multidisciplinary network with members and partners from all over the world to improve healthcare delivery. The LEARN activities include:

  • developing knowledge relevant to advancing health professions education and clinical practice, based on research and informed innovation;
  • fostering the translation of newly acquired knowledge into practice by promoting creative synergy between diverse theoretical perspectives and between theory and practice;
  • building scholarly capacity by faculty development and organizing mentorship activities to shape future research leaders in healthcare, health professions education, and practice;
  • fostering an environment for collaboration, academic thinking, and freedom.

Improving healthcare education and delivery

The mission of the LEARN programme is to improve healthcare delivery by innovating and transforming healthcare education, clinical practice, and research. By bringing together educators, policymakers, physicians, students, and patients, the LEARN programme will help to solve problems associated with the healthcare system. Research activities include shared decision-making in the consultation room, laparoscopic skills in the operating room, patient safety, and simulation training in intensive care.

LEARN is the go-to partner for organizations and stakeholders in the field of health professions education in and beyond the Northern Netherlands. The LEARN team has developed an infrastructure to support collective research efforts and organizes various activities aimed at fostering academic enrichment, best practices, dialogue, cooperation, mutual respect, and a sense of community and belonging.

  • WEBSTER has been established to centralize and share the available, fragmented knowledge about and expertise in simulation-based learning. WEBSTER intends to accelerate and support innovation, thus improving patient and employee safety and quality of healthcare. WEBSTER provides flexible training programmes for all healthcare workers at the UMCG. Research themes include trauma leadership, human factors, speaking up in team meetings, and intensive care shift handovers

  • The LEARN team designs, updates, and carries out all faculty development initiatives at the UMCG and affiliated teaching hospitals based on two interconnected programmes:

    • the Teach the Teachers programme consists courses covering key educational knowledge and skills for individual clinical teachers from various hospital departments;
    • the Teaching on the Run programme provides introductory or refresher workshops on specific educational skills for anyone of the faculty who wishes to hone their skills and update their knowledge of educational practice.

    These programmes are highly appreciated and contribute to the perceived status and impact of education throughout a healthcare professional’s career.

  • As from September 2018, the Education and Training Region North East Netherlands (in Dutch: Onderwijs- en Opleidingsregio Noord-Oost-Nederland, OOR N&O) has been funding scientific research to make a valuable and structural contribution to the quality and innovation of postgraduate medical education and training. This fund is called the Innovation and Science Fund (in Dutch: Het Innovatie- en Wetenschapsfonds, IWF) and is intended for residents, teachers, and apprenticeships within the region. This fund awards grants for:

    • scientific research conducted by residents in the field of postgraduate medical education and training; 
    • innovative projects in the field of specialist training in the region North Eastern Netherlands.
  • In 2015, the LEARN team initiated the Juggle Study, a longitudinal prospective cohort study on goals, wellbeing, and academic performance of medical students. This study focuses on predictors of burnout in medical students, among other things. The Juggle Study has led to numerous spin-off studies with national and foreign medical faculties expressing their interest in participating (e.g. medical faculties in Maastricht, Belgium, Mexico, and India). Results from the Juggle Study and interviews with medical students have been used to design and implement a leadership development programme for teaching staff.

  • For more information about the LEARN programme members, activities, and achievements in the past few years, please download the recent annual report: 2019  LEARN Annual report 2019


University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Institute SHARE
LEARN - Lifelong Learning, Education and Assessment Research Network
P.O. Box 196
9700 AD Groningen
The Netherlands