Training Plan

1. General Considerations

The Training and Mobility Plan stems from the need to establish teaching programmes which: 1) allow improving the degree of knowledge and skills of the members of the CIBER groups, in particular the younger ones; 2) include an approach to research from the different standpoints: clinical, basic and populational, and of knowledge transfer. Apart from this the Plan has to consider a specific aspect towards Continuous Training in order to improve professional skill, acting as a factor for change which enables the adaptation to future needs in the CIBER’s research work.

A plan of this type must take into account:

  • Considering an analysis of training requirements
  • Pointing out the global objectives
  • Identifying the target population for the activities
  • Organising and prioritising the different training activities
  • Establishing annual fulfilment and progress indicators


The Training Programme must also on one hand adapt to the real needs and circumstances of CIBER staff, of the lines and priorities of its research and of course adapt to the paces and requirements of the healthcare work done in the health system. As well as these general adaptations, the Programme also has to take into account the specific case of the special peculiarities of the Psychiatric area and of the basic research areas connected with this and present at the CIBER: this is the only way to cover its training needs.

Analysis of training requirements:

  • Requirements of research staff: The professionals working in research, in both clinical and basic areas, must necessarily have a permanent interest in keeping up and raising the quality of their research work; this finally has an effect on the quality of the services that they provide and their final competence as a healthcare resource. In this respect the refreshment of scientific and technological data takes on importance.  Information is estimated to double every 10-15 years, and in the period of an active lifetime (35-40 years) this multiplies by ten, which entails a danger of qualitative reduction of knowledge or obsolescence, due to scientific-technological progress. There is also a quantitative reduction of knowledge through simple deterioration or forgetfulness.
  • Requirements of research: The Programme must adapt to the research structure of the CIBER, as regards transversal Programmes, specific lines, etc. The Programmes, Courses and training stays are intended for improving and completing the degree of knowledge and training of the members of the groups with a view to carrying out the training work covered in this structure.
  • Requirements of the healthcare system: Healthcare is a feedback mechanism closed by the user, by displaying their levels of acceptance or rejection of the service rendered; users’ complacency will be based on the competitiveness of the professional providing the healthcare.

This competitiveness is determined, amongst other factors, by professionals’ degree of continuous training; traineeship in research activities is a key feature of this training and has a direct repercussion on the competitiveness and quality of the care given.


The CIBER Training Programme revolves around three main axes:

  • Training courses
  • Research stays
  • Master course

and this is founded on three principles:

  1. Being based on the currently existing training courses and programmes, with specific attention to the ones that form part of Postgraduate Programmes. In these one should stress the cooperation existing between the groups and explore and propose future cooperation in existing programmes.
  2. Adapting the themes of the programmes, courses and training stays to the structure of scientific priorities of the CIBER.
  3. Including a plan of stays for research, mainly intended for trainee researchers, from the standpoint of both an exchange programme for researchers between the groups and of stays at hospitals or laboratories external to the CIBER.

In any event, the general objectives of the Plan must:

  • Integrate all the groups in the CIBER
  • Mainly be intended to cover the needs detected in their Work Programmes
  • Facilitate the training of trainee researchers of the CIBER  in new technologies and tendencies
  • Generate a research culture and encourage the care-research binomial in clinical work.

Identifying the target population:

The Training Programme of the CIBERSAM is intended for all the members of the groups belonging to this, in view of the need for continuous training being universal. The basic emphasis of the Programme is nevertheless quite understandably aimed at the younger members of the teams, where the work for completing their traineeship and training is more necessary and relevant.

Organisation of the activities:

The specific structure of the courses and stays as well as the priority criteria for financing and authorising these are given in sections 2 to 4, as well as in Appendices 1 and 2.

Indicators of fulfilment and progress:

These are given in section 5.

2. Training Programmes and courses

The Plan covers the range of training courses generated by the groups forming the CIBER for each year, following the guidelines mentioned in the previous paragraph. It is important to point out that the great majority of the groups have extensive experience in scientific training work:

  • As a result of the above, a good deal of the CIBER groups take an active part in the teaching of different Postgraduate programmes (Master Doctorate).
  • Several of the CIBER groups participate jointly in many of these courses.
  • The Chief Researchers of the groups have lengthy careers in the management of doctoral theses and other aspects of training work.
  • It also has proven experience in giving other training courses outside the Official Programmes, intended more monographically for training in specific fields of psychiatric pathology.


Apart from this, priority will be given to the courses institutionally accredited either as part of Official Programmes of university postgraduate teaching, continuous training programmes of regional Healthcare Ministries or other official agencies.

The programme defines two major types of courses: the ones considered as priorities for training and the ones considered of interest. The courses considered to be priorities are in turn split into: training activities directly promoted or co-organised by the CIBERSAM itself; courses arranged by the members of the different groups and which are offered to the programme and courses outside the CIBER but considered to be of general interest for the objectives considered. The other group of courses may cover all the other teaching activities external to the CIBERSAM and which may be of interest for some of the groups in this. The Programme has to expressly establish the priority courses every year; as for the others, the Programme has to define the thematic areas of these. Appendix 1 gives the details of the courses.

The final culmination of a Training Programme of this kind has been the preparation of an official Programme for a Master in Research into Mental Health.

3. Stays and exchanges of researches

The Plan covers a programme of stays for researchers, updatable every six months, based on three objectives:

  • Encouraging the training of researchers connected with groups in areas of experience of CIBER groups integrated in the research objectives. In this respect, stays can take place either inside the CIBER Units or at other ones external to this, on condition that the interest in training makes this advisable. The Programme also considers the possibility of stays abroad. In any event, the Programme will give priority to stays at the CIBERSAM groups themselves.
  • Promoting exchange between groups to facilitate carrying out joint projects ensuring the greatest consistency in the methods used in each group. The CIBERSAM will announce the range of scientific stays by the groups in this every six months.

The stays carried out as part of this Programme last for at least 2-3 weeks and at most 3 months. The current range of stays is shown in Appendix 2.

Apart from the exchanges carried out in the range given below, the CIBER considers holding annual workshop-type meetings in order to set forth the progress in research done by the different groups, known as "Ideas Laboratory". These presentations, in accordance with a rotary selection process, will give priority to the exposition of specific innovative results, to be presented by the young researchers from each group, The idea is for these presentations to be useful for making the work done by different groups more dynamic, promoting the generation of further lines and cooperation. These meetings are incorporated, through their teaching value, in the priority course group (see Appendix 1).

4. Master on Initiation to Research into Mental Health

The Master on Initiation in Research into Mental Health is an official and blended, partly classroom programme, arranged by research groups belonging to five Spanish universities (Universidad de Cantabria, Complutense de Madrid, Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona and Cádiz) which seeks to train researchers in mental health in both basic and clinical aspects, to increase innovation and translational research in psychiatry and neurosciences. The contents cover genetic, physiopathological and environmental factors of mental illnesses, conveyed in a very specialised way and considering from the formulation of hypotheses to the design of the studies, the most relevant statistical analysis for each health problem, the drafting of research procedures, their ethical implications and the publication of results.

The Master Programme (of 60 credits) is characterised by having a strong virtual component as well as by the compulsory nature of practical stays, in both clinical and basic areas. It is intended for five and four-year course graduates and diploma holders in medicine, psychology, biology, pharmacy, nursing, vocational therapy and biomedical sciences in general with an interest for mental health.

The Master is oriented towards initiation in research into mental health, which is why its main opening is the performance of the doctorate and research. Those qualified may join companies with a biotechnological base, pharmaceutical laboratories or biomedical research institutes, as well as public health systems. Completion of the doctorate opens the academic door to teaching in mental health, as well as the strictly research-based channel.

General information on the master course

5. Organisational criteria and financing

The CIBER, at the proposal of the training head, will give the maximum possible publicity (web page, electronic mail) to the offers of courses and stays for each year, structure by semesters). The range given in Appendices 1 and 2 for 2010 stems from the proposals of the different groups. As a work method, the CIBER groups must send possible new proposals long enough in advance (1-2 months before the deadline for their publication). Based on all the above, the CIBER defines its range and annual strategy for courses and stays.

The budget of the CIBER assigned to training should be used to defray the expenses of the Training Plan, giving priority to the activities involved in the Master Course, in particular the enrolment expenses; secondly, the ones regarding enrolment, travel and stays resulting from attending other training courses, or the ones for stays at another unit within the Exchange and Stay programme. The CIBER will set criteria for priority and contribution to its training scheme and for budget distribution.

Aside from the Training budget, the groups involved in organising courses can offer the other groups in the CIBER incentives for participation, not only preference as regards acceptance at these, but also, as far as possible, total or partial exemptions from enrolment fees, attendance grants etc., to help to finance the expenses in this area.