APC Policies - Spirit of the APC
Introduction: The following document outlines the fundamental principles which underpinned the foundation of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) and which influence its ongoing evolution. It is not a comprehensive reference document on policy; rather, it is intended as an overview to flag the defining features of the APC.
- Mission statement: Linking Irish science with industry to drive excellence in research, education and outreach in gastrointestinal health
The APC has a role in contributing to the development of a knowledge-based economy in Ireland. This is manifest at various levels including partnerships with indigenous and multinational industry, the creation of a research environment that can bring Irish ideas and Irish science to a global marketplace, and the promotion of an awareness and appreciation of the sciences in society.
Philosophy of Identity
The membership of the APC is not intended to be exclusive. It is open to those who are willing to collaborate and contribute to research on host-flora interactions within the gut in health and disease and who will respect our rules on IP and industry alliance. Thus, membership is not limited to those who are directly funded from SFI and includes scientists funded from other sources but who can benefit from the shared environment and resources of the Centre.
The vision and ambition of the APC stretches well beyond the boundaries of the original research proposal. The scope of our research is broad and requires collaboration with the best scientific groups around the world. International student exchange, visiting fellowships and visiting scientist programmes are central to promoting the type of environment we strive to maintain at the APC. This also implies continued growth and expansion of critical mass, resources and facilities.
Our research is at the interface of the food and pharmaceutical industry sectors. It is also at the host-environment interface. Progress at the interface of seemingly disparate fields of endeavour requires modern scientific strategies involving ‘hybrid’ scientists who think across the boundaries of traditional research disciplines such as immunology, microbiology or cell biology and who are comfortable working in teams. Supporting multidisciplinary, bench-to-bedside research is a fundamental tenet of the APC.
Centre-behaviour - shared minds, shared space, shared equipment
The APC operates on the basis that the whole must always be greater than the sum of the parts. Preference is given to collaborative research projects and educational sessions that are plenary in nature. Activities that span traditional academic departments and promote cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary boundaries are promoted.
Education and Outreach – a responsibility for all
The promotion of science awareness and understanding within society is viewed to be as important as our core research programmes. Furthermore, we regard this as a responsibility of every member of the APC without exception. Novel, imaginative educational initiatives are particularly encouraged.
Efficient learning and productive work environment
The APC takes the view that the emphasis of education should be on learning rather than teaching and considers trans-disciplinary research to be a powerful learning tool for our students. For the post-doctoral and senior scientists, we aspire to making the APC an attractive place to work and an environment that is productive and conducive to career development. Most of all, we wish the scientific and educational endeavour to be enjoyable.
Relationship with industry
Terms such as commercial or ‘applied’ vs. ‘basic’ or ‘pure’ science have no place within the APC; the only descriptor that we aspire to is excellent science. The foundation of the APC is based on partnership with industry. Interactions with industry partners will continue to evolve and grow. With industry involvement comes opportunity but also obligations for our scientists. This includes adherence to IP agreements and IP capture policies. Potential risks of industry-academe relationships are acknowledged and may occasionally include conflicts of interest. APC policy on potential conflicts of interest at any level consists of a ‘declare and manage’ strategy.
Agent of change
Achieving a knowledge-based economy will require change in many sectors of our society. The APC can lead by example and must show how industry-academe relationships can be successful at multiple different levels. In addition to financial support, scientists need a research-friendly environment, security, and career opportunities. This has not always been the case within our academic institutions and the APC will try to take a leading and changing role in this respect.
Please go to the password-protected APC Intranet (contact Sally Cudmore for password) for the following APC policies:
APC policy and prceedures regarding potential conflicts of interest
APC policy on travelling expenses
APC staff policy booket