Cross-disciplinary and team-based modern research is overwhelming established mechanisms for maintaining professional competency. This calls for a change to personnel training that is not limited to professors (see C. E. Leiserson and C. McVinney Nature 523, 279–281; 2015).
The European Innovative Medicines Initiative projects on education and training aim to promote lifelong learning and continuing professional development among all biomedical professionals (see go.nature.com/enhijn). We are working with employers, professional and scientific bodies, course providers and individual scientists to develop a framework for implementing this cultural change, known as LifeTrain (see M. Hardman et al. Nature Rev. Drug Disc. 12, 407–408; 2013).
By providing guidance and information, we help them to recognize the competencies that they will need as their careers progress. We also encourage scientists to think beyond traditional disciplinary silos.
Several organizations and individuals have formally signed up to the agreed principles and implementation of LifeTrain; other prospective participants can contact us at www.lifetrain.eu.