Background and aims The quality of research and collaboration between researchers within the field of child health needs to be improved. Bringing together and training young researchers has the potential to increase the quality of research and improve the care for sick children.
Methods In the Netherlands, a training program named TULIPS was set up by young scientists to stimulate other talented young researchers in paediatric science. The program aims to stimulate the research career and network of the participants to improve the quality of research and collaborations within child health.
Results During the last seven years TULIPS has organised an annual day for young investigators, grant writing and presenting weekends and bi-annual training programs for selected PhD students and post-doc researchers in the Netherlands. The training programs consist of interactive sessions on topics tailored to the phase in the scientific career of the participants and are hosted by experts in the field. A large network of child health researchers is part of TULIPS (197 members). The TULIPS program has been supported by numerous stakeholders, including the heads of all academic centres in the Netherlands. Scientific outcomes of the program will be evaluated by following the careers of participants after completion of the curricula.
Conclusions TULIPS has become a successful, broadly supported non-profit foundation to stimulate young clinician scientists during their careers. Extension of TULIPS across Europe would be a next step to create international networks of young researchers with the aim and potential to further improve child health.