Previous results

Executive summary

CIBM’s research instruments were implemented between 2004 and end of 2010. From 2006 to 2010, more than 300 publications appeared and well above 60 MCHF of extramural funding were leveraged to the region either by CIBM or due to its strong support. A detailed analysis shows that CIBM’s core directors are on average as highly cited as the average prominent neuroscientist from the region. In summary, CIBM’s publications record implies a ranking among the top 10% research labs in the region, its fund-raising record places it in the top % and the analysis of impact indicates a top citation rate.

Implementation period

The implementation of CIBM’s equipment took place in this time period; we are thus discussing the performance during its implementation phase.

The sketch outlines the approximate timeline of events during the creation of CIBM, which ended at the end of 2010 with the bring-to-operation of the PET/CT/SPECT scanner in the PET core (Figure 1).

The aim of this report is to address the question (a) has the CIBM been an investment that has increased academic stature of the region and (b) is it likely to further increase its output.


Figure 1 Implementation time table of CIBM (sketch)



During this time, more than 300 publications appeared from CIBM.

To estimate the significance of these numbers, we compared them to the total number of scientific articles published in the field of neuroscience, ascribed to EPFL, which amounts to 364 (Source scopus, excluding corrigenda, editorials, etc). Note that this represents all articles in neuroscience, irrespective whether they were ascribed to the brain & mind institute or not.

To further put the productivity into perspective, the number of publications appearing per 100kCHF of structural funding was calculated and compared to the average of the three academic institutions in the region, namely the UNIL, EPFL and UNIGE and expressed relative to structural funding (Figure 2). The graph demonstrates that the publication rate during this implementation phase exceeded the institutional average by about two-fold.


Figure 2 Productivity of CIBM

To further estimate the productivity the number of publications appearing per 100kCHF of structural funding (see below for definition) was calculated and compared to the average of the three academic institutions in the region, namely the UNIL, EPFL and UNIGE based on, among others, the Leiden report relative to structural funding.


A concurrent Monte-Carlo simulation of such distribution illustrates that this performance places CIBM’s productivity among the top 10% laboratories in the region (Figure 3).


Figure 3 Percentile ranking simulation.

Shown is the distribution of publication rate amounting to an average corresponding to that of the regional institutions (dashed line). The solid line indicates CIBM’s performance. The bottom graph is the integral of the top graph, establishing the percentile rank. 



Furthermore, we compared the productivity to what is considered excellent productivity for an investigator-initiated R01 grant (2 papers/year) that is up for competitive renewal. To account for differences in exchange rate, a 200k$ grant was assumed, with 15% indirect cost, and approximately 30% of the budget was attributed to non-staff expenditures and a publication rate per FTE PostDoc salary was calculated. The above line thus indicates the equivalent productivity when correcting for purchase-power-parity (PPP) and shows that already during its implementation phase, CIBM can be considered a highly productive research center by any standard.


Impact of CIBM research

Three CIBM PI’s are named fellows of professional societies; two were classified as ISI highly-cited researchers.

To determine the specific impact of CIBM research, we identified articles that were published in 2006-2010 by CIBM core directors (excluding reviews, errata, letters and editorials, as they were deemed not adequate in measuring productivity ascribed to CIBM’s infrastructure). Core directors were asked to exclude published items not linked to CIBM. Then, a total citation count per core director was established covering the period 2006-2010.

The average of this total citation count was compared to that of a mix of 12 prominent neuroscientists present in the region (including all articles according to the above criteria, whether they were ascribed to the region or not) over the same period.

Observation: The average number of citations per CIBM core director was slightly higher than the average per neuroscientist of the mix chosen.

Note that neuroscience is (a) considered the third-most cited field, according to the Times Higher Education report (see Table 1), that (b) it has an average citation rate 2000-2010 of typically two-fold higher than for physics and (c) four-fold higher than for engineering, the latter two being the reference fields for most CIBM core directors.


Structural funding of running costs (i.e. government-based operating funds)

“Structural funding” was defined as institution-based running cost (salaries, consumables, etc), including infrastructure cost, e.g. heating, electricity, administration. For CIBM, infrastructure cost was estimated from the “equivalent de location CUS”, provided in CIBM annual reports and running cost includes all cost of CIBM since its inception. Structural funding for the institutions was determined from either recent University statistics or reports, or respective institutional statistics covering the period 2006-2010, all of which are publicly available.


Fund-raising (extramural)

Some general comments: Two CIBM staff obtained a junior professorship from the SNF, two other imaging scientists obtained such a professorship. One CIBM core director obtained an ERC advanced grant, of which two-thirds of its activity is CIBM-based.

More specifically, CIBM staff and core directors raised as principal investigators (PI) over 35 MCHF in funds since its inception. Other PI of pure imaging grants based on CIBM raised 14.5 MCHF. Grants by other PI’s containing a significant imaging component amount to 14 MCHF.

Note that these numbers do not include the Jeantet and Leenaards Foundations (8MCHF) that helped create the CIBM and NCCR Synapsy (17.4MCHF), to which the presence of CIBM was essential. Furthermore, all grants that were supported in this time period, but did not explicitly include some imaging activity, are not accounted for.

Overhead from SNF: In 2009 and 2010 CIBM PI’s and imaging grants alone raised together over 1MCHF.

The breakdown (Figure 4) shows the extramural funding rate for CIBM, in relation to structural funding (see above for definition) and compares the numbers to the institutional average of the region. These numbers place CIBM among the top % extramural fundraisers, according to simulations similar to those shown in Figure 3.


Figure 4 Rate of extramural funds attracted



Preliminary performance indicators 2011

In 2011 alone, CIBM will have published more than 80 scientific papers (excluding items in press and advance online publication) and leveraged more than 6MCHF in new extramural financial means. Note: Webofknowledge has over the last 3 years increasingly included funding source information in the database. The 2011 publication numbers are based on papers identified in the webofscience database. We also note that for 2010, the number of publications such identified closely corresponds to the numbers provided in the annual report 2010.

Performance expectations

The above figures for 2006-2010 are a preliminary indication of the academic potential of CIBM, which is likely to increase substantially in the next years, for the following reasons: First, the director of the CHUV core, an accomplished MR scientist, was hired at the end of 2009 and has hired his staff in the course of 2010/11. A substantial increase in productivity, both in terms of publications and extramural grants is expected, given the time course of equipment installation. By approximately 20-30 papers/year and approx. 0.5-1MCHF/year in extramural fundraising, once steady-state productivity has been achieved.



Table 1 Average citation rate by field

Taken from