Public Health BFC Federative Hub for Research and Training - COMUE Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Public Health BFC Federative Hub for Research and Training

A public health research & training hub in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté to gather skills at the service of people’s health and well-being across the region.


Public health policies are defined within the framework of the National Health Strategy (“Stratégie nationale de santé”, 2017) and detailed in the National Plan for Public Health (“Plan national de santé publique”, 2018) as regards public health and in My Health 2022 (“Ma santé 2022”, 2018) as regards healthcare. They include the following three major axes:

  • the stress laid on health promotion and prevention,
  • the importance of a first-aid health offer (primary care) accessible proximally across the whole territory,
  • the need to innovate in the organisation of the upcoming health offer.

Besides, following the initiative of the Ministry of Solidarities and Health (“Direction générale de la santé”) and of the INSERM, among others, recommendations are to develop public health research favouring a multidisciplinary approach (public health/human and social sciences), and to strengthen the links with health decision-makers and stakeholders.

In this context, the Regional Health Agency (Agence régionale de santé, ARS) of Bourgogne Franche-Comté (BFC) had a study carried out to determine whether it was advisable to create a public health hub (“Pôle de santé publique”) combining research and training in the region. At the end of 2016, a report was handed to the ARS BFC director general, entitled “A regional public health hub for research and training: unifying skills at the service of people’s health and well-being in Bourgogne Franche-Comté” (“Un Pôle régional de santé publique pour la recherche et la formation : fédérer les compétences au service de la santé et du bien-être de la population Bourgogne Franche-Comté”). Twenty observations and proposals were made. In September 2017, the author was asked to prefigure this hub.


Seven partners gathered to set up the hub, namely the Regional Health Agency (agence régionale de santé, ARS), the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, the Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, the universities of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté, and Besançon and Dijon university hospitals. During the summer of 2018, the principle of a partnership agreement was adopted based on the three following strategic orientations:

  • initiate and support applied research projects in response to the public health stakes in link with the territories and populations of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté,
  • contribute to acquired knowledge transfer and valorisation for all,
  • widely develop the training offer in the specific domain of public health.

The decision-making body is composed of representatives of the seven partners, and a scientific and orientation committee is soon going to be set up.


Spotting and applying to the calls for national and international projects in link with the hub’s priorities.

The Hub will assist Bourgogne-Franche-Comté researchers in the construction of their responses according to their needs, in coordination with the research teams of each academic institution.

Launching calls for projects

They will correspond to the regional priorities defined by the governance body. They will provide decision-support elements for developing a public health policy aimed at improving the health and well-being of the BFC population.

Interventional research will be favoured, and convergences with primary-care research will be encouraged. Stress will be laid on the following points:

  • the organisation of the health system,
  • the assessment of health policies,
  • the medico-economic dimension.

The Hub will develop knowledge transfer and trade among its different stakeholders in a cross-disciplinary approach and in relation with public health research at the regional, national and international scales.

2020 call for projects is open until 2020/06/30.

Call for projects results are available for consultation here !


There currently exists a discrepancy between an insufficient offer and a high demand.

The main reasons are the following ones:

  • the stress laid on public health in different medical disciplinary fields
  • the transfer of the training courses for diverse health professions to universities
  • the priority given to health promotion and prevention, as well as to innovation
  • the deployment of the sanitary service to all health sciences students, more particularly in public health and prevention
  • the strong relationships between health and the social dimension.

The first steps could be organised around the following objectives:

  • assess the training needs and the highly scattered current resources
  • set up a pool of mixed tutors composed of university staff and health stakeholders
  • spot promising initiatives and reinforce the networking and educational innovation dynamics in public health training, more particularly in initial training.

It is noteworthy that the French-speaking public health summer school will fit within this dynamic owing to its national and international dimension, notably in link with the EHESP School of Public Health (“Ecole des hautes études en santé publique”), Santé publique France, and teams from other countries (Switzerland, Belgium, Canada…).

Deeds of the Hub’s inaugural and residential seminar

The meeting organised in Beaune on 29th and 30th November 2018 was the founding event of the Hub.

It gathered more than sixty participants who outlined the Hub’s scope and proposed its main orientations for the years to come. All the plenary speeches and workshops can be downloaded from Pôle santé publique séminaire 2018.

Hub day 2019

The annual meeting of the Hub took place in Dijon on 21st November 2019. It gathered approximately one hundred participants. Primary care, accessibility of the health offer, peer help, childbirth care, health and environment…, numerous themes of interest were addressed in order to plan upcoming works.
View the programme here.

Communications slide shows can be downloaded here.

Hub day 2020

Due to the current health context, the Hub annual meeting had to be switched to a web conference. In order to establish a dialogue between different stakeholders, the Hub chose to keep the round table format, which was organised around the theme: “COVID-19: How can we get our heads above water in this period of crisis? How to activate cooperation between researchers-decision-makers-health actors-citizens in order to better respond to current public health issues? ».

This event (whose programme is available here (FR)) took place on 19 November, from 2 to 4.30 p.m., and brought together around fifty participants.

> Watch the video on YouTube here (FR)
> Find the summary of the round table’s discussions here (FR)

The team


Public health physician

Mission officer