How did JPND pick these particular topics for calls for proposals?
JPND developed a strategic research agenda (SRA) for neurodegenerative diseases (ND), which was published in February 2012. This strategy provides a roadmap to guide ND research activity in Europe over the next ten years. Since the launch of its strategy, JPND has agreed a phase one implementation plan for the period of 2012-2014. This plan identified a number of near-term priority activities that could be pursued to begin implementing the SRA. Some of the conditions JPND took into account when devising these priorities are:
- the interconnectivities between the identified themes and priorities
- the degree of EU-wide added value
- the level of innovation
- the practicality for implementation through existing mechanisms
JPND also considered the scale of the initiatives and the level of investment required to achieve the necessary impact. As a result, JPND intends to regularly launch calls for proposals to address several of these high priority areas in neurodegenerative disease research.
We recommend viewing the recorded JPND presentation to better understand the context of JPND calls, in addition to an explanation of how JPND funding works:
Link to recorded presentation:
How does JPND funding work?
JPND funding is based on the “virtual common pot” model. This virtual common pot of money is a total of the individual budgetary commitments of all countries that participate in the call. These budget commitments of the countries are made in advance of the call publication and are based on several factors, including budget availability and the anticipated response from their respective national scientific communities.
Countries only pay for their own participants – each country will fund its own national project participants of successful proposals and covers its own administrative effort. Therefore, researchers are not funded by JPND directly, but exclusively by their respective national funding organisations, taking into account the budgetary limits of each country (for this reason, the funding model is called “virtual” common pot).
Money cannot be transferred between funding agencies. If the budget of one funding organisation is spent completely, no more researchers from that country can be funded, even though there may still be money available in the “virtual” common pot from other funding organisations. On the other hand, if there are only few researchers from a specific country among the top ranked proposals, this country may not spend its entire budget allocation.
Are there preferred topics or diseases that JPND would like to fund?
No, there are no “preferred” topics or diseases that should be addressed. Scientists are free to develop their own ideas, as long as they fit into the general framework of the call, which is provided in the call text. However, it must be taken into account that clinical relevance is one of the evaluation criteria. As a consequence, the topic of the project, the scientific approach, and the methodology should be well justified in the pre-proposal.
What about rare diseases?
A pre-proposal on a rare disease will have the same chance in the evaluation process as compared to a proposal on, for example, Alzheimer’s Disease – as long as the clinical relevance is convincingly shown.
Who is eligible to apply for a JPND call?
These calls are being conducted by a number of JPND countries, represented by their respective funding organisations. In fact, only those researchers that are eligible according to the rules of their relevant national funding organisation may apply for funding. The call text provides all information on the participating funding organisations and eligibility criteria. This information is complimented by the country-specific information sheets, which provide additional information on national eligibility criteria for each participating country. If, after reading these documents, you are still uncertain about your eligibility to apply to these calls, we strongly recommend consulting the respective national contact point (contact information is given in the call text as well as in the country-specific information sheets).
Meeting the eligibility criteria is absolutely mandatory! If one or more partners of a consortium are not eligible, the whole proposal may be rejected without further review. Therefore, we strongly recommend checking the eligibility of all partners very carefully and consult with your national contact point if in doubt. Please note that some countries demand additional forms to be completed by the applicants (this information is provided in the country-specific information sheets).
If there are uncertainties, whom can I contact to get further information?
If you have questions regarding these calls for proposals, you should either contact the JPND Joint Call Secretariat or your respective national contact point. Contact information for both is given in the call text, which can be downloaded from the JPND website.
The JPND Joint Call Secretariat may help you with regard to general aspects of the call (e.g., if you have questions on the call topic, the proposal template or the evaluation process). The JPND Joint Call Secretariat will be able to communicate in English language by email or phone. In contrast, the national contact points will be able to advise you on all aspects of national regulations or restrictions, e. g., budgetary issues, eligibility aspects or additional requirements for potential applicants.
When should I contact my national contact point?
The national contact point can provide specific information on national regulations, restrictions and on the available national budget to its researchers. Please keep in mind that failing to fulfil respective national regulations/restrictions by even one consortium partner may result in a rejection of the entire proposal. Therefore, it is helpful for each member of a consortium to contact its national contact point personally. Contact details are provided in the call text and in the country-specific information sheets, which can be downloaded from the JPND website.