The information provided in this pre-announcement is indicative, may be subject to changes, and is not legally binding to funding organisations. Additional funding organisations might join the call before the official publication.
Interested applicants are encouraged to initiate scientific contacts with potential project consortium partners for applications.
The final call information is now available on the NEURON website since January 7, 2022.
**Please note that the Deadline (notice or letter of intent) and Deadline (application) are expected dates.**
The ERA-NET NEURON network, in which the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) is a partner, is launching a joint transnational call for proposals to support research in the field of neuroscience.
“Cerebrovascular diseases, including dysfunction of small vessels and of the brain barrier”
The aim of the call is to facilitate multinational, collaborative research projects that will address important translational questions in the areas of stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases including small vessels disease (CSVD) and the dysfunction of brain barriers.
CSVD is a chronic, progressive disorder of cerebral micro vessels. The pathophysiological mechanisms of CSVD are largely unknown and diagnosis intervenes frequently at late stages of the disease.
Brain barriers (blood brain barrier but also arachnoid, leptomeningeal, lymphatics, glymphatics, choroid Plexus, endothelial and cerebrospinal fluid barriers) are dynamic morphological and physiological structures separating the brain parenchyma from the surrounding blood circuit. Their main function is to protect the nervous system from direct exposure to the continuous changing milieu in the bloodstream as well as toxic or infectious agents. Changes in the permeability or integrity of the brain barriers have been increasingly recognized as important contributors to cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke. The function and interactions of the different components of the brain barriers are largely unknown. In consequence, the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to their dysfunction in the context of cerebrovascular diseases are poorly described, to this day.
The present call aims to fund preclinical and clinical research addressing the pathophysiology and therapeutic developments for stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases. Proposals relating CSVD and the dysfunction of brain barriers to cerebrovascular disease are encouraged. Research areas may cover a broad range of aspects associated with cerebrovascular disease such as genetic, epigenetic, molecular mechanism of disease. Neuroinflammatory processes often play an important role in cerebrovascular diseases and are included in the call. The development of preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic approaches including pharmacological studies (e.g. on drug target identification) and technological developments based on pathophysiological mechanisms are within the scope of the call.
The call will accept research proposals ranging from understanding basic mechanisms of cerebrovascular disease and brain barriers dysfunctions through proof-of-concept clinical studies in humans1.
The NEURON funding organisations particularly wish to promote multidisciplinary work and translational research proposals that combine basic, clinical and/or technological approaches. The consortia should submit novel, ambitious ideas that can only be achieved by the complementary collaboration between partners.
Research proposals should cover at least one of the following areas:
a) Fundamental research addressing the pathogenesis, aetiology, progression, treatment, and prevention of cerebrovascular diseases including CSVD as well as basic research to elucidate the role of brain barriers on cerebrovascular diseases. This may include the development of innovative or shared resources and technologies including computational and statistical tools, as considered of relevance in the context of this call.
b) Clinical research to develop novel strategies for prevention (including secondary prevention), diagnosis, patient stratification, therapy and/or rehabilitation for cerebrovascular diseases
Applicants should demonstrate that they have the expertise and range of skills required to conduct the study including already established collaborations.
The translational value for human disease must be clearly addressed in the proposals. If used, the choice of the animal model must be justified in the context of the human pathology. The development of new animal or cell models is only allowed if an appropriate model is not available and must be justified.
Clinical studies are eligible up to the point of proof of concept. Multimodal and multicentre clinical studies are highly encouraged. The establishment of large patient cohorts will not be funded by NEURON, but the use of existing cohorts, brain banks and exploitation of existing data sets are eligible. Appropriate access to relevant, well-characterized patient populations or suitable biomaterial collections must be demonstrated. The proposal should describe plans to make data available for the research and clinical communities. If relevant, it is recommended that the appropriate European infrastructures are contacted early in the planning of the projects, the following are potentially of interest for the applicants to this call: EATRIS-ERIC (focused on translational medicine), BBMRI-ERIC (focused on biobanking), EBRAINS (focussed on data and tools for brain-related research) and ELIXIR (focused on data sharing).
The following research areas are excluded from this call:
- Neurodegenerative disorders that are addressed by the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)2.
- Proposals focussed primarily on cardiological or metabolic causes or comorbidities (i.e. diabetes, obesity, Covid-19/long Covid) to cerebrovascular diseases.
The ERA-NET NEURON seeks to strengthen patient engagement in research. All applications should include a description of expected outcomes with potential relevance for patients. Applicants are expected to engage patients, their parents or carers and or associations as appropriate in the research process. Meaningful patient engagement can occur at the level of research planning, conducting research or the dissemination of research results. Patient representatives will assess patient engagement aspects of the selected full proposals.
1 – Eligibility and funding requirements for clinical trials vary between the partner countries. Clarification may be obtained from the individual funding organisations
2 – Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD-related disorders, Prion disease, Motor neuron diseases, Huntington’s disease, Spinocerebellar ataxia, Spinal muscular atrophy
Early-Career Scientists (Junior Researchers) – FRQS definition
Early career researchers (Junior 1 and Junior 2) are encouraged to submit an application as a Principal Investigator (the Junior status begins no more than six (6) years after obtaining a Ph.D. and lasts no more than eight (8) years).
Postdoctoral trainees cannot apply to this Competition as Investigators.
Comply with the requirements of the FRQ Common General Rules to be eligible for the program.
All candidates eligible to receive funding from the FRQS wishing to apply to this program as a Quebec Principal Investigator must complete an FRQNet e-form via the e-portfolio under the Available competition section.
All candidates eligible to receive funds from the FRQS wishing to participate to this program as a Quebec Co-Investigator must give their consent in the FRQNet e-form via the e-portfolio under the As Co-Investigator section.
The deadlines for submitting a proposal follow those of the European call.
Specific conditions and requirements may apply for each of the participating funding agencies. Those requirements are available on the NEURON JTC2022 call websites.
By submitting a proposal to this competition, you agree to allow the FRQS and partner agencies to share and cross checks the information contained in your proposal. Principal investigators must ensure that all co-investigators and/or collaborators are aware of the rules regarding the sharing of the information contained in the proposal. There will be no sharing of confidential or sensitive personal data (gender-specific data).
The information provided on the content of the call is indicative and may be subject to changes. Please refer to the official documents of the call on the European website.
For detailed information about this call: ERA-NET NEURON website