Competition year : 

Deadline (pre-request) : 
February 18th, 2020 at 11:00 (EST)

Deadline (application) : 
June 16th, 2020 at 11:00 (EST)

Announcement of results : 
October-November 2020

Amount : 
Maximum of $ 450 000 CAD per Quebec team

Duration : 
3 years

The EJP RD (E-RARE) network, in which the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) is a partner, is launching a multilateral joint transnational call for proposals to support research in the field rare diseases.

The aim of the call is to enable scientists in different countries to build an effective collaboration on a common interdisciplinary research project based on complementarities and sharing of expertise, with a clear future benefit for patients.

More specifically, the research projects have to focus on PRE-CLINICAL RESEARCH TO DEVELOP EFFECTIVE THERAPIES FOR RARE DISEASES.

Transnational research proposals must cover at least one of the following areas, which are equal in relevance for this call.

  • Development of novel therapies in a preclinical setting (including small molecules, repurposing drugs, cell and gene advanced therapies) focusing on condition(s) with unmet medical needs.
  • Use of disease models suitable for medicinal product’s development according to EMA guidelines.
  • Development of predictive and pharmacodynamics (PD) biomarkers (with appropriate analytical methods e.g. OMICS) in a preclinical setting (e.g. in the validated model or in pre-collected human samples) for monitoring the efficiency of the therapy. The model chosen must mimic the human diseases and be transposable so that the biomarker identified in animals can be valid for humans.
  • Proof of principle studies fostering an early (pre-clinical) stage of drug development (excluding interventional clinical trials of phase 1-4).

The following approaches and topics are excluded from the scope of the call:

  • Therapeutic approaches concerning rare infectious diseases, rare cancers and rare adverse drug events in treatments of common diseases.
  • Interventional clinical trials.
  • Surgery or radiation therapies.
  • Studies that focus on research to accelerate diagnosis or to set up new registry/cohort studies to explore disease progression and mechanisms as these were the focus of JTC 2019.
  • Rare neurodegenerative diseases which are within the main focus of the Joint Programming Initiative on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND). These are: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD-related disorders; Prion disease; Motor Neuron Diseases; Huntington’s disease; Spinal Muscular Atrophy and dominant forms of Spinocerebellar Ataxia.  Interested researchers should refer to the relevant JPND calls.
  • Childhood dementias/neurodegenerative diseases are not excluded.

Early-Career Scientist (Junior Researcher) – 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.

NEW : Nationale/Régionale Eligibility
All candidates eligible to receive funding from the FRQS wishing to apply to this program as a Principal Investigator must complete a form in FRQNet via the
electronic portfolio under the available competition section. The deadlines for submitting an application follow those of the European call.

The FRQS is pleased to partner with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and about 30 other international funding organizations in the framework of the European joint program on rare diseases.

Researchers based in Quebec are eligible for co-funding from FRQS and CIHR as part of this call for projects.
Please note that in addition to completing an application with the FRQS, you must also complete an application with CIHR to be eligible to receive funding. For more details, please visit the CIHR Funding Opportunity page.

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 more information: EJP RD website