Competition year : 

Announcement of results : 
November 2020

Amount : 
$225,000 CAD per Quebec team

Duration : 
3 years

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 projects on Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects (ELSA) in the field of Neuroscience.

The aim of the call is to facilitate multinational, collaborative research projects that will address im-portant questions regarding ethical, philosophical, legal and socio-cultural aspects related to the neu-rosciences and their recent advances. 

Subjects under this general heading include but are not limited to:

  1. the consequences of the development of neuroscientific diagnostic methods (e.g. handling of incidental findings; the “right not to know”; very early disease prediction before symptoms occur; diagnosis in absence of treatment options; interactions between socio-culturally diverse patients and health personnel; availability of novel expensive methods)
  2. clinical research with patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric diseases (e.g. developing tools to improve the assessment of decision-making capacity of patients, analysis of legal measures to protect those who do not have the capacity to consent)
  3. intelligent technologies and close human-machine interaction (e.g. Ambient Assisted Living, Brain-Computer Interfaces, machine learning); personality changes as side effects of neurological or psychiatric therapies (e.g. Deep Brain Stimulation; brain implants)
  4. use of brain data; biobanking of neural tissue (e.g. tissue donation, deceased donor, data protection, possible consequences for relatives)
  5. brain interventions in legal contexts (e.g. “brain reading” for the detection of deception; brain intervention of offenders; psychosurgery; insurance law)
  6. the impact of modern neuroscience on traditional philosophical questions, concepts and theories regarding fundamental aspects of human nature (e.g. the relationship between mind and brain, the nature of consciousness, self- and personal identity, free will)
  7. neuroenhancement such as alteration of mental states (cognitive, affective) and abilities (e.g. cognition, sleep, appetite, sexual behaviour) in healthy subjects by pharmacological or by electrical/magnetic brain stimulation
  8. abnormal behaviour reduced to deviant brain states (e.g. expansion of the concept of neurotypical brain and  illness; seeing psychiatric symptoms merely as specific neurochemical imbalances)
  9. isocietal and cultural changes induced by neuroscientific knowledge and its application

No empirical neuroscientific or biomedical research can be funded in this call.

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 : National/Regional 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 Ethic, Legal and Social aspects of neuroscience.

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 detailed information about this call: ERA-NET NEURON website.