ERA-NET NEURON Joint Transnational Networking Group Call (2022) “Networking Groups on Chronic Pain”

Chronic pain imposes a massive burden to the individual, the health system, and the economy worldwide. For the translation and implementation of future research outcomes into clinical practice, as well as for shaping future research priorities, it is essential to form synergies in the research community, to overcome gaps and hurdles, to build overarching networks, and to generate harmonizing concepts and ideas. Six funding organisations from six countries have agreed to launch a call for "Networking Groups on Chronic Pain" under the umbrella of the ERA-NET NEURON. The participating funding organisations wish to support ambitious, innovative, multidisciplinary and multinational initiatives of leading scientific experts. 

Additional Information

Networking groups should address cross-cutting challenges in the research field of chronic pain, to build knowledge on specific aspects, identify gaps, and find solutions for urgent issues such as interoperability of data and method harmonization. Proposals addressing hurdles and potential solutions to ensure the fruitful, homogeneous and inclusive translation of basic science into clinical practice are also within the scope of this call. Key opinion leaders with an internationally competitive track record in the field of chronic pain should be involved. The resulting recommendations should help to answer important conceptual questions to delineate future ERA-NET NEURON joint activities on this subject.

The elaboration of white papers, prospective views, recommendations, guidelines or best practice frameworks of value to the wider research community and with societal impact, among others, will be considered possible outcomes of this call. Examples may be (amongst others):

  • Conceptualisation of new ideas, 
  • Provision of white papers,
  • Prospective analysis in expert centres to unveil problems or gaps in protocols,
  • Harmonization and standardization of methods, protocols and/or techniques,
  • Guidelines for patient stratification based on analysis of available resources, 
  • Best practices concerning data access, handling and/or sharing,
  • Roadmaps for implementation of techniques or protocols related with chronic pain 
  • Guidelines for best practices in the treatment of chronic pain.

The ERA-NET NEURON seeks to strengthen patient engagement in research. All applications should include a description of the expected outcomes with potential relevance for patients. If appropriate, applicants are expected to engage patients and to disseminate the results to the patient community. 

Meaningful involvement of early career researchers (ECRs) is highly encouraged. 

Note that the following are excluded from this call:

  • Proposals focussing on acute pain
  • Proposals focussing on psychological and social consequences of pain conditions
  • Experimental research activities.
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This is a joint transnational call: applicants must apply as part of a transnational consortium.

Researchers from Ireland can apply as Scientific Coordinator or a participating member of the Networking Group. Funding will be granted to and coordinated by the Budget Recipient (BR). If successful, BRs from Ireland will be funded by the Health Research Board up to a maximum of €50,000 (including overheads) to support activities for a maximum duration of 1 year (expected start April–June 2023). Applicants applying for funding from Ireland must be based at an eligible HRB Host Institution

Individual participants seeking funding should confirm eligibility with their national funding organisation contact point. 

Main Eligibility Criteria

  • Only transnational projects will be funded.
  • Each networking group must involve a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 participants.
  • A minimum of three participants must come from at least three different funding countries.
  • At least half of the institutions participating to a Networking Group must belong to a member of the ERA-NET NEURON COFUND 2. The inclusion of experts from non-NEURON regions is encouraged.
  • Industrial partners can only be included as external collaborators, not being able to receive or provide any funding. 
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Please review the published text for full details of the aim, objectives and scope of the call. Applicants from Ireland who are requesting HRB funding should also read the accompanying information in the HRB Guidance notes and HRB FAQ on this webpage.

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There will be a one-stage application procedure for joined applications. One joint proposal document (in English) must be prepared by the partners and submitted by the Scientific Coordinator in electronic format no later than 13:00 GMT on 8th of November 2022 via the DLR Electronic Submission system. No other means of submission will be accepted.

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For general information, please contact the Joint Call Secretariat (JCS):
Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) – State Research Agency of Spain
Esther Chacón
E-mail: neuron(at)aei.gob.es

For country-specific information for Irish Partners, please contact the HRB, Ireland:
Irish applicants
Dr Siobhán Hackett
Email: eujointprogrammes(at)hrb.ie

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Opening date
01:00 06-09-2022
Closing date
13:00 08-11-2022
Decision expected
March 2023