ERA-NET TRANSCAN-3 Joint Transnational Call (2021) “Next generation cancer immunotherapy: targeting the tumour microenvironment” UPDATED HRB Guidance and FAQs Documents April 19 2021

The goal of ERA-NET TRANSCAN-3 is coordinating national and regional funding programmes for research in the area of translational cancer research. Twenty eight funding organisations from nineteen countries have agreed to launch a Joint Transnational Call (JTC 2021), co-funded by the European Commission, for collaborative research projects on "Next generation cancer immunotherapy: targeting the tumour microenvironment". The participating TRANSCAN-3 funding organisations wish to promote innovative interdisciplinary collaboration and truly translational research projects aiming at promoting highly innovative and ambitious collaborative projects in translational cancer research at European and International level. 

Additional Information

In the context of translational research, this topic at the intersection of laboratory and clinical research in immuno-oncology will comprise two general aims listed below which concur to the possible clinical applications.

Approaches should be directed to draw up a multidimensional tumour microenvironment (TME) map paving the road for new efficacious immunotherapy strategies. Projects should be built from a solid and established hypothesis and should be relevant with regards to the possible improvements in clinical practice.

Aim 1: Identification and validation of TME subclasses and their contribution to the resistance mechanisms: Translational research using tumour samples collected from retrospective and/or prospective cohorts of patients.

Aim 2: Targeting TME to improve efficacy of immunotherapy in human patients.(NB: Irish partners are not eligible for HRB Funding for Aim 2.3. Furthermore clinical trials and interventions cannot be used as an approach in any of the other aims).

The following types of research projects are excluded from the call:


This is a joint transnational call: applicants must apply as part of a transnational consortium.

Researchers from Ireland can apply as coordinators or partners. If successful, researchers from Ireland will be funded by the Health Research Board up to the maximum amount for the call. Applicants applying for funding from Ireland must be based at an eligible HRB Host Institution.

Individual country partners/coordinators should confirm eligibility with their national funding organisation contact point.

Main Eligibility Criteria

  • Only transnational projects will be funded.
  • Each consortium must involve funded partners from at least three different countries participating in this call.
  • Each proposal must involve a minimum of three and a maximum of six partners (principal investigators) eligible for funding.
  • In addition a consortium must not involve more than two (2) partners from the same country, in such cases the minimum number of research groups must be four, coming from three different countries.
  • No more than one partner not eligible for funding by one of the organisations participating in this Call with its own funding is allowed in consortia with at least three partners eligible for funding.
  • In order to strengthen the European translational cancer research area, a wide inclusion of research teams from all the countries/regions participating in the call is encouraged, with a particular attention to research teams from Latvia, Slovakia and Turkey.
  • Each consortium must involve at least one basic or pre-clinical research team and one clinical team. It is also recommended to include an expert team in methodology, biostatistics or bioinformatics, depending on the type of work planned.

Please review the published text for full details of the aim, objectives and scope of the call:


Both pre and full proposals must be written in English and must be submitted to the Joint Call Secretariat by the coordinator through the PT-Outline electronic submission system exclusively. 

(See for further details)


General Queries: Joint Call Secretariat (JCS 2021) at:

Ministero della Salute - Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Italy

Silvia Paradisi

e-mail: jtc2021(at)

Applicants from Ireland who still have questions after reading the information on the Call website, the HRB Guidance notes and HRB FAQ can contact Dr Louise Drudy at HRB email ldrudy(at)