European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD) Joint Transnational Call (To be confirmed))

The aim of the Join Transitional 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 benefit for patients. Projects shall involve a group of rare diseases or a single rare disease following the European definition i.e. a disease affecting not more than five in 10 000 persons in the European Community, EC associated states and Canada.

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.

Additional Information

A number of national and regional funding organisations will participate in the EJP RD Joint Transnational Call (JTC) 2020 and will fund multilateral research projects on rare diseases together with the European Commission (EC) under the EJP-COFUND action.
Research proposals must cover at least one of the following areas:

  1. 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
  2. Use of disease models suitable for medicinal product’s development according to EMA guidelines
  3. 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
  4. 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:
a)   Therapeutic approaches concerning rare infectious diseases, rare cancers and rare adverse drug events in treatments of common diseases
b)   Interventional clinical trials
c)   Surgery or radiation therapies
d)   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.
e)   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.


Only transnational projects will be funded. Each consortium submitting a proposal must involve four to six eligible principal investigator partners. No more than two eligible partners from the same country can be present in each consortium (further national limits may apply). This limit applies to Early Career Researchers and partners from underrepresented countries (see below). Patient Advocacy Organisations (PAOs) requesting funding do not count toward this total.

The number of partners can be increased to 8 in two cases:

  • The inclusion of partners from participating countries usually underrepresented in projects (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, and Turkey).
  • The inclusion of Early Career Researchers as full partners.

Lead Applicants from Republic of Ireland can apply from a recognised HRB Host Institution. If successful they will be funded by the Health Research Board up the maximum amount of the call.


Pre-proposals must be submitted electronically the EJP RD website ( Further details can be found in the call text and the HRB supplementary guidance notes.. The call is a two-step application, with a first stage (pre-proposal submission) deadline of 18 February 2020. Invitations to submit full proposals will be issued at the end of April 2020 with a full proposal submission deadline of mid-June 2020.


Louise Drudy
Email: ldrudy(at)

Opening date
10:00 18-12-2019
Closing date
17:00 18-02-2020
Late April 2020
Decision expected
November 2020
Next call expected
Q4 2020