EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) call announced

Date of announcement: 07.01.2020

The National Science Centre (hereinafter: “NCN”) in cooperation with the JPND network (EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research), announces the call for international research projects concerning development of imaging and brain stimulation technologies to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases.

The call for proposals is open to any consortia composed of at least 3 research teams from at least 3 countries participating in the call. The call participants must meet the national requirements of the funding organisations participating in the call.

Countries participating in the call:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Canada, Luxembourg, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Hungary and Italy.

Application process:

Stage I:

Stage II:

  • international level: the Polish research team prepares a joint full proposal in English in cooperation with its foreign partners and submits it via the electronic submission system of the JPND;
  • national level: the Polish research team prepares an NCN proposal covering the Polish part of the project and submits it to the NCN via the ZSUN/OSF electronic submission system. Instructions for submitting proposals in the OSF/ZSUN submission system are available here.

Call timeline:

  • Submission deadline for joint pre-proposals: 3 March 2020
  • Invitation to submit joint full proposals: May 2020
  • Submission deadline for joint full proposals: 30 June 2020
  • Submission deadline for NCN proposals in ZSUN/OSF: 7 July 2020
  • Call results: December 2020

In the JPND Call 2020, funds may be awarded to cover remuneration for the research team, remuneration and scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or construction of research equipment and for other costs crucial to the research project.

The total funds allocated by the NCN for the tasks to be performed by Polish research teams in the call amount to EUR 500,000.

The budget of the Polish part of the research project in the joint proposal should be prepared in EUR, with the exchange rate of EUR 1 = PLN 4.2916.

Please read:

  • call documents available on the JPND website (applies to all applicants in the call);
  • detailed information for applicants below and annexes hereto (applies only to entities applying for NCN funding).

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Who may apply for NCN funding?

Proposals in the call may be submitted by the following entities specified in the Act on the National Science Centre (NCN):

  1. universities;
  2. federations of science and HE entities;
  3. research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, operating pursuant to the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1475);
  4. research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on research institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);
  5. international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts, operating in the Republic of Poland;

    5a. Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 534);

    5b. institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network;
  6. Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences
  7. entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis;
  8. groups of entities (at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-7 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company);
  9. scientific and industrial centres within the meaning of the Act on research institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);
  10. research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences as defined in the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010;
  11. scientific libraries;
  12. companies established as research and development centres as defined in the Act on certain forms of support for innovative activities of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 141);
  13. legal entities with registered office in Poland; and
  14. companies conducting research in other organisational forms than set forth in sections 1-13.

If research projects are to be carried out by two or more Polish partners applying for NCN funding, they must set up a group of entities (see item 8 above) and as such submit NCN proposals. An NCN proposal is submitted by a leader specified in the research project cooperation agreement concluded by the group of entities. An entity employing the principal investigator acts as the leader of the group of entities.

If, in the light of Article 27 (1) (2) of the NCN Act, Polish partners cannot set up groups of entities, they shall not be eligible to apply for NCN funding of a joint research project.

Who may act as a principal investigator?

The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree when submitting a proposal. Additional restrictions are detailed in Chapter IV, §12-15 of the Terms and regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded or co-funded under international calls launched by the National Science Centre and carried out as multilateral cooperation UNISONO, annexed to NCN Council Resolution No 131/2019 of 12 December 2019.

What is the thematic scope of the call?

The call for proposals for „Novel imaging and brain stimulation methods and technologies related to Neurodegenerative Diseases” covers research domains aiming at the development of novel and the advanced use of existing technologies used to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases. The call will focus on the following technologies:

  • Imaging technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Position Emission Tomography or super-resolution microscopy and molecular imaging techniques that have brought about a dramatic improvement in the understanding of the onset, development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Brain stimulation techniques, such as Deep Brain Stimulation, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation or Focused Ultrasound.

Detailed information on the topics covered by the call can be found in the JPND Call 2020 call announcement. Researchers from Poland, whose projects meet the criterion of basic research, can submit their proposals with the NCN.

NCN proposals in which research tasks overlap with research tasks planned in other proposals submitted earlier in any other NCN call may be submitted only after the assessment or appeal proceedings concerning such earlier proposal have been completed and no funds were granted.

What is the project’s duration?

In the call, research projects may be planned for a period of either 24 or 36 months.

How should the project’s budget be planned?

Creating a project budget is one of the most important aspects in project planning, which aims to identify and estimate the costs of the resources required to perform the planned research work. The calculations must be realistic and compliant with the guidelines provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN under international calls carried out  as multilateral collaboration UNISONO.

The maximum budget of the Polish research team is not pre-determined; however, please remember that the justification for the planned expenses versus the scope of tasks is assessed by an international expert team.

The budget in the NCN proposal should be prepared in PLN, whilst the budget in the joint proposal should be given in EUR.

The budget of the Polish part of the project in the joint proposal should be calculated according to the following exchange rate: EUR 1 = PLN 4,2916.

Eligible costs in the project include direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs include:

  1. remuneration:
  • full-time employment: funds for full-time employment of the principal investigator or post-doc(s);
  • additional salaries for members of the research team;
  • remuneration and scholarships for students and PhD students 
  1. purchase or construction of research equipment, devices and software;
  2. purchase of materials and small equipment;
  3. outsourced services;
  4. business trips, visits and consultations;
  5. compensation for collective investigators;
  6. other costs crucial to the project.

Indirect costs may not exceed 20 per cent of direct costs. During the project implementation, the host institution shall arrange with the principal investigator for the distribution of at least 25 per cent of the indirect costs’ value. 

Remuneration of administrative staff and costs of conference organisation (rental of rooms, catering) may be financed solely as indirect expenses.

We recommend that Polish applicants in the call consult the budget table of the Polish part of the project with the NCN. The project budget in .xlsx format should be sent to by 3 March 2020.

Are there any restrictions on the size of the Polish research team?

The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum number of the research team members. Detailed information on the costs of remuneration and scholarships is provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN within the multilateral collaboration UNISONO.

Please note that persons employed as post-doc(s) in the project must be recruited in an open call.

Persons to be recruited in an open call, including persons to be employed as post-docs, cannot be named in joint or NCN proposals.

Can proposals in this call include application for state aid?

Yes. Detailed information can be found in the State aid rules.

What is the proposal evaluation procedure?

Joint proposals are subject to an eligibility check performed by the NCN, other agencies participating in the call for proposals and the secretariat of the JPND Call 2020.

Joint proposals successfully evaluated during the eligibility check are subject to merit-based evaluation carried out by an international expert team in line with the principles specified in the call announcement.

NCN proposals shall be subject solely to NCN eligibility check carried out by the scientific coordinators.

The eligibility check of NCN proposals shall comprise verification of proposal for completeness, compliance with all terms set forth in the call documents and Resolution No 131/2019, including compliance of the planned budget with the annex to the foregoing Resolution, i.e. Costs in research projects funded by the NCN under international calls carried out as multilateral collaboration UNISONO.

The information provided in NCN proposals and in joint proposals must be consistent.

Who performs the merit-based evaluation of proposals?

Only joint proposals shall be subject to merit-based evaluation. Merit-based evaluation shall be performed by an expert team appointed by the JPND network. More information on the evaluation of proposals is available in the call announcement on the JPND website.

When and how will the results be announced?

The JPND Call 2020  shall be concluded by the time specified in the call documents (December 2020). Firstly, project coordinators shall be informed about the outcome. Polish research teams shall be notified by way of NCN Director’s decisions.

In the event of a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements related to actions performed by the NCN, the applicant may lodge an appeal against the NCN Director’s decision with the Committee of Appeals of the NCN Council.

Where can additional information be found?

For more information on the call please go to the JPND website.

For detailed terms and regulations on awarding NCN funding in the call please refer to the annex to NCN Council Resolution No 131/2019 of 12 December 2019 – UNISONO.

Should you have any more questions, please contact us by e-mail or by phone:

Useful information

efore submitting an NCN proposal in the ZSUN/OSF system:

  1. check if all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. The verification of the proposal for completeness in ZSUN/OSF by pressing the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button does not guarantee that all information has been entered correctly and that the required annexes have been attached;
  2. disable the editing of the final version of the proposal to the NCN;
  3.  download the confirmation of proposal submission - to be signed by the Principal Investigator and authorised representative(s) of the host institution
  4. upload the signed confirmation of proposal submission in the ZSUN/OSF system .

Once the proposal is completed and all the required annexes attached, use the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button to submit the proposal to the NCN electronically via the ZSUN/OSF platform.