Preliminary Announcement – Call for Proposals: European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Institute of Genetics (IG) is pleased to announce the preliminary announcement of the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD) funding opportunity. The EJP RD Programme is supported financially by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQC) and 30 funding organizations in the European Commission.

Since 2006, the ERA-Net E-Rare joint-funding Programme has successfully launched 10 joint transnational calls for rare disease research projects.

The aim of the upcoming call is to enable scientists in different countries to build an effective collaboration on a common interdisciplinary research project, based on complementarities and the sharing of expertise, with a clear benefit to patients.

The topic of the call is Research projects to accelerate diagnosis and/or explore disease progression and the mechanisms of rare diseases.

Transnational research proposals must cover at least one of the following equally relevant to the call areas:

  1. Accelerate diagnosis
  2. Explore disease progression and mechanisms

Anticipated Timeline*

There will be a two-stage submission procedure for joint applications: pre-proposal and full proposal.

Call Launch: December 14, 2018
Pre-Proposal Deadline: February 14, 2019
Invitation to Submit Full Proposal: May 2019**
Deadline for Full Proposals: June 11, 2019

*These timelines are estimates and subject to change.
**Please note that at the full proposal stage, Canadian applicants will need to submit a short version of the full proposal and the requested budget in Canadian dollars on ResearchNet.


CIHR-IG is committed to expanding and improving the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases by creating the conditions needed to bring together creative, dynamic, interdisciplinary teams of researchers from across Canada and the European Commission (EC) to collaborate for better health outcome for the rare disease patient community. EJP RD furthers the objectives established by the International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC).

Approved by the EC, EJP-RD is an EU-wide and patient-centred initiative to foster rare disease research from bench to bedside and back. Due to launch in December 2018, the Programme will receive EUR 55 million over 5 years to establish a comprehensive strategy covering research, data, tools and clinical aspects designed to increase the efficiency of results use, diagnosis, drug discovery, patient care and to empowering all stakeholders.

The intent is to open the first EJP RD Joint Transnational Call (JTC 2019) to fund multilateral research projects on rare diseases with the EC through the EJP co-fund mechanism. The call is expected to be opened simultaneously by the 32 funding organizations involved. 

Funds Available

  • The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $1,850,000, enough to fund at least 3 grants. This amount may increase if additional funding partners participate. The maximum amount per grant is $150,000 per year for a maximum of 3 years, for a total of $450,000 per grant.
  • Of this $1,850,000:
    • $500,000 is available to fund applications relevant to the mandate of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS);
    • Support may be available to fund applications relevant to the mandate of MDC (to be confirmed).


  • Only transnational projects will be funded. Each consortium must involve a minimum of four eligible and a maximum of six eligible research partners from at least four different countries. No more than two eligible research partners from the same country participating in the call will be accepted in one consortium.

Disclaimer: This draft version of the EJP RD JTC 2019 funding opportunity is for your information only. The information contained herein is subject to change and does not commit the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to the requirements outlined in this version. The final funding opportunity will be published on the CIHR Funding Opportunity Database in ResearchNet in January 2019.

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