JPND Call 2021


The National Science Centre (hereinafter: “NCN”), in cooperation with the JPND network (EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research), announces a call for international research projects to detect early symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases (Linking pre-diagnosis disturbances of physiological systems to Neurodegenerative Diseases).

Funding proposals may be submitted by international consortia composed of at least 3 (and no more 7 seven) research teams from at least 3 countries participating in the call. The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree.

Countries participating in the call: Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Israel, Canada, Luxembourg, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Hungary, Italy.

The application procedure:

First stage:

Second stage:

  • International level: a joint full proposal drafted by the Polish research teams in cooperation with the foreign partners (in English) and submitted to the electronic submission system of the JPND network.
  • National level: an NCN proposal concerning the Polish part of the project drafted by the Polish research team and submitted to the NCN electronically via the ZSUN/OSF electronic submission system within 7 days of the joint full proposal submission date (international level).

Call Timeline:

  • Submission deadline for joint pre-proposals: 2 March 2021, 3 p.m. CET
  • Call for joint full proposals: May 2021
  • Submission deadline for joint full proposals: 29 June 2021,  3 p.m. CET
  • Submission deadline for NCN proposals in ZSUN/OSF: 6 July 2021
  • Call results: October 2021

Under the JPND 2021 call, funds can be applied for to cover salaries for members of the research team, salaries and scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or construction of research equipment and other costs crucial to the research project.

The total funding allocated by the NCN for research tasks to be performed by the Polish research teams under the call is 500 000 EUR.

The EUR budget for the Polish part of the research project in the joint proposal must be calculated according to the following exchange rate: 1 EUR = 4.4753 PLN.

Please read:

  • call documents available at the website of the JPND network (documents applicable to all applicants in the call);
  • detailed information for applicants below and annexes hereto (documents applicable to applicants 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 2019, item 1183),
  4. research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350);
  5. international research institutes established pursuant to other acts and acting 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, item 534);

5b. institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network,

  1. Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences,
  2. other entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis,
  3. 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),
  4. scientific and industrial centres laid down in the Act on Research Centres (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350),
  5. research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences laid down in the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010,
  6. scientific libraries,
  7. companies operating as R&D centres laid down in the Act on certain forms of support for innovation activities of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1402),
  8. legal entities with registered office in Poland,
  9. natural persons and
  10. companies conducting research in other organisational form 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, pursuant to Article 27 (1) (2) of the NCN Act, Polish entities cannot set up groups of entities, they are not 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 described in detail in Chapter IV 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 collaboration UNISONO, annexed to NCN Council Resolution No 137/2020 of 11 December 2020, amending 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 collaboration UNISONO.

What are the topics covered by the call ?

The subject of the call (Linking pre-diagnosis disturbances of physiological systems to Neurodegenerative Diseases) covers research in the following areas::

  • demonstrating the relationship between early neurodegenerative processes and physiological disturbances,
  • applying cutting-edge methods or technologies to improve the detection of early neurodegenerative disease-specific symptoms,
  • understanding the mechanisms of early neurodegenerative disease-specific symptoms,
  • using digital technologies to link recognisable symptoms to physiological changes associated to neurodegeneration,
  • relating prognostic signs of disease with real life measurement of physiological disturbances using home-monitoring and/or wearable devices

Proposals submitted to the call must focus on one or several of the following neurodegenerative diseases: 

  • Alzheimmer’s disease and other dementias,
  • Parkinson’s disease and PD-related disorders,
  • Prion diseases,
  • Motor neuron disease,
  • Huntington’s disease,
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA),
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

More information on the subject of the call can be found in the JPND call announcement. Polish researchers may apply for NCN funding of their basic research  projects.

NCN proposals comprising research tasks overlapping with research tasks to be carried out in another proposal that has been already submitted in any NCN call or with respect to which an appeal has been initiated, may only be submitted once the funding decision has become final.

What is the project duration period?

Research projects may be planned in the call for a period of either 24 or 36 months.

How should the Polish budget be planned?

Creating a project budget is one of the most important aspects in the project planning which aims at identifying the required resources and estimating the costs required to perform the research tasks. The project budget must be based on realistic calculations and must comply with the guidelines provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre within the multilateral collaboration UNISONO. The maximum budget of the Polish research team is not pre-determined; however, the justification of the expenses versus the scope of tasks is assessed by an international expert team.

The budget in the NCN proposal should be quoted in PLN, while the budget in the joint proposal, in EUR.

The EUR budget for the Polish part of the research project in the joint proposal must be calculated according to the following exchange rate: 1 EUR = 4.4753 PLN.

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. outsourcing;
  4. business trips, visits and consultations;
  5. compensation for collective investigators;
  6. other costs crucial to the project.

Indirect costs may not exceed 20% of direct costs. Additionally, indirect costs of up to 2% of direct costs may be spent on open access to publications and research data.

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

Please note: The cost of open access to publications may only be incurred as indirect costs. The cost of open access planned as direct costs will be regarded as a formal error.

We recommend that Polish applicants should consult the budget table of the Polish part of the project with the NCN. The budget table in .xlsx format should be sent to alicja.dylag@ncn.gov.pl by 22 February 2021.

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 recipients of NCN scholarships or persons employed as post-docs in the project must be recruited in an open call procedure. Please read the Regulations for awarding scholarships in NCN-funded research projects.

Scholarship recipients and post-docs must not be named in either 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 members of JPND network and the Secretariat of the JPND call 2021.

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 are subject solely to an NCN eligibility check carried out by the scientific coordinators.

The eligibility check of NCN proposals involves verification of proposal for completeness, compliance with all terms set forth in the call documents and Resolution No 137/2020 of the NCN Council of 11 December 2020, including compliance of the budget with the Annex thereto, i.e. “Costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre in 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 are subject to merit-based evaluation. Merit-based evaluation is performed  by an expert team appointed by the JPND network. More information on the evaluation of proposals is available in call announcement available at the website of the JPND network.

When and how will the results be announced?

The JPND call 2021 will be concluded by the time specified in the call documents (October 2021). Firstly, project coordinators will be informed about the outcome. Polish research teams will be notified by way of decisions of the NCN Director.

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 decision of the NCN Director 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 website of the JPND network. For detailed terms and regulations on awarding NCN funding in the call, please refer to the Annex to NCN Council Resolution (UNISONO).

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

Useful information

Before submitting an NCN proposal on the national level:

  1. make sure that the information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. Checking the proposal for completeness in ZSUN/OSF with the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button does not guarantee that all information entered is correct and the required annexes have been attached;
  2. disable the final version of the proposal to the NCN;
  3. download the confirmation of proposal submission which must be signed by the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the host institution;
  4. upload the signed confirmation of proposal submission.

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 system.

Call documents

The JPND network:

The call documents applicable to all applicants are available at the website of the JPND network.

The National Science Centre:

  1. 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 collaboration UNISONO
  2. Budget table of the Polish research team
  3. Regulations for awarding scholarships in NCN-funded research projects
  4. Agreement on the formation of a group of entities for the purposes of completion of the research project  (mandatory if a group of Polish entities acts as the applicant).
  5. State aid rules
  6. Guidelines for applicants to complete the ethics issues form in the proposal
  7. Guidelines for applicants to complete the data management plan form in the proposal
  8. Open access policy at the NCN
  9. Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding

Documents concerning submission of proposals:

  1. Rules for delivering the NCN Director’s decisions
  2. Guidelines for appealing against the NCN Director’s decisions

Documents to be read before commencement of an NCN project:

  1. Personal data processing at NCN since 25 May 2018 (GDPR)
  2. Agreement template (draft version that may be amended when the agreement is signed with the NCN) (to be published soon)
  3. Order on the implementation of inspection procedure at the registered office of the host institution
  4. Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre