For general information, please contact the ERA-NET NEURON EPNA Joint Call Secretariat

Mr. Maxime Beaudoin
ERA-NET NEURON EPNA Joint Call Secretariat
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)


Please download the application form here:

Details for the EPNA AWARD 2023

1. General call description  

The ERA-NET NEURON partner countries are issuing the EXCELLENT PAPER IN NEUROSCIENCE AWARD to recognize the remarkable and outstanding scientific publications by early-career researchers in the field of disease-related, translational, neurosciences. Sole First Author of original research articles published between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and affiliated with the call partner countries listed below are eligible to apply. The deadline for proposal submission is September 29, 2023.

The Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award 2023 focuses on Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The article should contribute progress on important translational research questions related to the neurodevelopmental nature of neurological and mental disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorders are behavioural and cognitive disorders that arise during the developmental period. Those disorders may involve significant difficulties in the acquisition and execution of specific intellectual, motor, or social functions.

An award of EUR 3 000 will be granted to the best proposal. The winner will be invited as an “Excellent Paper in Neuroscience” special lecturer during the FENS Forum on 25-29th of June 2024, in Vienna, Austria. ERA-NET NEURON will cover the award and travel costs related to the lecture.

Call Partner Countries (24): Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom.

The deadline for proposal submission is September 29, 2023, 5:00 PM (UTC-GMT)

2. Aim of the call  

Currently ERA-NET NEURON (the Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research) links 28 national research funding programs and organizations in the field of disease-related neurosciences in Europe, Israel, Turkey, Taiwan, and Canada. The EXCELLENT PAPER IN NEUROSCIENCE AWARD will emphasize the importance of neuroscience and will contribute to integrating the neuroscience research community. The award is designed as a form of support and encouragement for researchers at the early stage of their career.

3. Eligibility 

The application must fulfil the following criteria:


  • The sole first Author in the proposed publication. Shared first authorships is not considered for the award.
  • The Author must have been affiliated with a call partner country at the time of publication (list of eligible countries above).
  • Pre-doctoral and postdoctoral early career researchers until a maximum of three years from a PhD or an equivalent degree at the date of publication. (Equivalent degrees to the PhD may vary from a different country. A Medical degree alone is not sufficient. In addition, a minimum formation in research (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) is required or proof of an appointment that requires doctoral equivalency (e.g. post-doctoral fellowship, professorship appointment).)
  • Eligible breaks include parental leaves, long-term illness, and national service. Concerning parental leave, national rules apply, or 12 months per child, whichever is the greatest.


  • Award period: published between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022.
  • Affiliation of the sole first Author with a call partner country as stated in the publication.
  • Articles published in open access or available via open access publication repository is encouraged.
  • Original research articles published in an international peer review journal.
  • The topic of the article must be clearly relevant to disease-related bio-medical and translational neurosciences and, it must fall into one of the following two categories:
    • a) Fundamental research addressing the pathogenesis, aetiology, susceptibility, and resilience mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders. This may include the development of innovative or shared resources and technologies that are relevant for neurodevelopmental disorders.
    • b) Clinical research to develop novel strategies for prevention, diagnosis, patient stratification, therapy and/or rehabilitation for neurodevelopmental disorders.

The following research areas are excluded from this call:
Neurodegenerative disorders that are addressed by the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative dementias, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and PD-related disorders, Prion disease, Motor neuron diseases, Huntington’s disease, Spinocerebellar ataxia, Spinal muscular atrophy).

4. Application

Eligible early-career researchers may submit a proposal for the EXCELLENT PAPER IN NEUROSCIENCE AWARD. The proposal must be submitted by email using the on-line form available through the NEURON web page. Both pre- and postdoctoral early-career researchers working in ERA-NET NEURON partner countries are encouraged to apply.

Applications are only accepted from the sole first author of an original research article. The on-line application must include the following information bundled in one single PDF format attachment.

1) Introduction (minimum font size 11, Arial/Calibri/Times or comparable) including the following:

  • Application form (of the first author)
  • One-page short biosketch of the author
  • One-page summary addressing the significance of the work
  • A pitch of not more than 250 characters (including spaces) describing the research focus of the article and the applicant’s role in it.

2) PDF of the original research article (published within the eligible award period)

The deadline for applications is September 29, 2023. Applications must be sent by email to the ERA-NET NEURON EPNA joint call secretariat (see details in the application form) by 5:00 PM (UTC-GMT). Incomplete or late applications will be automatically rejected.

5. Evaluation

ERA-NET NEURON partners will select the proposals upon consultation of high-level scientists in the neuroscience field. The proposals will be evaluated as a whole, based on the following criteria:

  • theoretical approach and scientific quality
  • novelty and innovativeness of research,
  • scientific and societal impact for the area
  • contribution of the ECR to the research discovery.

The aforementioned criteria should be reflected through the different sections of the proposal.

Based on the evaluation, the highest-ranked proposal will be awarded the prize.

6. Management

The ERA-NET NEURON EPNA Joint Call Secretariat together with the national funding agencies will be responsible for the management of the evaluation process.

The Joint Call Secretariat will inform the applicants about the decisions individually in early December 2023.

7. Award Presentation

The winner will be invited to give an “Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award” special lecture during the FENS Forum on 25-29th of June 2024, in Vienna, Austria. The award and travel costs related to the lecture will be covered by ERA-NET NEURON. The winner may also be invited to present in ERA-NET NEURON events and contribute to the planning of the future support activities of the early-career researchers (ECR) or other activities within the NEURON network.

8. Extended Call Schedule

Announcement of the call:

Early August

Deadline for proposal submission:

September 29, 2023

Evaluation of the proposals:

October - November 2023

Decisions and information about the evaluation results:

Early December 2023

Award Presentation at the FENS Forum, in Vienna, Austria

25-29th of June 2024

9. National Contact points

For further information, follow the links below or contact your national representative:

Table 1: List of all the eligible countries for this call

CountryContact personContact information
AustraliaDr. Adam ChapmanNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Belgium (Flanders)Dr. Kristien Peeters Mr. Toon MonbaliuResearch Foundation – Flanders (FWO)    
(French-speaking community)
Dr. Florence QuistFonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS (F.R.S.-FNRS)
Canada (Québec)Mr. Maxime BeaudoinFonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS)
CroatiaMr. Mateo Ante BosnićMinistarstvo Znanosti I Obrazovanja (MZO)
Mr. Argo SoonEesti Teadusagentuur (Estonian Research Council, ETAG)
FinlandDr. Aki SaloAcademy of Finland (AKA)
FranceDr. Sheyla Mejia-Gervacio

Prof. Dr. Bernard Poulain

Dr. Etienne Hirsch
National Research Agency (ANR) Health & Biology Department

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)


Dr. Christina MüllerGerman Programme Management Health Research (DLR-PT)
HungaryDr. Klára  HorváthNational Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH)
IrelandDr. Amanda DalyHealth Research Board (HRB)
IsraelDr. Liron Even-Faitelson     Chief Scientist Office, Ministry of Health (CSO-MOH)
ItalyDr. Chiara CiccarelliMinistero della Salute (IT-MOH)
LatviaDr. Uldis BerkisLatvian Council of Science (LZP)
LithuaniaDr. Živilė RuželėResearch Council of Lithuania (LMT)
NorwayDr. Alexandra Bjørk-SkaflestadThe Research Council of Norway (RCN) or
PolandDr. Marcin ChmielewskiNational Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) 
PortugalDr. Alexandre MauricioFundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)
RomaniaProf. Mihaela ManoleCAROL DAVILA University of Medicine and Pharmacy/Neuroscience (UEFISCDI)
SlovakiaDr. Katarina BibovaSlovak Academy of Sciences (SAS)
SpainMrs. Esther Chacón

Mrs. Maria Cristina Nieto Garcia
Agencia Estatal de Investigación – State Research Agency (AEI)

National Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII)
Switzerland Dr. Francis ParlangeSwiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
TaiwanMs. Ching-Mei TangNational Science and Technology Council (NSTC)
TurkeyDr. Recep Emrah ÇevikThe Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)
UKDr. Siv VingillMedical Research Council (MRC)