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

Mr. Maxime Beaudoin
Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS)


Please download the application form here:

Details for the EPNA AWARD 2021

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, 2020, and December 31, 2020 and affiliated with the call partner countries are eligible to apply.

The deadline for proposal submission is October 30, 2021, 5:00 PM (UTC-GMT) (7 pm Berlin time).

The Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award 2021 focuses on Biomarkers. The article should contribute progress in the development and validation of reliable biomarkers for the diagnosis, patient stratification, prognosis, monitoring and prediction of treatment response and side effects in neurological and psychiatric diseases.

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 taking place in Paris, France, on July 12, 2022. ERA-NET NEURON will cover the award and travel costs related to the lecture. 

Call Partner Countries (23): Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom.

2. Aim of the call  

Currently ERA-NET NEURON (the Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research) links 27 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 are 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 researches until a maximum of three years from a PhD or an equivalent degree1 at the date of publication.
  • 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, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • Affiliation of the sole first Author with a call partner country as stated in the publication.
  • Article published in open access or available via open access publication repository is encouraged.
  • Original research article published in an international peer review journal.
  • Topic of the article must be clearly relevant to disease-related, translational, neurosciences and it must fall into one of the following two categories:
    • Fundamental research addressing the discovery and validation of biomarkers to be used as bio signatures of the pathophysiology associated with specific neurological and psychiatric diseases.
    • Clinical research on clinically relevant biomarkers for the diagnosis, patient stratification, prognosis or monitoring or prediction of treatment response and side effects for specific neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Foot notes

1 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).

4. Application

Eligible early-career researchers may submit a proposal for the EXCELLENT PAPER IN NEUROSCIENCE AWARD. The proposal must be submitted electronically 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

The deadline for applications is October 30, 2021. 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 by the end of January 2022.

7. Award Presentation

The winner will be invited to give an “Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award” special lecture during the FENS Forum taking place in Paris, France, 12th of July 2022. 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 October

Deadline for proposal submission:

October 30, 2021

Evaluation of the proposals:

November-December 2021

Decisions and information about the evaluation results:

Late January 2021

Award Presentation Ceremony:

July 2022

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
Belgium (Flanders)Dr. Kristen Peeters

Mr. Toon Monbaliu

Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
(French-speaking community)
Dr. Florence Quist
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS (F.R.S.-FNRS)
Canada (Québec)Mr. Maxime Beaudoin
Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS)
CroatiaMr. Mateo Ante Bosnić
Ministarstvo Znanosti I Obrazovanja (MZO)
Mr. Argo Soon
Eesti Teadusagentuur (Estonian Research Council, ETAG)
FinlandDr. Aki Salo
Academy of Finland (AKA)
France Dr. Sheyla Mejia Gervacio

Prof. Dr. Bernard Poulain

Prof. Dr. Etienne Hirsch

National Research Agency (ANR) Health & Biology Department

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

Dr. Christina Müller
German Programme Management Health Research (DLR-PT)
Greece Georgia Kostopoulou
General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)
Hungary Klára Horváth
National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH)
Ireland Dr. Amanda Daly
Health Research Board (HRB)
Israel Dr. Liron Even-Faitelson
Chief Scientist Office, Ministry of Health (CSO-MOH)
ItalyDr. Cinzia Kutschera
Ministero della Salute (IT-MOH)
Latvia Dr. Uldis Berkis
State Education Development Agency (VIAA)
Norway Dr. Alexandra Bjørk-Skaflestad
The Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Poland Dr. Marcin Chmielewski
National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR)
Portugal Dr. Anabela Isidro
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)
Romania Prof. Dr. Leon Zagrean
CAROL DAVILA University of Medicine and Pharmacy/Neuroscience (UEFISCDI)
Slovakia Dr. Zuzana Cernakova
Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS)
Spain Mrs. Esther Chacón

Mrs. Clara Martín
Chacon Spanish State Research Agency (AEI)

National Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII)
SwitzerlandDr. Carolin von SchoultzSwiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
Taiwan Ms. Ching-Mei Tang
Turkey Dr. Emrah Çevik
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)
UK Dr. Siv Vingill
Medical Research Council (MRC)