CaixaResearch Health call

Next opening from 28 September to 25 November 2021, at 2 pm CET

Description and call for proposals

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The ”la Caixa” Foundation launches the fourth edition of the open call for health research projects.

  • Timeline


    On 28 September, the new 2022 Call will open and the new information and rules for participation will be published on this website. You will also be able to sign up for the Information Session that will take place on 14 October 2021, at 10.30 am CET.


    Call publication
    2 September 2019, at 2 pm CET

    Opening of the on-line system for proposal submission
    20 October 2020, at 2 pm CET

    Deadline for applications (automatic closure)
    3 December 2020, at 2 pm CET

    Remote pre-selection by peer review
    From January to April 2021

    Face-to-face assessment by Selection Committees
    27 and 28 May 2021 in Barcelona

    Resolution announcement
    Late June 2021

    Execution of the selected projects
    From September 2021 to September 2024

  • Goals


    The ”la Caixa” Foundation launches the fourth edition of the Call for biomedical and health research projects with the aim of identifying and giving support to the most promising initiatives of scientific excellence with potential value and high social impact, whether in basic, clinical or translational research.

    Proposals must be submitted in the following thematic areas:

    • Neuroscience

    • Oncology

    • Cardiovascular and associated metabolic disease

    • Infectious diseases

    • Enabling technologies focused on the four previous thematic areas

  • Grants


    For the Call, project proposals, to be executed over up to 3 years, may be:

    • Individual projects: submitted by a single research organization (Host Organization, HO), requesting up to a maximum of €500,000.

    • Research consortium projects: submitted by at least two and no more than five research organizations and coordinated by the HO. Research consortium projects may request up to a maximum of €1,000,000.

    Both individual and research consortium projects may also include non-profit civil society organizations (CSO), such as patients’ associations. Established companies may not form part of the cooperating organizations that carry out activities of the project.

    The intention is to distribute this amount approximately equitably amongst the different thematic areas, but the final distribution will always depend on the quality and specific characteristics of the submitted proposals. The fact that the proposals are submitted as individual or as research consortium, or are basic, clinical or translational research projects will not in any case be a selection criterion during the evaluation process. The only selection criteria for assessing the proposals are those described in the Rules for participation.

    The correct allocation of the budget, properly adjusted to the activities to be carried out, will be a strictly evaluated criterion during the selection process.

  • Applicants


    Host Organizations (HO). Projects submitted may be led by researchers from non-profit research organizations based in Spain or Portugal.

    Project Leader (PL). The principal investigator at the host organization must also be the project leader who submits the proposal and coordinates overall execution of the project.

    Research Performing Organizations(RPO). Any non-profit research organization localized in any country around world, which carries out activities of the project. In individual projects, the RPO is the host organization. In research consortia, there must be a minimum of two and a maximum of five RPOs (including the host organization). Research organizations with the same NIF or VAT number will be considered one sole organization.

    Principal Investigators (PI). Each research performing organization must have a principal investigator responsible for performing the activities in the project carried out at their institution.

    Civil Society Organizations (CSO). Both individual projects and research consortia may also include up to three non-profit civil society organizations that are not engaged in research as part of their usual activity (e.g. patients' associations).

    Companies. Established companies may not be members of the project team, but may receive funds as subcontracted.

    Globally, the sum of the budget of all the organizations not located in Spain or Portugal may receive a maximum of 30% of the total project budget.

    Team members. All team members should form part of the host organization (HO), the civil society organizations (CSO) or the research consortia.

  • Elegibility


    Details of the eligibility criteria and required documentation to complete the application can be found in the Rules for participation.

    Previous awardees. PLs of awarded projects in the three previous editions of the Health Research Call cannot apply as PLs for new proposals in this edition.

    Threshold score in the previous Health Research call. In order to promote the quality of proposals, PLs of projects that scored less than 5.50 (from a maximum score of 8) in the peer reviewed assessment of the previous edition (HR20) will not be able to submit proposals to this edition (HR21).

    Prospectively, the PL and PIs of projects that score less than 5.50 (from a maximum score of 8) in the peer review assessment of this edition (HR21), cannot be submit as PL in proposals of the next edition (HR22).

    Are NOT eligible those projects developing studies whose results are subject to rights, of any nature, held by for-profit organizations before the submission of the proposal. In any case, “la Caixa Foundation reserves the right to reject proposals with a clear benefit to for-profit organizations.

  • Project selection


    Proposals are selected on the basis of a rigorous process that will be carried out by peer reviewers in accordance with the highest standards of quality, impartiality, objectivity and transparency.

    The process consists of an initial pre-selection remote phase and a second selection phase of face-to-face interviews conducted by Selection Committees in each of the research areas.

  • Frequently asked questions


  • Contact


Application process

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  • Application process


    1. The rules for participation and application form will be available on the website from 2 September 2020. We recommend you begin preparing your proposal.

    2. The on-line system will be open to submit applications from 20 October 2020, at 2 p.m. CET to 3 December 2020, at 2 p.m. CET, 2020.

    3. Users and roles in the on-line system:

      - Project Leader (PL): investigator responsible for the proposal and person who will sign the grant agreement if the proposal is awarded. It is essential that the PL registers in the system with his/her personal data and establishes the link to his/her organization, which should appear in the list. Should the organization not be found, it can be included by entering its name and identification details (NIF if the organization is Spanish and VAT number if it is Portuguese).

      - Organization Manager (OM): manager of the applicant organization and sole representative authorized by the organization to carry out management procedures related to the proposal (accepting the PL linked to the organization and providing the necessary documentation should the proposal be awarded).

      - The proposal cannot be processed until the PL receives the on-line acceptance from the OM.

      - The OM has access to view the proposals.

      - Principal Investigator (PI): researcher of each consortium research performing organization. The PI has access to the proposal of which he/she is a member through the invitation from the PL. The PI may access the proposal for viewing and must accept it on-line for the procedure to continue.

      - Civil Society Organizations (CSO): non-profit organizations from civil society which participate as members of a project proposal (whether individual or in consortium). The representative of the CSO has access to the proposal of which the CSO is a member through the invitation from the PL. The representative may access the proposal for viewing and must accept it on-line for the procedure to continue.

    4. A validation button is available during the application process to check that the data provided are correct. We recommend this validation be used throughout the process to ensure submission prior to the deadline for applications.

    5. The application must be completed in English. Applications will not be accepted if they are submitted in any other language, have incomplete information or documentation, are presented on paper or delivered through any other manner, or fail to meet the deadline.

  • Frequently asked questions


  • Contact


    Questions and answers


Selection process

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    The Project evaluation procedure consists of the following phases:

    1. Eligibility criteria scrutiny: All applications received will be reviewed to ensure they fulfil the criteria published in the Call. Where an application is dismissed, the ”la Caixa” Foundation will send an email notification to the applicant explaining the reasons.

    2. Pre-selection peer review process: Applications that pass the eligibility phase enter the pre-selection peer review process, conducted by three or four international experts. The 12-15 applications that receive the best ratings from each thematic area will pass to the next stage. The "la Caixa" Foundation will inform PLs by email whether they have been shortlisted or not

    3. Selection Committees: There will be five Selection Committees, one for each thematic area of this Call. These Committees will be composed of 8 to 12 internationally renowned experts. The PLs of shortlisted proposals will be called in for a face-to-face interview in Barcelona on 27 and 28 May 2021. Projects that are successful in securing funding in the Call will be notified in late June 2021.

    If you would like further information about the selection process, please download the following documents: Evaluation Process Guide and Code of Conduct for Evaluators.


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Only for researchers who are currently working outside Spain and Portugal.

    Join our Team of Evaluators!

    The ”la Caixa” Foundation evaluation procedure follows international standards and consist of a peer review process and a number of final expert selection panels.

    To become a reviewer for this particular call you need to be currently working outside Spain and Portugal. You will be financially remunerated for your work according to European standards.

    Should you be interested in joining our team of scientific reviewers, you can fill out this simple form.

    We also invite you to send the request below to any other experts you know who might be interested.