Frequently Asked Questions
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The online system for submission of proposals to the calls for research and innovation projects will be available through the following link.
We recommend that applicants and organization managers register in good time to become acquainted with the system.
Proposals can be submitted from 20 October to 2 pm on 3 December 2020.
Who has access to the new on-line platform for applications to Calls for research and innovation projects?
a) The Project Leader (PL): should register with the on-line platform giving his/her personal data and establishing a link to his/her organization. If the organization is not in the list, it should be included by entering its name and identification details (NIF if the organization is Spanish and VAT number if it is Portuguese).
b) The Organization Manager (OM): each organization will designate a sole OM for all research and innovation calls, who should register with his/her personal data. To be approved as the OM, the letter of appointment from the organization must be submitted (see the model or template in the OM profile). The "la Caixa" Programme Office will validate this information prior to granting the OM access to the proposal information (basic details, budget and members of the consortium). The OM must complete and validate the information of the Organization and accept the participation of PL in the call so that it can submit a proposal.
c) The Principal Investigator (PI) or representative of a civil society organization (CSO): will receive the invitation to participate in the project from the PL. Once the invitation is accepted and following registration in the system with his/her personal data, the PI will have read access to the project proposal.
All proposals, whether individual or submitted by a research consortium, need authorization from the requesting Organization to be processed. This requires validation by the organization manager (OM) through the online system. This validation can be done along the proposal preparation process, as it does not limit its edition by PL.
In the case of individual proposals with civil society organizations (CSO) or proposals from research consortia (PIs), their participating members must accept participation in the project proposal through the same online system. Should any such acceptance not be provided, the member in question must be withdrawn (in both the invitation module and the section with information on the consortium members) for the proposal to be processed.
If there are any changes in the section of general data and information on the proposal and/or in the composition of the project team members, invitations will have to be accepted again. We therefore recommend invitations are not sent until these data have been entered and checked.
A validation button is available during the application process to check that the data provided are correct. We recommend to use this validation throughout the process to ensure submission prior to the deadline for applications.
In the case that the project is selected, a legal representative of the Host Organization and the PL will sign the agreement with the ”la Caixa” Foundation. In the exceptional case of the research organizations that have a foundation for the management of grants, it is necessary for this managing entity to register in the system linked to the proposal of the PL, so that the agreement can be signed.
Any research project in the following thematic areas - considered in the broadest sense - can be submitted: (1) Neurosciences, (2) Oncology, (3) Cardiovascular and associated metabolic diseases (4) Infectious diseases and (5) Enabling technologies in these four thematic areas.
Basic research provides knowledge to understand nature and its laws. Although it is performed without thought of practical ends, this knowledge provides the essential means of answering a large number of important practical problems.
Clinical research is the research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which the research team (or colleagues) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes clinical trials, epidemiological and behavioural studies, outcomes research and health services research.
Translational research fosters the bidirectional integration of basic research and clinical research, with the long-term aim of improving the health of the public. It expedites the movement between basic research and clinical research, which:
Projects in which the research is based on the development of health-facilitating technologies focused on any of the four previous thematic areas. Enabling technologies include the following: micro- and nanoelectronics, computational science, big data, photonics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing systems.
In the evaluation process of these projects there will be experts in the different enabling technologies, as well as experts in biomedicine and health in the specific thematic areas.
If the project basis is a disease or pathology, we recommend you submit it in the specific thematic area for a better evaluation. If the basis is creation and development of the technology, we recommend you present your proposal in the Enabling technologies thematic area.
Which projects can be submitted to the cardiovascular and associated metabolic diseases thematic area?
Projects in cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases associated with risks or cardiovascular alterations. In a broad sense, the research in metabolic diseases of these projects must be related to cardiovascular diseases.
Yes, this Call is not incompatible with other programmes run by the "la Caixa" Foundation, as long as the proposed budget does not receive funding from these other programmes. Participation in other "la Caixa" Foundation programmes should be indicated when completing the proposal form.
Can I submit applications if I have received an award in previous ”la Caixa” Foundation Health Research calls?
No, PLs awarded in the three previous Health Research calls cannot apply as PLs for new proposals in this edition.
Can I apply to this Call if I submitted a project proposal to the preceding edition which scored less than 5.50 in the peer-reviewed assessment?
No, PLs of projects that scored less than 5.50 in the peer-reviewed assessment of the preceding edition may not submit proposals as a PL to this Call.
PIs from those projects may submit proposals in this Call (HR21).
Notice that if in the peer-reviewed assessment of this edition (HR21) the obtained score is less than 5.5, neither the PL nor the PIs of the project may be submitted in the next edition Call (HR22) as a PL.
A medical doctor (MD) without a doctoral degree (PhD) can take part in this Call as a Principal Investigator (PI) or team member of proposal, but not as Project Leader (PL).
Yes, in the case of individual projects the maximum funding that can be applied for in a proposal is €500,000.
In this case, civil society organizations (such as patients' associations) can also take part in addition to the host organization.
A research consortium is a group of two or more research organizations that work together on a project. For this Call, research consortia can include a maximum of five research organizations (including the host organization).
A research organization is defined by a unique identification number (NIF if the organization is Spanish and VAT number if it is Portuguese). Each organization may appoint only one principal investigator (PI) per proposal. In the case of the host organization (HO) the PI is the project leader (PL).
Non-profit civil society organizations (such as patients' associations) can take part in both individual and consortium projects.
Is there a certain number or percentage of individual or research consortium projects that will be selected during the evaluation process?
No, the fact that projects are individual or a research consortium is not a selection criterion during the evaluation process. Proposals submitted by teams from a single institution and those made up of members of more than one organization are assessed according to the same selection criteria, which are described in the rules for participation.
A researcher can only apply as a project leader (PL) for a single project. A PL can also appear in different projects as principal investigator (PI) or team member if their organization is involved in other research consortium proposals. There is no limit to the number of projects an organization may submit.
No, companies cannot submit proposals as host organizations (HO) or civil society organizations (CSO), as these must be non-profit. However, they may receive project funds if they are subcontracted by a proposal organization.
Are NOT eligible proposals whose results are subject to rights, of any nature, held by for-profit organizations before the deadline for submission. In any case, the ”la Caixa” Foundation reserves the right to reject proposals with a clear benefit to profit organisations.
All expenses are eligible as long as they are well justified by the needs of the project and follow the regulations of the organization that receive the funds. Therefore, it is necessary to follow its regulations in the personnel expenses (for example in completing or already contracted personnel), travels or equipment (for the call you can both charge all the expense of an equipment as only its amortization). The organization must take into account that at the end of the project, an audit of all costs can be requested.
Projects that request a funding greater than €500,000 should include in their budget the cost of an external audit that must be conducted by the host organization (HO) at the end of the project period.
The HO must present an auditor’s report (agreed-upon-procedures report) on their justifying account, detailing the expenses incurred during the project and the procedures applied by the auditor to check that they have been entered into the justifying account correctly, according to the approved budget. This report can be prepared by the project HO’s financial auditor or be assigned to any other auditor with experience in agreed-upon-procedures reports dealing with justifying accounts.
The audit report of the whole project that must be submitted by the HO may also include audit reports from the other project organizations regarding those elements of the project and the budget related to the latter, when the auditor of the Host Institution does not audit directly.