NEURON: Synaptic Dysfunction in Disorders of the Central Nervous System

Disorders of the brain are major causes of morbidity, mortality and impaired quality of life. Around one billion people suffer from disorders of the central nervous system. To promote biomedical and health research in the field of disease related neuroscience, the 'Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research' (NEURON) has been established under the ERA-NET scheme of the European Commission (EC).


The aim of the call is to facilitate multinational, collaborative research projects that will address important questions related to the synaptic dysfunction of the central nervous system. Defective synaptic communication is at the origin of numerous neurological and mental disorders - synaptopathies - such as epilepsies, migraine, autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, mood disorders and others. The synaptopathies are often characterized by common alterations of proteins and molecular pathways affecting either neurons or glia at synapses and altering pre- and/or post-synaptic function. The present call will accept proposals addressing the disease-related synaptic dysfunction with approaches ranging from understanding basic mechanisms of disease to proof-of-concept therapeutically-driven clinical studies in humans.

Who can apply

Senior researchers who are employed at Dutch universities or NWO- and KNAW-institutes may apply for funding and participate in a consortium as main applicant or as co-applicant.

What to apply for

The general NWO standards are applied, in accordance with the VSNU contract. The total budget requested for the Dutch project may not be higher than 250,000 euro.
A PhD student and/or Postdoctoral researchers (up to a maximum of 3 years), non-scientific personnel (up to a maximum of 3 years), material costs, traveling costs, network and consortium costs.

Overhead costs are not eligible.

When to apply

  • Submission deadline for pre-proposals: March 14 2017, 14:00 CET
  • Submission deadline for full proposals: June 29, 2017, 14:00 CET



The reviewers will assess if the projects are within the scope of the call and carry out the evaluation according to specific evaluation criteria:

  1. Excellence
  2. Impact
  3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation


Eligible pre-proposals will be reviewed using the above mentioned evaluation criteria via a written (remote) peer review process. Based on the scores in the written reviews a ranking list will be set up. Preferably, each pre-proposal will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. By mid May 2017, the co-ordinators of the selected proposals will be invited by the Joint Call Secretariat to submit a full proposal.

The international Peer Review Panel will evaluate the full proposals based on the above mentioned evaluation criteria and establish a ranking list of the fundable proposals by scientific assessment. Based on this ranking list the Call Steering Committee will determine the projects to be funded, taking into account the national budgets available. Based on these recommendations, final decisions will be made by the funding agencies and will be subject to budgetary considerations.



Closed for application


29 June 2017 14:00

Grant type

Cooperation and Exchange


250,000 euro

Science area

National Initiative Brain & Cognition Exact and Natural Sciences


International collaboration (2015-2018)


Brain Foundation Netherlands (Hersenstichting)

NWO in transition: changes funding instruments

On 1 January 2017, NWO will adopt a new organisation structure. Current funding instruments will remain unchanged until a decision about any change is taken. NWO will announce this change at least six months in advance. 2017 will be a transition year and the new funding instruments will become effective no later than 1 January 2018.


Dhr. R.P.W. Heinsbroek Dhr. R.P.W. Heinsbroek +31 (0)70 3440987