Description and call for proposals

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The ”la Caixa” Foundation launches the fifth edition of the CaixaResearch Health Call.

  • Timeline



    Call publication and opening of the on-line system for proposal submission
    28 September 2021, at 2 pm CET

    Deadline for applications (automatic closure)
    25 November 2021, at 2 pm CET

    Remote pre-selection by peer review
    From January to April 2022

    Face-to-face assessment by Selection Committees
    26 and 27 May 2022 in Barcelona

    Announcement of selected projects
    Late June 2022

    Execution of the selected projects
    From September 2022 to December 2025

  • Goals


    The ”la Caixa” Foundation launches the fifth edition of the CaixaResearch Call for biomedical and health research projects. The aim of this call is to identify and support the most promising initiatives of scientific excellence with great 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


    Proposals will have a duration of up to 3 years and may be submitted as:

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

    Grants may be awarded up to €19,000,000* to support the selected projects. The intention is to distribute this amount approximately equitably among the different thematic areas, but the final distribution will always depend on the quality and specific characteristics of the submitted proposals.

    * This amount is subject to final approval by ”la Caixa” Foundation.

    The Francisco Luzón Foundation will co-fund one project on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    The ”la Caixa” Foundation and the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) collaborate by means of the Iniciativa Ibérica de Investigação e Inovação Biomédica (i4B) within the framework of the Call. Under this initiative, the FCT may fund additional projects among the best ranked proposals with a Portuguese component.

    The fact that proposals are submitted as an individual or a research consortium project, or are basic, clinical or translational research projects will not be a selection criterion during the evaluation process. The only selection criteria for assessing the proposals are those described in the rules for participation.

    Correct allocation of the budget and its suitability for 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 cannot be members of the project team, but may receive funds for subcontracted services.

    The sum of the budgets of all the organizations not located in Spain or Portugal may constitute no more than 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 (only available in English).

    Ongoing projects: PLs of projects selected in the last three editions of the CaixaResearch Health Call cannot apply as PL to this edition of the call.

    Score from the previous CaixaResearch Health call: in order to promote the quality of proposals, PLs and PIs of proposals that scored less than 5.50 (out of a maximum score of 8) in the peer reviewed assessment of the previous edition (2021) will not be able to submit proposals as PLs to this edition (2022).

    Similarly, the PL and PIs of projects that score less than 5.50 (out of a maximum score of 8) in the peer review assessment of this edition (2022), cannot submit proposals as a PL of the next edition (2023).

    Projects developing studies whose results are subject to rights, of any nature, held by for-profit organizations before the submission of the proposal are NOT eligible. The ”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 in accordance with the highest standards of quality, impartiality, objectivity and transparency.

    The process consists of an initial pre-selection phase of proposals by remote peer review and a second 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 will be available on the website from 28 September 2021.

    2. The on-line system will be open to submit applications from 28 September, at 2 pm CET, to 25 November 2021, at 2 pm CET.

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

      a. Project Leader (PL): investigator responsible for the proposal and person who will sign the grant agreement if the proposal is selected. It is essential that the PL register in the system with their personal data and select their organization, which must 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).

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

      i. The proposal cannot be submitted until the PL receives the on-line acceptance from the OM. This acceptance can be done at any time during the proposal preparation, as after acceptance the proposal can be modified by the PL.

      ii. The OM has access to view the proposals.

      c. 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.

      d. 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 is correct before submitting the proposal. We recommend using this validation throughout the process and well in advance of the deadline to avoid last minute issues with your submission. No proposals will be accepted after the submission deadline.

    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 rules for participation. 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 to 15 applications that receive the best ratings from each thematic area will proceed 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 26 and 27 May 2022. Projects that are selected in the Call will be notified in late June 2022.

    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.