Building a consortium

What must be considered regarding the composition of a consortium?

The composition of a consortium is part of the evaluation criteria for reviewers. All information about requirements and restrictions regarding consortia are specified in the call text. Within these framework conditions, applicants are free to compose their consortium according to scientific needs. It is possible to include a maximum of two groups from the same country. At the same time, the added value of transnational collaboration may be higher with diverse research groups from different countries.

Can I include external collaborators in a proposal?

Yes, it is possible to include external collaborators in a consortium (e.g. for co-working on specific aspects or for including patients, cohorts, biomaterial samples or data). An external collaborator is a research group that is part of a proposal, but does not apply for funding. In principle, this could be a research group from either

  • a non-JPND member country (e.g., the United States)
  • a JPND member country that is not participating in the specific call
  • a JPND member country that is participating in the call, but the research group is not requesting funding.

External collaborators must be able to secure their own funding. It must be stated clearly in the proposal if these funds are already secured or, if not, how the external collaborators plan to obtain funding in advance of the project start.

The number of external collaborators should be well justified. Please take into account that the majority of research groups in a consortium and the co-ordinator must be from countries of the partner organisations that conduct the call.

How do I find partners for a joint research project?

For this call, JPND is recommending use of the JPND Partnering Tool. The JPND Partnering Tool is free of charge and can be used by anyone. The tool allows researchers to present their research group and expertise in a closed forum, tailored for JPND, thus making it easier for research partners to locate each other and collaborate on a proposal. Researchers can also register a new idea and receive comments from expert scientists and researchers who signed up within the tool. Consortia can then be built around this idea and a proposal can be drafted directly within the Partnering Tool. We believe that this tool will especially support early-career researchers and research groups not yet included in established consortia. Experienced researchers may use the tool to find specific expertise which may be missing from their pre-existing consortia.

The JPND partnering tool can be directly accessed here:

How much money can I apply for and which costs are eligible?

Successful applicants are funded by the respective national funding organisation(s) participating in the call. As a consequence, funding rules depend on the relevant national regulations and restrictions, which differ between the funding organisations. Each funding organisation provides detailed budgetary information as part of the specific information sheet. This information sheet includes important information on the maximum budget available, eligible and non-eligible costs, overhead costs and specific regulations and restrictions. In addition, applicants should also consult their national contact point. Contact information is provided in the specific information sheet as well.

Are there limitations with regard to the size of a consortium?

Yes, each proposal must involve a minimum of three and a maximum of eight (3-8) research groups from at least three different countries applying for funding. Within these limitations, there is some flexibility to apply with a bigger or smaller consortium. Although the size of a consortium – within the permitted range – is not a direct review criterion, the reviewers will evaluate whether the size of a consortium is in-line with the indicated aims and the work plan. Therefore, the number of research groups participating in a consortium should be well-justified.

May I join or even coordinate more than one proposal?

Joining more than one proposal as an applicant may be possible, depending on the specific regulations of the respective funding organisations. Please make sure to check the specific information sheets with regard to this issue. Applicants who wish to join more than one proposed consortium must be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity to fulfil their work in case that several proposals they are participating in are suggested for funding.

However, this policy is different with regard to the co-ordinator of a proposal. Being a co-ordinator is a high responsibility, very time consuming and demanding. Therefore, although there may be no formal restriction set forth by your respective funding organisation, it is not a good idea to act as a co-ordinator in more than one proposal.