The ANR joins the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) to launch a transnational call aimed at supporting working groups proposing innovative ideas to enhance the use of brain imaging for the neurodegenerative disease research (ND). The working groups are expected to establish ‘best practice’ guidelines and/or methodological frameworks that will encourage harmonization and alignment in brain imaging.
Working Groups need to be comprised of at least three JPND-member countries but the participation of experts from non-JPND countries in the working groups is strongly encouraged. Individual experts can participate in several working groups but can only act as coordinator in a single working group. The Working Group coordinator should be based in one of the following countries, contributing to this call: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The aim of the present call is to bring together key opinion leaders in the ND research field to establish a limited number of JPND-sponsored Working Groups to address issues of high relevance for the future use of brain imaging techniques in ND research. Presently identified relevant issues include the harmonization of imaging acquisition methods to be used in multicenter studies, simplification of web access to analysis environments, promoting the development of new molecular markers for PET and development of innovative imaging markers based on UHF MR. The preceding list does not exclude other proposed relevant issues.
The call supports groups working in the following neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer and other dementias, Parkinson and Parkinson-related disorders, prion-related disorders, Motor neuron diseases, Huntington, Spinocerebellar Ataxia and Spinal muscular atrophy. Studies relevant to other diseases with a neurodegenerative component such as multiple sclerosis are not included.
Each working group can bid for up to 50 000 euros to support their activities for 9 months.Extensions going up to 12 months are possible and need to be approved by the country-specific funding agencies. The funding is expected to be used in travelling and the organization of two small workshops. One of the selected working groups can request up to 50 000 euros extra to organize a joint workshop to exchange the results of all the supported working groups. The potential interest to organize such a joint workshop should be indicated in the proposal submission.
Working Groups are required to produce a report at the end of the funding period containing guidelines or a methodological framework, to be published on the JPND website. This report is expected to act as a reference point for the wider ND research community in planning/delivering future research studies. Applicants should also put forward an appropriate plan to disseminate the outcomes, for example, through publication in a journal.