Preliminary announcement: a call for European projects on the Interrelation of the Intestinal microbiome, Diet and Health

The French National Research Agency will launch, in partnership with 8 countries, the first HDHL-INTIMIC joint cofunded call for funding transnational research projects on “Interrelation of the Intestinal Microbiome, Diet and Health”. The call is scheduled to be opened on January 26th 2017.

The Joint Programming Initiative “A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life” (JPI HDHL) ( has been established to coordinate research in the areas of food, diet, physical activity and health in order to achieve tangible societal and health impact and to strengthen European leadership and competitiveness in this field. Under this umbrella, the joint transnational call “Interrelation of the Intestinal Microbiome, Diet and Health” (HDHL-INTIMIC) will be launched.

Aims of the call

The call aims to support multinational, collaborative research projects that address important research questions regarding the cause-and-effect relationships between diet, the intestinal microbiome and human health.

In particular, proposals should focus on at least one of the following areas:

  • 1) the basic understanding of the gut microbiome and its causal role in human health and/or the onset of diseases including the dissection of underlying molecular mechanisms
  • 2) the functional links between diet and/or dietary components on the composition and functioning of the gut microbiome and consequent physiological effects on the host, including individually tailored responses
  • 3) the identification of novel microbiome-targeted strategies and food products for preventive and therapeutic applications including personalised diets and specific food for specific target groups that operate by influencing the gut microbiome.

Research proposals should be multi-disciplinary, combining different scientific approaches and methods. In addition, the following conditions apply:

  • Proposals merely describing associations between the gut microbiome, diet and health without addressing the functional relationships are not within the scope of this call.
  • Animal studies with clear relevance for human health are within the scope of this call.
  • Proposals should make use of existing biobanks and/or cohorts, if applicable, or explain why existing biobanks or cohorts are not used.
  • Proposals should avoid overlapping with the aims and objectives of the projects that are already funded through the previous JPI HDHL Joint Action ‘Intestinal Microbiomics’ (further information).

This call for proposals includes funding research organisations from 9 countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

Consortium composition

In general, joint transnational research proposals may be submitted by research groups working in universities (or other higher education institutions), non-university public research institutes, hospitals and other health care settings. Participation of private parties is encouraged as well as commercial companies, in particular small and medium-size enterprises. The eligibility of these organisations and institutions is subject to the national/regional regulations of the individual funding organisations and may therefore vary.
Only transnational projects will be funded: each consortium must involve a minimum of three partners and a maximum of six partners eligible for funding by organisations listed in this call (see above) from at least three different countries. No more than two project partners can originate from the same country.

Projects can be funded for a period of up to three years and according to individual funding organisations’ regulations.

Please note: The content of the call described in this pre-announcement is indicative and may be subject to changes and is not legally binding to the funding organisations.

The composition and activity of the human gut microbiome have been linked to health and well-being as well as etiology and progression of a number of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cancer and neuropsychological pathologies. However, the exact role for the intestinal microbiome in maintaining health as well as in onset and progression of chronic diseases is still largely unknown. Diet has been identified as one of the main factors modulating the composition and function of the gut microbiome, although the mode of action is not fully understood. More research is needed to better understand how diet-related variations in the gut microbiota composition impact on health. In addition, the lack of coordination and collaboration between the relevant scientific disciplines and research activities has been a stumbling block hampering a deeper understanding of this complex interplay.
Using the ERA-Net Cofund instrument (named HDHL-INTIMIC) the JPI HDHL aims to overcome this hurdle by creating an international network in the field of diet, intestinal microbiome and health. This co-funded call is the first implemented Joint Funding Action (JFA) in the frame of HDHL-INTIMIC. It is a joint transnational call, co-funded by the European Commission (EC), aiming to fund the most excellent transnational research projects that address the causal relationship of diet, the intestinal microbiome and health.

Estimated schedule
There will be a two-stage submission procedure: pre-proposals and full proposals. Both pre- and full proposals must be written in English and must be submitted to the JCS by the coordinator through an electronic submission system available on the website. No other means of submission will be accepted.
The call is scheduled to open on January 26th, 2017.

For more information

Last updated on 08 January 2019
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