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Frequently Asked Questions

You will find a list of the most frequently asked questions below. This list is regularly updated and contains useful information for completing your application.

If the answer to your query is not here, please contact healthresearch@fundaciolacaixa.org.
  • In this edition the online system for submission of proposals to the calls for research and innovation projects is new, and will be available through the following link as from 9 December 2019 for user registration.

    We recommend that applicants and organization managers register in good time to become acquainted with the system.

    Proposals can be submitted from 2 pm on 8 January to 2 pm on 12 February 2020.

  • a) The Project Leader (PL): should register with the on-line platform giving his/her personal data and establishing a link to his/her organization. If the organization is not in the list, it should be included by entering its name and identification details (NIF if the organization is Spanish and VAT number if it is Portuguese).

    b) The Organization Manager (OM): each organization will designate a sole OM for all research and innovation calls, who should register with his/her personal data. To be approved as the OM, the letter of appointment from the organization must be submitted (see the model or template in the OM profile). The "la Caixa" Programme Office will validate this information prior to granting the OM access to the proposal information (basic details, budget and members of the consortium).

    c) The Principal Investigator (PI) or representative of a civil society organization (CSO): will receive the invitation to participate in the project from the PL. Once the invitation is accepted and following registration in the system with his/her personal data, the PI will have read access to the project proposal.

  • All proposals, whether individual or submitted by a research consortium, need authorization from their organization to be processed. This requires validation by the organization manager (OM) through the on-line system.

    In the case of individual proposals with civil society organizations (CSO) or proposals from research consortia, their members must accept participation in the project proposal through the same online system. Should any such acceptance not be provided, the member in question must be withdrawn (in both the invitation module and the section with information on the consortium members) for the proposal to be processed.

    If there are any changes in the section of general data and information on the proposal and/or in the composition of the project team members, invitations will have to be accepted again. We therefore recommend invitations are not sent until these data have been entered and checked.

    A validation button is available during the application process to check that the data provided are correct. We recommend to use this validation throughout the process to ensure submission prior to the deadline for applications.

  • Any research project in the following thematic areas - considered in the broadest sense - can be submitted: (1) Neurosciences, (2) Oncology, (3) Cardiovascular and associated metabolic diseases (4) Infectious diseases and (5) Enabling technologies in these four thematic areas.

  • Basic research

    Basic research provides knowledge to understand nature and its laws. Although it is performed without thought of practical ends, this knowledge provides the essential means of answering a large number of important practical problems.


    Clinical research

    Clinical research is the research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which the research team (or colleagues) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes clinical trials, epidemiological and behavioural studies, outcomes research and health services research.


    Translational research

    Translational research fosters the bidirectional integration of basic research and clinical research, with the long-term aim of improving the health of the public. It expedites the movement between basic research and clinical research, which:

    • stimulates a robust scientific understanding of human health and disease; and

    • leads to new or improved scientific understanding or standards of care, better patient outcomes, the implementation of best practices, and improved health status in communities.

  • Projects in which the research is based on the development of health-facilitating technologies focused on any of the four previous thematic areas. Enabling technologies include the following: micro- and nanoelectronics, computational science, big data, photonics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing systems.

    In the evaluation process of these projects there will be experts in the different enabling technologies, as well as experts in biomedicine and health in the specific thematic areas.

    If the project basis is a disease or pathology, we recommend you submit it in the specific thematic area for a better evaluation. If the basis is creation and development of the technology, we recommend you present your proposal in the Enabling technologies thematic area.

  • Projects in cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases associated with risks or cardiovascular alterations. In a broad sense, the research in metabolic diseases of these projects must be related to cardiovascular diseases.

  • Yes, this Call is not incompatible with other programmes run by the "la Caixa" Foundation, as long as the proposed budget does not receive funding from these other programmes. Participation in other "la Caixa" Foundation programmes should be indicated when completing the proposal form.

  • No, PLs awarded in the two previous Health Research calls cannot apply as PLs for new proposals in this edition.

  • No, PLs of projects that scored less than 5.50 in the peer-reviewed assessment of HR19 may not submit proposals as a PL to this Call.

  • A medical doctor (MD) without a doctoral degree (PhD) can take part in this Call as a Principal Investigator (PI) or team member of proposal, but not as Project Leader (PL).

  • Yes, in the case of individual projects the maximum funding that can be applied for in a proposal is €500,000.

    In this case, civil society organizations (such as patients' associations) can also take part in addition to the host organization.

  • A research consortium is a group of two or more research organizations that work together on a project. For this Call, research consortia can include a maximum of five research organizations (including the host organization).

    A research organization is defined by a unique identification number (NIF if the organization is Spanish and VAT number if it is Portuguese). Each organization may appoint only one principal investigator (PI) per proposal. In the case of the host organization (HO) the PI is the project leader (PL).

    Non-profit civil society organizations (such as patients' associations) can take part in both individual and consortium projects.

  • No, the fact that projects are individual or a research consortium is not a selection criterion during the evaluation process. Proposals submitted by teams from a single institution and those made up of members of more than one organization are assessed according to the same selection criteria, which are described in the rules for participation.

  • A researcher can only apply as a project leader (PL) for a single project. A PL can also appear in different projects as principal investigator (PI) or team member if their organization is involved in other research consortium proposals. There is no limit to the number of projects an organization may submit.

  • No, companies cannot submit proposals as host organizations (HO) or civil society organizations (CSO), as these must be non-profit. However, they may receive project funds if they are subcontracted by a proposal organization.

  • The following proposals are NOT eligible:
    a) proposals whose results are subject to rights, of any nature, held by for-profit organizations before the deadline for submission;
    b) proposals that evaluate the efficacy or safety of products, therapies, medical devices, healthcare products or diagnostic systems of for-profit organizations.

  • Projects that request a funding greater than €500,000 should include in their budget the cost of an external audit that must be conducted by the host organization (HO) at the end of the project period.

    The HO must present an auditor’s report (agreed-upon-procedures report) on their justifying account, detailing the expenses incurred during the project and the procedures applied by the auditor to check that they have been entered into the justifying account correctly, according to the approved budget. This report can be prepared by the project HO’s financial auditor or be assigned to any other auditor with experience in agreed-upon-procedures reports dealing with justifying accounts.

    The audit report of the whole project that must be submitted by the HO may also include audit reports from the other project organizations regarding those elements of the project and the budget related to the latter, when the auditor of the Host Institution does not audit directly.