ERN RD Training and Support Program

The aim of the  ‘ERN RD Training and Support Program‘ is to fill the gap in the available educational offer on rare diseases research by creating and implementing a comprehensive and cohesive training program for different target groups such as researchers and young clinicians working at institutions that are Full Members or Affiliated Partners of the European Reference Networks (ERNs). 

To this end, two main training elements will be delivered: 

  1. Research Training Workshops 
  2. Research Mobility Fellowships for secondments outside the home country

These  calls have been slightly modified due to the COVID-19 outbreak.   

The very exceptional situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak has consequences for the procedures of the ERN Training and Support Program.   

  • For the applications received in the Research Workshop Calls  in 2020, an exceptional extension of 9 months for the organizational timeframe compared to the Call text will be allowed. This means that the workshops may be organized between 4 and 18 months after receiving a positive response to the submitted application. 
  • For the applications received in the Research Mobility Fellowship Calls  in 2020, an exceptional extension of 9 months regarding the end time point of the research exchanges compared to the call text will be allowed. This means that the research trainings must be completed within 18 months receiving a positive response to the submitted application. Moreover in order to benefit in a better way from the exchange, the duration of the exchange has been as well prolonged to max. 6 months. 

The Research Training Workshop Call is now open until March 7th, 2021 

Research Training Workshops

The goal of the workshops is to train researchers and clinicians affiliated to ERN- Full  Members or – Affiliated Partners in relevant topics on research in rare diseases. Training themes may include innovative research methodologies, diagnostic research methodologies, interdisciplinary treatment approaches, such as gene therapy and transplantation, etc. Moreover, the workshops will be aiming to provide a cross-ERN added value.  

The workshops will be delivered as two-day events. Topics can be proposed by clinicians/investigators affiliated to ERN-institutions or EJP RD beneficiaries.  As of 2021, there will be two deadlines for workshop topic applications per year, in January and June.  

Topics will be selected taking into consideration several elements such as:  

  • Addressing cross-cutting issues relevant for ERNs  
  • Multidisciplinary topics 
  • Fostering collaboration (within and between ERNs)  
  • No overlap with other EJP RD training activities  
  • Relevance of the topic for the ERN(s)  
  • Benefits for the RD community 
  • Appropriate training methodology  

The workshops selected for funding will be attended only by individuals affiliated to ERN institutions. Participants will be selected by the coordinator of the ERN managing institution and the workshop organizer based on pre-defined criteria. The costs for the workshop organization will be covered up to a limit of € 25.000. These include the costs and fees typically charged by the event venue, administrative, audio-visual and IT facilities essential for the workshop, catering, travel and accommodation expenses of workshops participants and invited speakers (if envisaged). 

Applicants/Application profile: 

The applicant submitting workshop topics must fulfil one of the following conditions: 

  • Affiliated to any EJP RD beneficiary institution. The list of EJP RD beneficiary organizations can be found here  
  • Affiliated to an ERN Full Member. The list of full ERN members per country and per network can be found here 
  • Affiliated to an ERN Affiliated Partner institution at the time when the application is submitted, as well as during the period of the execution of the workshop. 

For the full call text please see HERE

For the application form please see HERE [This application form was used for the Round 2 of the Research Mobility Fellowships call and is presented as an example, not binding for the future calls]

If you have any inquiries, please contact: 



The Research Mobility Fellowships call will open February 2021

Research Mobility Fellowship (two calls per year)   

The call for Research Mobility Fellowships aims to financially support PhD students and medical doctors in training affiliated to ERN Full Members or ERN Affiliated Partners to undertake short scientific visits (secondments) fostering specialist research training outside their countries of residence and within one of the ERN host institutions. Applicants who will receive fellowships for Research Mobility should acquire at their host (secondment) institution new competences and knowledge related to their research on rare diseases and with benefit to their ERN.

Fellows will be selected taking into consideration several elements such as:

  • Relevance and impact of the project, for the fellow, home and host institutions and the ERN as a whole
  • Quality of the research proposal
  • Organization and proposed methodology of the training
  • Relevance of timelines and of required resources and budget

Research mobility fellowships are meant to cover 4 weeks to 3 months. The exchange will be accomplished exclusively within member institutions of the same ERN or between member institutions of different ERNs.

Fellowship exchanges can only be facilitated between ERN full members or ERN affiliated partners. Their travel and accommodation expenses will be covered, up to fixed maximum amounts.

Applicants/Application profile:

  • PhD students with a minimum of one year of research experience OR physicians having finished their first year of specialist training 
  • Be affiliated to an ERN Full Member or to an ERN-Affiliated Partner Institution from one of the 24 ERNs at the time when the application is submitted, as well as during the proposed period of the training stay 
  • The host (secondment) institutions must be Full or Affiliated Member of an ERN at the time when the application is submitted, as well as during the proposed period of the training stay 
  • Added value to ERN of the mobility stay 

Please find below the relevant documents for the application:

Call text

Application form

Template-letter-of-acceptance by HOST Institution

Template-letter-of-support by HOME Institution

For further information you can contact the Heidelberg and Nijmegen coordination
teams, through or