The Networking Support Scheme (NSS) funding opportunity is open
The Networking Support Scheme (NSS) of the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases is funding quarterly networking initiatives in the field of rare diseases and rare cancers, bringing together health care professionals, researchers, patient advocacy groups, Early Career Scientists and other relevant stakeholders.
Between March and June 2021 an early assessment of the Networking Support Scheme took place. This assessment determined whether this scheme meets its aims and the needs of the rare diseases community, analysed the progress of the scheme, and formulated “lessons learned”. Overall, the large majority of the applicants, evaluators and stakeholders from rare disease community that responded to the surveys were positive about the Networking Support Scheme.
The most important change from June 3, 2021 is that applicants can choose between the format of a face-to-face meeting, an online meeting or a hybrid meeting if networking is secured. The Call documents have been changed acoordingly.
Please note: Are you planning to apply for the next rounds of the Networking Support Scheme? Please note that the documents have been updated in June 2021. Take care not to use earlier documents as they will not be eligible anymore.
The first aim of the Networking Support Scheme in the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP RD) is to encourage sharing of knowledge on rare diseases or rare cancers between health care professionals, researchers and patients in new or expanding research networks by funding networking events.
The second aim of the Networking Support Scheme is to enable or increase the participation of usually underrepresented countries in Europe in new and in expanding research networks on rare diseases or rare cancers.
Focus of the Networking events
The scheme will provide financial support to applicants to organize workshops or conferences. These workshops or conferences are meant to
1. Form new research networks or expand existing research networks;
2. Strengthen collaborations between different stakeholders in different countries;
3. Enable the exchange of knowledge.
The focus of these workshops or conferences should be (the implications of) research results and innovative solutions. The results of these networking events may lead to future collaborative and novel research efforts.
The aims of the NSS are in compliance with the vision set by the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC). The IRDiRC vision is: “enable all people living with a rare disease to receive an accurate diagnosis, care, and available therapy within one year of coming to medical attention”.
Eligible applicants to apply for the NSS are health care professionals, researchers and patient advocacy organizations from the following countries involved in the EJP RD (in alphabetical order): Armenia*, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria*, Croatia*, Czech Republic*, Denmark, Estonia*, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia*, Greece, Hungary*, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia*, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Malta*, Norway, Poland*, Portugal, Romania*, Serbia*, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey*, United Kingdom.
The countries that are indicated with an asterisk (*) are usually seen as underrepresented countries.
At least one Principal applicant and two co-applicants from three different countries mentioned above have to apply together for support of a Networking event.
Applicants from Canada are not eligible for funding. However, networking events can be organized in all countries mentioned above and in Canada.
Face-to-face, online or hybrid
Applicants can choose between the format of a face-to-face meeting, an online meeting or a hybrid meeting. Interactions and networking has to be secured in the programme of the Networking event.
The applying consortium is allowed to invite other participants to join the networking event. There is no limit to the number of participants.
In this Networking Support Scheme applicants can apply for a budget of a maximum of 30,000 € per event.
Selected networking events
Selected networking events are published on the EJP RD website. These may be used as inspiration for building the applying consortium or defining topics for an application
Please note that the documents have been updated in June 2021. Take care not to use earlier documents.
- Read the Call text
We would advise you to read the Call Text of the NSS (EJP RD – NSS – Call Text) very carefully.
- Register in ProjectNet
We would advise you to register the applying organisations in the electronic submission system ProjectNet as soon as possible.
- Complete the application template
A specific application template (EJP RD – NSS – Application Template doc) has to be completed and submitted on the electronic submission system ProjectNet.
If you have questions, please click here for the Frequently Asked Questions document.
First the eligibility will be checked. Applications that pass the eligibility check will be evaluated in a competitive way by an independent Networking Evaluation Committee. This committee consists of health care professionals, researchers and patient representatives. The committee uses defined evaluation criteria that are specified in the call text. The rules of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme will be applied.
The Call for the NSS is open on a continuous basis.
Events may be organized between 6 and 18 months after the application date for 2021.
From 2022 onwards, events may be organized between 6 and 12 months after the application date.
The applications will be collected on the following dates in 2021.
September 2, 2021 at 14.00 (CEST)
December 2, 2021 at 14.00 (CET)
The applications will be collected on the following preliminary dates in 2022.
March 1, 2022 at 14.00 (CEST)
September 1, 2022 at 14.00 (CEST)
December 1, 2022 at 14.00 (CET).
For questions related to the content and application Template: Network Support Scheme Secretariat at ZonMw.
E-mail: NSSS(at)zonmw.nl (preferably)
Telephone: +31 70 349 54 67
For questions related to the electronic submission system of ZonMw: Servicedesk of ZonMw.
Telephone: +31 70 349 51 78
Please check the FAQ document here before contacting the secretariat or the Servicedesk.
If your application is selected for funding, the procedure steps for the principal applicant are as follows.
- Budget plan
The budget plan of the application will be judged by the financial department of the NSS Secretariat at ZonMw.
The contract (service provider agreement) will be drawn and signed by the Principal applicant and NSS Secretariat (ZonMw). An example of the contract can be found here. More information about the terms and conditions for public service contracts (ARVODI) can be found here and here.
- Communication on EJP RD website
Announcement of the funded Networking event will be placed on this page of the EJP RD website (unless it was stated in the Application form that it is a closed Networking event).
- Acknowledgement of funding
The Principal applicant and the consortium must ensure that all communication about the Networking event includes a proper acknowledgement of the EJP RD. Information on this acknowledgement and use of the EU emblem is present in the call text.
- Report 1: Communication of Outcomes
An online reporting survey has to be completed by the Principal applicant within 2 months after the funded Networking event has taken place. The information in this survey will be used to disseminate and communicate outcomes.
- Report 2: Financial Report
The financial report has to be sent to the NSS Secretariat within 3 months after the event has taken place. The format of this financial report can be found here.
- Final financial settlement
The NSS Secretariat will organize the final financial settlement after having received a PDF of report 1 (communication of outcomes) and the excel file of report 2 (the financial report).
- Communication on EJP RD website
The EJP RD will publish the public lay summaries with results of the funded Networking events on this page of the EJP RD website and in EJP RD newsletters.
After the fifth round, the secretariat received a total of 39 applications.
|Percentage of applications…|
|… that are eligible||100%|
|… that are selected||49%|
|… with applicants from patient advocacy organizations||64%|
|… with applicants from underrepresented countries||77%|
|… with applicants that are early-career scientists||51%|
|Number of applications in medical domain.|