The French National Research Agency Projects for science

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Preliminary announcement: a call for European projects on Nutrition and Epigenome

The French National Research Agency will launch, in partnership with 8 countries, the third ERA-HDHL joint call for funding transnational research projects on “Nutrition and Epigenome”. The call is scheduled to be opened on February 6th 2018.

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 “Nutrition and Epigenome” (ERA-HDHL) will be launched.

Aims of the call

The aim of this call is to support transnational, collaborative research projects that gain a better understanding of the diet- epigenome relationships and their effect on human health.

Proposals should focus on the diet and epigenome, and cover one of the following areas:

  • Establishing cause-and-effect relationships between diet and epigenome and metabolic health including molecular and cellular mechanisms, its reversibility and long-term effects where feasibile;
  • Identifying risk factors and early stage epigenetic changes involved in the development of metabolic diseases;
  • Epigenetic effects across the lifespan and inter (and potentially trans) generations;
  • Investigation of modifiable factors (diet, the combined effect of diet and phyiscal activity, microbiota, etc.) that could be involved in epigenetic regulation at critical stages of life;
  • The effect of diet and nutritional status on the intra-uterine environment and its subsequent effect on the fetal epigenome and later health of the child.

In addition, the follow conditions apply:

  • Proposals must be multidisciplinary, uniting epigenetic researchers, nutrition scientists and scientist from other relevant disciplines.
  • Proposals should cover multiple approaches, such as:

    • Mechanistic / experimental research, focusing on the interplay between dietary factors and epigenetic changes and their functional / physiological consequences and influence on health outcomes;
    • Translational research to establish causalities and proof of concept, in order to support the development of effective health-improvement strategies.

  • Proposals should focus on human studies; however, animal and in vitro studies can be incorporated in case of assessments that cannot be performed in humans.

This call for proposals includes funding research organisations from nine countries: Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, The Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.

Consortium composition

Only transnational consortia will be funded. The following condition apply to the composition of consortia:

  • Minimum of 3 partners from 3 different participating countries. These 3 partners should be eligible for funding by one of the participating organisations.
  • No more than 2 partners can originate from the same country.
  • Maximum of 6 partners (including researchers that participate as collaborators; see below the condition for collaborators).

Researchers or international organisations can participate in projects as collaborators in this call. The following conditions apply to collaborators:

  • Clear added value for the research project should be demonstrated in the application.
  • Clear evidence of a secure funding for participation already in place.
  • The majority of the consortia members should be eligible for funding by the participating countries.

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.



A more complete understanding of the relationships between nutrition and health is central to deliver the vision of the JPI HDHL. However, even with modern genomics research and current dietary assessment methods, it is challenging to identify the key mechanisms by which diet influences health, and to establish causal relationships and predict outcomes. Investigating the fine regulation of genes, epigenetics, could provide the missing link.

Using the ERA-Net Cofund instrument (named ERA-HDHL), the JPI HDHL aims to overcome this hurdle by creating an international network in the field of nutrition and epigenome. This call is the third implemented Joint Funding Action (JFA) in the frame of ERA-HDHL. It is a joint transnational call, aiming to fund the most excellent transnational research projects that address the link between the diet, the epigenome and health.


Estimated schedule

There will be a one-stage submission procedure with a rebuttal phase. Proposals and rebuttal feedback must be written in English and must be submitted to the JCS by the coordinator through an electronic submission system available on the JPI HDHL website. No other means of submission will be accepted.

The call is scheduled to open on February 6th, 2017.


For more information