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ERA-CAPS third call: Europe-USA call strengthening transnational research in the molecular plant sciences

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This call is administered by DFG in Germany.

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 23 June 2016 - 31 March 2017


The ERA-Net for Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences (ERA-CAPS) has launched its third joint call for collaborative applications in the area of molecular plant sciences.

There will be a two-stage application process. Pre-proposals will be assessed by a review panel and selected applications will be invited to submit a full proposal.

The call was launched on 23 June 2016, and will be open for pre-proposals until 28 September 2016 (12:00 Central European Time).

In addition to the main call covering all aspects of molecular plant sciences, applications are welcomed to the sub-call "Addressing Data Challenges in Plant Sciences".

Funding is available for collaborative projects featuring at least three different countries (see eligibility criteria below). BBSRC is participating with a budget of £2.5-4 million to cover both the main call and the sub-call.


To allow maximum engagement of the plant science community, the call follows the same broad scope as described in the previous joint calls (see related links), covering all areas of molecular plant science. Although no specific topics have been defined, the themes below have been identified as being of common interest to several of the funding organisations. These are examples of areas of research where we would welcome high quality applications, but they do not exclude other areas of molecular plant science.

  • Food and nutrition security: research that contributes to the sustainable and secure supply of safe and nutritious food for an increasing global population. This includes yield optimisation, quality traits and nutrient use efficiency, amongst other research areas
  • Non-food crops: this theme includes research into crops (or appropriate models) where the end-use includes bioenergy or industrial biotechnology
  • Adaptation to a changing climate: research that addresses how plants can adapt, or be adapted, to thrive in a changing environment
  • Biotic/abiotic stresses: this theme includes research into plant responses to either biotic or abiotic stress, or how plants contend with a combination of biotic and abiotic stresses.


In addition to the main call covering all aspects of molecular plant science, ERA-CAPS has launched a sub-call to address Data Challenges in Plant Sciences.

Ever-improving technologies in plant science research have led to very high volumes of data being generated through publicly-funded research. To ensure maximum impact, these massive datasets need to be made available to other researchers in a suitably annotated, findable and inter-exchangeable format. Commonly agreed standards and ontologies are essential to make metadata accessible, but not all plant science disciplines are at the same stage of data discovery, production or acceptance of standards. To realise the ambitious goal that all plant science data are available to and usable by other researchers, ERA-CAPS has launched a sub-call seeking proposals for transnational, community-driven flagship projects to help fill the gaps in an ever-changing data-intensive environment.

Funding partners

In this this third joint ERA-CAPS call, funding organisations from nine countries are participating:

  • Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austria*
  • Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS), Belgium
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), France*
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany*
  • National Science Centre (NCN), Poland*
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MPNTR), Serbia*
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Switzerland
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), UK*
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), USA*

* indicates participation in both main call and data sub-call.


Project consortia should consist of a minimum of three partners from three different countries, at least two of them being a participating ERA-CAPS funding country (collaborators with externally secured funding may also form part of consortia).

Research teams and institutions must be eligible for funding according to their national regulations. These are outlined in National Annexes available on the ERA-CAPS website (see external links).

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

There will be a two-stage application procedure (pre-proposals and full proposals) and accordingly a two-stage review procedure. Pre-proposals and full proposals will be submitted via DFG’s electronic submission system Elan. The same procedure is followed for both the main call and the sub-call.

Further details, call documents and guidelines are available below or on the ERA-CAPS website (see external links).


Call opens 23 June 2016
Pre-proposals deadline 28 September 2016, 12:00 CET
Invitation for full proposals 7 January 2017
Full proposals deadline (invite only) 31 March 2017, 12:00 CET
Peer review April-June 2017
Rebuttal June 2017
Communications of evaluation results September 2017
Funding decisions Autumn 2017
Start of selected projects December 2017 - April 2018

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