Pasqual Maragall Researchers Programme

Research grants to overcome Alzheimer’s or any other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

 The Pasqual Maragall Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the 2023 Call of the Pasqual Maragall Researchers Programme (PMRP).  

The PMRP aims to nurture and support translational or clinical research projects focused on Alzheimer’s disease or other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.  

The PMRP will fund, with up to €800,000, individual or collaborative research projects that are executed within a maximum period of five years.    

 

WHO CAN APPLY  

Principal Investigators of individual research projects or Consortium Coordinators of collaborative projects must hold a full-time position as an independent researcher at a public or non-profit research organisation based in Spain.  

For collaborative research projects, the other members of the consortium (Consortium Principal Investigators) may be based at a public or non-profit research organisation based anywhere in the world.    

 

FURTHER INFORMATION  

Please read all of the documents, especially the Rules for Participation, carefully before applying.

If you have any questions regarding your application or eligibility, please consult the PMRP 2023 Call Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

If your question is not answered, please do not hesitate to contact the PMRP team at researchgrants@fpmaragall.org

2023 Call closed

Application to the PMRP is via a two-stage application process: submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) followed by the submission of a full proposal upon invitation.  

The whole process of application, review and selection of projects will be carried out in English therefore all information must be submitted in English.

Applications must be made via the online grants system. Please read the Submission Guidelines carefully before starting your application.  

Timeline PMRP 2023 Call

Application system open for LOI submission 18/10/2023
LOI submission deadline 21/11/2023 – 15:00 CET
LOI results announced and full proposals invited March 2024
Full proposal submission deadline (by invitation only)

24/04/2024 – 15:00 CEST

Invited applicants will always be granted at least four weeks to prepare the full proposal

Full proposal results announced to applicants July 2024
Results announced publicly To be confirmed
Expected start date of the projects From October 2024

*Dates may be subject to change. Applicants will be kept informed of any relevant changes.

Both LOIs and invited full proposals undergo a three-stage review process: administrative review, scientific review, and strategic review.  

1. The PMRP Team carries out an administrative review to ensure that only fully completed proposals meeting all eligibility criteria are evaluated by the Evaluation Committee and Selection Board.  

2. The Evaluation Committee is formed by experts of recognised international prestige in their field. Its role is to score the applications according to the established evaluation criteria (detailed in the “Evaluation Procedure” document) and to inform the Selection Board of the evaluation results.  

3. The PMRP Selection Board members assess, in addition to the established evaluation criteria, the alignment of received applications with the strategic plan of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation and the priorities of the PMRP. Selection Board members include the Foundation’s Director, external consultants to the Director, the faculty and members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation’s research centre, and external experts of recognised international prestige in their field. 

The Letters of Intent that are evaluated most favourably will be invited to submit a full proposal.   

The full proposals that are evaluated most favourably will be invited to sign a Grant Agreement with the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.  

Please refer to the “Evaluation Procedure” document for more information.

The first call of the Pasqual Maragall Researchers Programme, with a total budget of €1,600,000, has awarded three grants for research on Alzheimer’s disease.

PMRP 2022 Awarded projects:

Hugo Peluffo

Hugo Peluffo

Universitat de Barcelona

Enhancing microglial immunometabolic phenotype in Alzheimer’s Disease by targeting human CD300f immune receptor.
Aging is a multifactorial process leading to age-related frailty and disability and constitutes the main risk factor for late onset Alzheimer’s disease. Emerging evidence suggests that the nervous system immune cells called microglia participate in many aging related processes, and part of this evidence arises from genetic studies, where they found that most of risk genes for late onset Alzheimer’s Disease are related to functions executed by microglia.

Researchers involved in the project hypothesize that immunoreceptor CD300f contributes to establishing a neuroprotective microglial phenotype during aging and age-related conditions. To explore this hypothesis, the project will evaluate the effect of human CD300f in two clinically relevant mouse models and will correlate its function with the disease progression by following soluble CD300f in human cerebrospinal fluid. This is a collaborative project together with Michael Heneka (University of Luxembourg).

José Vicente Sánchez Mut

José Vicente Sánchez Mut

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante

Molecular basis of sleep modulation of Alzheimer’s disease resilience.
There is an apparent discordance between Alzheimer’s disease pathologies and disease progression; that is, the existence of high-pathology non-demented individuals. Why these individuals do not develop the disease, a concept referred to as Alzheimer’s disease resilience, is not well understood, although it has been associated with environmental factors such as sleep hygiene.

This project aims to identify, characterize, and causally determine the molecular underpinnings of sleep modulation of Alzheimer’s disease resilience. To do so, the team will use a combination of mouse models, human data and state-of-the-art techniques, in order to pinpoint potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the disease. A better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of this resilience could be of paramount importance to improve current therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Pablo Martínez-Lage

Pablo Martínez-Lage

Fundación CITA-alzhéimer Fundazioa

Are epigenomic changes in the Alzheimer’s disease continuum modifiable? A discovery, validation, and interventional study.
Epigenetics studies the mechanisms that regulate gene expression and can help to better understand the disease and allow to develop new treatments. Different epigenetic changes can be analysed in blood. This study aims to identify epigenetic changes related to biological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive status in participants of the CITA-Alzheimer GAP study with positive Alzheimer’s biomarkers who are cognitively normal (presymptomatic Alzheimer) or show mild cognitive impairment.

Results obtained from the CITA-Alzheimer GAP study will be biologically validated in two other studies also in Spain (SPIN cohort of Sant Pau and the Alfa+ cohort of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation). Furthermore, the study will investigate how epigenetic changes relate to risk factors for dementia and whether they can be changed by a non-pharmacological intervention in the longitudinal CITA GO-ON intervention trial. This is a collaborative project together with Alberto Lleó Bisa (Fundació Institut de Recerca de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau) and Maite Mendioroz Iriarte (Fundación Miguel Servet-Navarrabiomed).