ERA-NET NEURON 2020 Neuroethics ELSA

The ERA-NET NEURON 2020 Neuroethics (ELSA) launched a new call for proposals with deadline 28 April 2020.


Submission (one-stage procedure): 28 April 2020, 14:00 CET

Publication Date:

08 January 2020

Weblink (URL):

Short Call Abstract:

The aim of the call is to facilitate multinational, collaborative research projects that will address important questions regarding ethical, philosophical, legal and socio-cultural aspects related to the neurosciences and their recent advances.

Subjects under this general heading include but are not limited to:

a) the consequences of the development of neuroscientific diagnostic methods (e.g. handling of incidental findings; the “right not to know”; very early disease prediction before symptoms occur; diagnosis in absence of treatment options; interactions between socio-culturally diverse patients and health personnel; availability of novel expensive methods)

b) clinical research with patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric diseases (e.g. developing tools to improve the assessment of decision-making capacity of patients, analysis of legal measures to protect those who do not have the capacity to consent)

c) intelligent technologies and close human-machine interaction (e.g. Ambient Assisted Living, Brain-Computer Interfaces, machine learning); personality changes as side effects of neurological or psychiatric therapies (e.g. Deep Brain Stimulation; brain implants)

d) use of brain data; biobanking of neural tissue (e.g. tissue donation, deceased donor, data protection, possible consequences for relatives)

e) brain interventions in legal contexts (e.g. “brain reading” for the detection of deception; brain intervention of offenders; psychosurgery; insurance law)

f) the impact of modern neuroscience on traditional philosophical questions, concepts and theories regarding fundamental aspects of human nature (e.g. the relationship between mind and brain, the nature of consciousness, self- and personal identity, free will)

g) neuroenhancement such as alteration of mental states (cognitive, affective) and abilities (e.g. cognition, sleep, appetite, sexual behaviour) in healthy subjects by pharmacological or by electrical/magnetic brain stimulation

h) abnormal behaviour reduced to deviant brain states (e.g. expansion of the concept of neurotypical brain and  illness; seeing psychiatric symptoms merely as specific neurochemical imbalances)

i) societal and cultural changes induced by neuroscientific knowledge and its application

All scientific disciplines and stakeholders, which are relevant for the specific ELSA-research question, should be integrated. This could be for instance experts from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, medicine, informatics, engineering, philosophy, theology, law, social sciences, cultural studies or healthcare economy. Depending on the research question, it may also be necessary to integrate (pharmaceutical) industry, health insurances, patients, relatives, patient representatives or other groups of persons who are directly affected.

Projects should go beyond purely analytical or descriptive levels related to the past or present. Based on their analyses, the applicants should aim at giving prospects for the future and developing proposals for socio-compatible use of neuroscientific advances. Additionally, the applicants should develop and implement concepts for effective public communication of their results. Communication of the results on an international level is desirable.

SSH aspects (keywords/disciplines):

Psychology, philosophy, theology, law, social sciences, cultural studies or healthcare economy.

Specific participation requirements (optional):

The following funding organizations have agreed to fund the joint call for multinational research projects on ELSA of Neuroscience. The call will be conducted simultaneously by the funding organizations in their respective countries and coordinated centrally by the ELSA Neurosciences Joint Call Secretariat.

  • Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique -FNRS (F.R.S.-FNRS), Belgium
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (CIHR-INMHA), Canada
  • Fonds de Recherche du Quebec  – Sante (FRQS), Canada
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany
  • State Education Development Agency (VIAA), Latvia
  • National Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Switzerland