Pre-announcement: second round of grants for biomedical research into ME/CFS

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On Monday the 17th of June 2024, ZonMw will open a new funding round for the ME/CFS research programme. This second round of grants is dedicated to biomedical research into the disease. Applicants can submit a project idea until the 24th of September 2024. An information meeting for potential applicant will be organised on Monday the 24th of June 2024.

The second funding round for biomedical research into ME/CFS is similar to the first round of the programme. There is room for new proposals that focus on biomedical research into ME/CFS. Applicants who were rejected in the first round of grants can also reapply. 

The second round of grants is intended to fund biomedical research into ME/CFS. With this, we want to gain insight into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of this disease. The aimof the programme is to improve the health, quality of life and social position of ME/CFS patients.

2-step process: project idea and full application

In the funding round, 2 phases will be used. Applicants first submit a project idea. The project ideas will be assessed by the programme committee. Members with a scientific, practice-oriented and/or experiential background are represented in the committee. The project ideas will be assessed by the committee for relevance and the most relevant ideas will receive a positive recommendation. After the committee's advice, applicants can submit a full grant application. In this infographic you can read more about the 10 steps in the ZonMw grant process.

Involvement of experts by experience in assessment
Within the research programme, the involvement of experts by experience plays an important role. Experiential experts have a role as a committee member, sounding board member or experiential referee for grant applications. The sounding board group thinks along with the programme team of ZonMw and advises on the content of the programme based on experiential expertise. Experienced referees assess the full grant applications as external experts. And the experts in the committee, together with the other members, decide/advice on which proposals will or will not receive funding.

Applications that are in line with existing consortia

The research proposals must be in line with 1 of the 2 existing consortia of the ME/CFS research programme. 1 of the conditions is that researchers use and/or contribute to the biobank(s) and the data collection(s) of the consortia.

In the ME/CFS Lines consortium, 4 sub-projects are now being carried out, in the NMCB consortium 6 sub-projects are now being carried out. These research projects will last 4 years each. The consortia, which manage the biobanks, among other things, have received funding for a period of 8 years.

Important terms and conditions

Who can apply? 
Project ideas are submitted by a main applicant, who collaborates with other parties within the project. The final call text describes which parties qualify as the main applicant.  

The main applicant is obliged to cooperate with at least 1 of the 2 consortia. In addition, ZonMw encourages collaboration with parties such as patient organisations, practitioners and foreign researchers.

Available budget 
The aim is to fund at least 4 new studies. A maximum of €500,000 is available per project. 

Information meeting for potential applicants

On Monday 24 June 2024, ZonMw will organise an information meeting for potential applicants from 13:30 to 15:00. More information about the two consortia will be provided during the meeting. In this way, applicants can check whether their research proposal would be appropriate and could be affiliated with (1 of the 2) consortia. You can register for the information meeting via the registration form. If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to

Learn more

From Monday  the 17th of June 2024, the call for proposals can be found on the ZonMw website. On our Programme page you can read more about the background and approach of the programme. You will also find an overview of frequently asked questions.