Three calls for proposals were issued during 1991-1993 under the specific programme of research and technological development in the field of life sciences for developing countries, 1990-1994 (STD 3). This programme, established by Council Decision 91/366/EEC with an overall budget of ECU 110 million, seeks to increase cooperation between scientists in Europe and in developing countries. Its objectives, building on and continuing the work of STD 2, are the improvement of living conditions (agriculture) and the improvement of health. To ensure maximum efficiency, the programme focuses on major development problems: - Tropical and sub-tropical agriculture (including fisheries); - Medicine, health care and nutrition in tropical regions; - Special attention is also devoted to interface activities such as research on nutrition, zoonosis or irrigation. All types of research (basic, applied, strategic or appropriate) are eligible under STD 3. Projects must include at least two mutually independent partners in different Member States or, more recently, the EFTA countries (with a partner or partners from the European Community) as well as one or more partners from developing countries, in order to create multiple North-South cooperation links. A total of 900 proposals were received in response to the first call (OJ No C 186 of 8.7.1991) of which 527 related to Area I (Improvement of Living Conditions), while 353 concerned Area II (Improvement of Health) and a further 20 were on other subjects within the STD 3 sphere. Following the official selection procedures, the Commission established contracts for 77 agricultural and 74 health projects. Many of these contracts involve at least one partner located in France or the United Kingdom. Other Member States are also well represented, particularly the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain. Partners in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal are, in the main, involved in Area I projects, whereas participation in the two programme Areas is more evenly balanced among the other participating countries. The total budget allocated to projects selected following the first call is in the region of ECU 56 million, of which close to ECU 36 million is dedicated to agriculture projects and slightly over ECU 20 million to health. A second call for proposals was issued in 1992 (OJ No C 198 of 5.8.1992 deadline 30.11.1992). This resulted in 632 requests for financial support, from which 33 agricultural and 27 health projects were selected for funding, subject to the finalization of contract negotiations. The third and final call for proposals under the current programme has recently closed (published in Official Journal No C 163 of 15.6.1993 with a deadline of 30.11.1993). In relation to this call, the work programme for Area II has been temporarily focused on two topics of major relevance to sustainable healthcare in developing countries: - Vaccine research; - Research on intervention and implementation (development of action-oriented and participatory research methods). Details of the response to this call, plus project listings, will appear in RTD-News as soon as the information becomes available.