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Networking and optimising the use of population and patient cohorts at EU level


Proposals should aim at maximizing the exploitation of cohorts by bringing together national and/or European cohorts with common scientific interests (e.g. across diseases, children, mothers, elderly, birth, gender, etc.), and by taking advantage of new technologies (e.g. ICT, social platforms, etc.) and new type of data (e.g. geographical, genetic, eHealth records, etc.). Based on those cohorts using a comprehensive integration strategy to facilitate hypothesis-driven research, data sharing, harmonisation and analysis, proposals should provide expanded resources and knowledge on health and disease determinants, onset and course of diseases (including aspects of co-morbidity and/or co-infections), clinical, public health and socio-economic research. Synergies with relevant existing European infrastructures and additional collaborations with relevant international initiatives are encouraged. Proposals should also engage with relevant international/national/regional authorities to ensure that findings are implemented and translated into health policy.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 and 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Population cohorts are invaluable resources to obtain detailed description of individual biological variations in connection with a variety of environmental, pathogenic, occupational, societal, and lifestyle determinants that influence the onset and evolution of diseases. Europe currently has some of the most valuable population and patient cohorts, including well annotated clinical trial cohorts. However, the lack of integration of these cohorts hampers the optimal exploitation of these resources, essential to underpin and facilitate the development of stratified and personalised medicine[[Personalised medicine refers to a medical model using characterization of individuals’ phenotypes and genotypes (e.g. molecular profiling, medical imaging, lifestyle data) for tailoring the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, and/or to determine the predisposition to disease and/or to deliver timely and targeted prevention. The term ""personalised medicine"" is used throughout this Work Programme with this definition in mind.]].


Expected impacts include one of or a combination of the following point(s):

  • Make major conceptual, methodological and analytical contributions towards integrative cohorts and their efficient exploitation.
  • Contribute to providing novel information on health maintenance, onset and course of diseases, or population stratification, with a view to tailor diagnosis or to optimise prevention and treatment.
  • Provide the evidence base for the development of policy strategies for prevention, early diagnosis, therapies, health economics as well as addressing health inequalities. Wherever relevant, evidence for economic evaluation of interventions should also be included.
  • Optimise the use of population cohorts in defining/improving clinical practice and public health policy.