Types of grants

There are two types of funding schemes:

Pilot or exploratory grants

For early stage research projects built on preliminary data or small projects that complement larger primary projects.

Advanced grants

For larger breakthrough projects with substantial preliminary data.


Twice a year, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation launches calls to support fundamental, translational and clinical research projects that will strengthen the understanding, deepen the knowledge and/or will explore new therapeutic approaches for Down syndrome and other genetic diseases with intellectual disability.

The Spring call is dedicated to research in both Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities from genetic origin, while the Autumn call is exclusively dedicated to Down Syndrome research. 



Who can apply?

Principal investigators of any nationality and that hold a long term appointment within an academic institution, at least for the duration of the research project. Applicants must demonstrate an excellent track record and submit an outstanding proposal.

What projects are eligible?

Research proposals should cover at least one of the following areas:

  • Innovative fundamental research addressing the aetiology, pathogenesis and progression of the studied disease(s) condition and will generate new relevant knowledge of the disease(s).
  • Translational research answering a question of major interest that can have a positive impact on the health of patients.
  • Clinical research including early phase clinical studies, ancillary studies based on initiated or completed clinical trials, and studies involving patients in the pathophysiological analysis of their disease. These studies should generate novel strategies for diagnosis, therapy and/or rehabilitation.
  • Epidemiological studies including case-control, cohort, cross-sectional and intervention studies.
  • Neuropsychology studies and development or application of new techniques.

* The funds provided by the Jerome Lejeune Foundation cannot in any way be used to purchase or make use of human embryonic or fetal tissues or another biological material obtained through abortions, IVF or human cloning or to create new human germinal cells.* 

How are projects selected?

Projects will be evaluated and ranked by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation. External experts will be asked to review the projects if needed.

The Board of Directors of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation will take the final decision based upon the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Board and external reviewers.

Selection is based on compliance with the eligibility criteria, scientific excellence, novelty, feasibility and potential impact on clinical or therapeutic applications.

How much money is awarded?

Both schemes provide funding for up to 2 years:

Pilot or exploratory grants
50.000 € over 2 years

Advanced grants
80.000 € over 2 years

The number of funded projects will depend on the annual budget allocated by the Jerome Lejeune Foundation to the calls. 

When can I apply?

Spring Call

Opens from mid-January to late February and is dedicated to both Down syndrome and other rare intellectual disabilities from genetic origin, such as Fragile X syndrome, Cri du chat syndrome, Rett syndrome, Williams-Beuren syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Smith-Magenis syndrome among others, and will not exceed 50% of the total amount of the annual grant budget. Autism not linked to the above diseases is excluded from this call.

Autumn Call

Opens from mid-June to early-August and is exclusively dedicated to research on Down syndrome.


Conseil Scientifique – Fondation Jérôme Lejeune
+33 (0)1 5658 5638