Jerome Lejeune Foundation Research

Funding Groundbreaking Research

Created in 1995, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation initiates, develops and finances fundamental, translational and clinical research programs in Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities of genetic origin. Our ultimate goal is to identify potential targets for intervention and advance the development of drugs and therapies that will offer patients the opportunity to lead healthier, longer and fulfilling lives.

We support innovative research that has the potential to deepen our knowledge of these diseases and that can advance the discovery and development of therapies and treatments. Likewise, we sponsor research on pathologies associated with Down syndrome that are also present in the general population (e.g. cardiopathies, leukaemia, sleep apnoea, Alzheimer’s disease). This strategy, which we termed research on cross-pathologies/co-occurrent diseases, enables to pool efforts, cross-reference results and develop molecules for the benefit of several therapeutic targets.

We are passionate about finding and funding the most creative and promising research projects and talented scientists, and each year, our scientific advisory board and external reviewers evaluate over 100 grants and postdoctoral fellowship applications to select the most outstanding ones for funding.

Recognized as a public utility institution, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation is the leading project-based funding agency of research on Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities in France.

Our funding schemes

Four types of funding schemes are available for research projects. Evaluation is conducted
by our Scientific Advisory Board and/or external reviewers.

Research Grants

Our research grants program supports fundamental, translational and clinical research projects. Pilot or exploratory  grants for early stage research projects, and advanced grants for projects that have some preliminary data. 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. 

Eligibility: Principal investigators must hold a long term appointment within an academic institution at least for the duration of the research project.  

Calls for proposals: Twice a year.

Award amount:
Pilot grants: 40.000 € 
Advanced grants: 80.000 €



Spring 2022

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Jerome Lejeune Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to two years and support excellent postdoctoral researchers working in academia. Each year the call is focused on a specific topic in Down syndrome research.  

Eligibility: Applicants must hold a doctorate degree or equivalent at the start of the fellowship.  

Calls for proposals: Once a year in December

Award amount: 130.000 € over 2 years



Postdoctoral fellowships 2021-2022

Young Researcher Award

This prize aims to reward and encourage the work of talented young researchers that are developing or have developed projects with therapeutic potential for Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities.

Eligibility: Be enrolled in at least the second year of a PhD program or have defended their PhD thesis no more than one year before the submission date. Carry out your research work within a French institution.

Calls for proposals: once a year in March

Award amount: 10.000 €

4th-year PhD Scholarship

These individual fellowships subsidize the 4th year of a PhD program for students working on Down syndrome. The objective is to enable these young researchers to finalise their research project and publications in order to advance and pursue their scientific careers.

Eligibility: Be enrolled in the third year of a PhD program within a French institution.

Calls for proposals: once a year in February

Award amount: 40.000 € over 1 year

All funded projects


782 projects

All years (1997-2021):

Number of projects: 782

Amount: 25.032.612 €

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16 Fellowships

All years (2017-2021):

Number of fellowships: 16

Total Amount: 2.080.000 €

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24 Awards

All years:

Number of awards: 24

Total Amount: 240.000 €

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2 Scholarships

Number of scholarships: 2 
(program started in 2020)

Total Amount: 80.000 €

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Ethical Committments

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.

The results of the research project cannot be published in the same article as the results of work carried out on human embryonic or fetal cells or tissues. The Jerome Lejeune Foundation does not agree to be associated with such work.

It is mandatory for researchers to follow the academic and national Good Laboratory Practices (GLP).

Jerome Lejeune

Legendary geneticist Jerome Lejeune in a rare interview in English.

He co-discovered that Down Syndrome is caused by the trisomy of chromosome 21

Practical information

Before applying, please read the restrictions linked to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR/RGPD). For any request regarding the processing of your personal data, please contact us at the following email address:

For information related to our funding schemes, please contact :

Fondation Jérôme Lejeune – Conseil Scientifique
37 rue des Volontaires, 75015 Paris
+33 (0)1 44 49 73 30