Programme Structure

The ECT programme is expected to run for 6 years with research funding starting early 2005.

The programme will be overseen by a Management Committee (MC) formed by one representative of each of the participating National funding agencies and the EUROCORES Programme Coordinator in Medical Sciences.

An independent international Review Panel (RP) formed of leading experts in the field, with a mandate from the funding agencies, will oversee the scientific aspects of the programme.  To view the list of the RP members, click here

ESF will support networking activities expected to facilitate communication between the different projects, leading to an effective exchange of information and dissemination of results.  To this aim, scientific workshops, conferences, symposia and training sessions will be organized during the programme’s lifetime.  Web-based resources will also be developed to support the exchange of technical and medical information and expertise, and to promote effective collaborative interactions with other European researchers working in the field.

Until the end of 2008, scientific coordination and networking is funded through the EC FP6 Programme, under contract no. ERAS-CT-2003-980409. As of 2009, the National Funding Organisations will provide the funding for the scientific coordination and networking in addition to the research funding.

Development of the Pan-European Clinical Trials (ECT) EUROCORES Programme

Promotion of publicly funded clinical trials at the European level, was one of the main recommendations from the ESF Science Policy Briefing on ‘Controlled clinical trials’ (N° 13, May 2001).

Immediately following the publication of this policy statement, the ESF launched a call for outline proposals for pan-European controlled clinical trials, that was published in The Lancet (Vol. 358, 9 June 2001) and in the British Medical Journal - International (N° 7300, 16 June 2001).

This call was considered as a first step toward the development, within the ESF EUROCORES scheme,  of controlled clinical trials and their funding at the European level. To view the general scheme toward the initiation of such a Programme click here. Although closed, the call is still available for information purposes, click here

It resulted in 70 outline proposals, demonstrating, if necessary, the need for such a co-ordination and the demand within the research community. 

A Scientific Committee (SC) nominated by the MED (formerly EMRC) Executive Group Members reviewed all the proposals, in the light of the assessments from at least 2 external experts (proposed by the SC), and selected 6 proposals that would receive an award (up to 15 000 €) to finalise a full trial protocol.  The list of selected projects was sent to the Heads of the ESF Member Organisations involved in MED (formerly EMRC) as an advanced notification for possible EUROCORES funding. The principal investigators for these selected projects were informed on 20 February 2002 and asked to prepare a full protocol application within a maximum of 6 months, following guidelines that were established by the SC. To view these guidelines click here.

According to the EUROCORES outline procedures, a Review Panel (RP) was created to evaluate and select the clinical trial(s) with its (their) full protocol(s) as potential EUROCORES for funding by the ESF Member Organisations. The RP includes experts nominated by the national funding agencies from countries listed in the proposals. To view the list of the RP members click here.

The four following full trial protocols were received, beginning of October 20

  • 1-21-FR - Prevention of bone morbidity using a bisphosphonate in fibrous dysplasia of bone (PROFIDYS) - Click here for summary
  • 1-26-DE  Maintenance treatment with interferon-alpha following intensive multi-agent  chemotherapy and surgery for high-grade osteosarcoma (EURAMOS) - Click here for summary
  • 01-51-UK  Thrombophrophylaxis Using Low molecular weight heparin In Pregnancy  (TULIP) - Click here for summary
  • 01-52-UK  Exercise Intervention Strategies in Heart Failure Trial (EXIST) - Click here for summary

Each protocol was sent to a minimum of 6 international referees whose names have been suggested by the participating agencies (including the ESF) and by the RP members, when necessary, with an evaluation form pointing out the main criteria to be fulfilled.

The RP met on 3 December 2002 to review the 4 protocols on the basis of at least 3 assessments each and its own opinions. As a result of this meeting, 2 full protocols, each being considered as an individual EUROCORES project, have been recommended for funding to the agencies from countries involved in one or the two trials, when finalised according to the questions and remarks of the RP:

  • 01-21-FR - Prevention of bone morbidity using a bisphosphonate in fibrous dysplasia of bone (PROFIDYS)
  • 01-26-DE - Maintenance treatment with interferon-alpha following intensive multi-agent  chemotherapy and surgery for high-grade osteosarcoma (EURAMOS)

The revised protocols, when endorsed by the RP, and accompanying documents were sent to the corresponding MED (formerly EMRC) Member Organisations for final decisions on funding on 24 March 2003.

The full list of referees contacted by the ESF to peer review the proposals for Pan-European Clinical Trials can be downloaded here