Our work

Promoting Research Collaborations

This initiative, known as GRAIN (strateGic pRojects Accelerator & fundIng eNgine), began in March 2020 with the rise of COVID-19 as a means of quickly evaluating research ideas worth pursuing at the European level.
Today, its main goal is to stimulate clinical and translational research projects between EUHA hospitals.
The enabling initiative also consists of the following three sub-goals:


Provide a space for principal investigators (PIs) to share their project idea and find connections.


Scout for funding opportunities of interest for EUHA partners, networks, and working groups.


Foster dialogue with European Research Infrastructures.

Benefits of GRAIN

GRAIN functions by collaborating with biomedical research structures, thereby presenting many benefits for PIs including, but not limited to the following:
  1. Enables expansion of one's international network and connection with fellow EUHA members.
  2. Presents opportunities to receive feedback from a panel of European clinical and translational experts including European Research Infrastructures.
  3. Enhances a research idea's scalability and exploitation strategy.
  4. Enables access to support from EUHA Member Grant Officers.

Since GRAIN's founding, more than 15 research proposals have been presented in GRAIN meetings, four joint proposals have been submitted, and several proposal collaboration requests have been shared by email. Furthermore, the initiative has successfully established a common space between EUHA, EATRIS, ECRIN, and BBMRI.

Contact Persons

The initiative is coordinated by Federica Righi, Director of Competitive Projects at Vall d'Hebron Research. EUHA researchers who are interested to learn more can contact their local contact person:
  • AP-HP: Milan Lazarevic & Tabassome Simon
  • Charité: Friedemann Paul & Eveline Fräßdorf
  • Erasmus MC: Ismaëla Nieuwenhuijs & Greet Vink
  • Karolinska University Hospital: Paolo Parini & Anna Sahlström
  • King's Health Partners: Joseph Casey & Michelle Martin
  • Ospedale San Raffaele: Roberto Buccione & Federica Prete
  • University Hospital Vienna & MedUni Wien: Michaela Fritz & Iris Weinbub
  • Vall d'Hebron: Núria Gavaldà & Federica Righi
  • UH Leuven: Severine Vermeire & Johan van Eldere


Federica Righi

Barcelona, Spain

Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus