Results of the Call IP-CORONA-2020-04

The Croatian Science Foundation published the Call “Management of infectious diseases caused by coronaviruses and social and educational aspects of the pandemic” on 30 March 2020, whereby it would finance research aimed at creating new and enhancing existing knowledge on infectious diseases caused by coronaviruses as well as the social aspects of the pandemic.

The Call deadline was 20 April. 98 project proposals were submitted, of which 96 were sent for peer review as two proposals did not meet administrative criteria. The first evaluation round was conducted by five evaluation panels according to the following research topics: 

PanelNumber of evaluated proposals
Panel 1 – Response of the immune system and development of new approaches to COVID-19 diagnostics26
Panel 2 – Development of new vaccines, treatment procedures, medications and formulas for COVID-19 inhibition18
Panel 3.1. – Psycho-social effects of crisis measures in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, factors of risk and resistance on mental health and well-being of the general and vulnerable population19

Panel 3.2. – Crisis communication on the COVID-19 pandemic for alleviation of fear, stereotyping and insecurity, enhancing responsible individual and group behaviour and trust in public authorities

Panel 4 – Educational aspects of the pandemic21

Based on the marks awarded by two international peer reviewers, final opinion of the Evaluation Panel and the ranking list of the evaluated project proposals per competent Panel, the Board of the Foundation, at its 173rd session held on 26 June 2020 adopted the Decision on funding eleven top-ranked projects:

Doc. dr. sc. Branko Ančić, Institute for Scientific Research in Zagreb
Project title: The social resilience of Croatian society in the midst and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic – SOCRES

Doc. dr. sc. Ilija Brizić, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka
Project title: No More Hiding, CoV-2: Establishing a Database of Monoclone SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies (mAbeom)

Prof. dr. sc. Dinka Čorkalo Biruški, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Project title: (Re)building society: A longitudinal study of post-corona social recovery in Croatian general population (ReSPoC)

Dr. sc. Beata Halassy, University of Zagreb, Centre for Research and Knowledge Tranfer in Biotechnology
Project title: Development of premises for implementation of SARS-CoV-2 serotherapy in Croatia (CoVIg)

Prof. dr. sc. Astrid Krmpotić, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka
Project title: Highly attenuated β-herpesvirus with potent immunomodulatory capacity as vaccine vector against SARS-CoV-2

Prof. dr. sc. Gordan Lauc, Genos d.o.o. 
Project title: Glycans as biomarkers and functional effectors of severe COVID-19

Izv. prof. dr. sc. Ana Meštrović, University of Rijeka, Department of Computer Science
Project title: Multilayer Framework for the Information Spreading Characterization in Social Media during the COVID-19 Crisis (InfoCoV)

Dr. sc. Andreja Mikoč, Ruđer Bošković Institute
Project title: Coronavirus macrodomain inhibitors – a novel therapeutic approach  for treating coronavirus-induced disease

Doc. dr. sc. Dalida Rittossa, Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka
Project title: Life in the time of COVID-19 – social implications on the security and well-being of vulnerable groups in the European context

Prof. dr. sc. Kristian Vlahoviček, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb
Project title: Determining the strain variability of the novel CoV-2 and underlying genetic predisposition of the host as a discovery tool for virulence and risk factors in COVID-19 pandemic

Prof. dr. sc. Felix Wensveen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka
Project title: Memory manipulation; development of novel strategies to enhance the memory CD8 T cell response against COVID-19 following vaccination.

The Croatian Science Foundation would hereby like to congratulate the Principal Investigators of these projects and hopes that their research will be successful and deliver results that would contribute to solving what are currently the biggest research challenges related to saving human lives and safeguarding the health and well-being of Croatian citizens.