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CORE Multi-Annual Thematic Research Programme

Programme Type
Funding programme
National (Luxembourg)
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Background & Policy context

The CORE multi-annual thematic research programme intends to support Luxembourg public research in the national priority areas.

The FNR has processed seven CORE Calls since 2008, granting funding to 235 projects out of 752 projects submitted. This represents an investment of EUR 124 million of the EUR 159.5 allocated to the CORE programme.

Within the framework of the Performance Contract 2014-2017 with the Luxembourg Government, the total budget allocated to the CORE programme for the period 2014-2017 is EUR 70 million. The tentative budget for 2016 is EUR 17 million.

Strategic Objectives

The prime objective of CORE is to advance the quality in science of the public research in Luxembourg in the five priority domains:

  • Innovation in Services
  • Sustainable Resource Management in Luxembourg
  • New Functional and Intelligent Materials and Surfaces and New Sensing Applications
  • Biomedical and Health Sciences
  • Societal Challenges for Luxembourg

The FNR funds research projects that seek to answer clear and pertinent research questions and contribute to advancing the current understanding in research and to build a resident knowledge basis in the selected focus areas.

Exploiting this basis and its research results will contribute to generating sustained socio-economic and environmental benefits for Luxembourg. By concentrating on the priority domain, CORE projects directly contribute to the strengthening of the capacities and the creation of critical mass within these fields of research leading to an increased international visibility in the research community.

Programme organisation

CORE projects have a lifespan of two to three years and funding is allocated on a competitive basis. All projects are peer-reviewed by international reviewers. CORE calls are launched on an annual basis.  

The programme is designed for both early career-stage researchers (CORE Junior Track) and established Principal Investigators (standard CORE track). CORE funding may therefore cover research projects of PhD students who are involved in the project full-time and from the beginning.


Institution Type
Institution Name
Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR)
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions

CORE projects should be innovative and of high scientific quality. All projects are peer reviewed by international reviewers. The main criteria for the evaluation of the projects are:

  • Scientific quality
  • Originality
  • Research methodology
  • Track record of the applicants

National and international collaborations with partners from the public and private sector are encouraged, but not mandatory.

Bi-lateral projects with project partners requesting funding, e.g. from DFG (Germany), SNF (Switzerland), or FWF (Austria), may be submitted under the lead agency principle. Further collaborations are, for example, possible with Poland (in ICT) or with EMBL (in Biomed).

The Principal Investigator (PI), author and leader of the project, is asked to submit proposals which are appropriate to their track record and experience. The submission of projects by early career-stage researchers is fostered by CORE Junior Track, a dedicated framework for less experienced PIs.

Total Budget
70 mio EUR (2014-2017)
Participating countries
The FNR has signed cooperation agreements with the following funding agencies:
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany), Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF, Switzerland), Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF, Austria), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Germany), National Centre for Research and Development, Poland (NCBR, Poland).


Helena Burg
Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg
Organisation Website

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