ECNP and the ECNP Preclinical Data Forum Network are sponsors of the Global Preclinical Data Forum an initiative that encourages global collaboration to address the challenge of ensuring that preclinical research is reproducible, robust and translatable to support disease research utility for clinical research & development (R&D).
Click on this link for more info.

During the year, the Preclinical Data Forum Network organises meetings for its members (also at the annual ECNP Congress).

Research projects

  • EQIPD (European Quality In Preclinical Data)
    European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA, Grant Agreement no. 777364.
  • GOT-IT (Guidelines on Target Validation to Facilitate Discovery of Innovative Medicines)
    (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
  • "Addressing Sex as a Biological Variable in Preclinical Pharmacology and Neuroscience Research: Accounting for Neglected Factors and Applying Practical Solutions to Enhance Rigor and Reproducibility".
    NIH R25 grant obtained by members of the Network: Magali Haas, Chantelle Ferland-Beckham (Cohen Veterans Bioscience Inc.), Eric Prager (John Wiley and Sons) and Christina Dalla (University of Athens).

Prize for the Best Negative Data Publication

Workshops and training courses

  • Workshop on robust experimental study design and analysis, 27 February 27 – 1 March 2019, Athens, Greece)
  • Training course on robust experimental study design and analysis, 3-5 July 2017, Heidelberg, Germany. (Programme, Report, Survey)
  • Training course for young scientists on robust experimental study design and analysis (in conjunction with the Germany Society for Pharmacology and Toxicology meeting), 6 March 2017, Heidelberg, Germany.


Journal and link to the article
Christoph H. Emmerich et al.
2020 Improving target assessment in biomedical research: the GOT-IT recommendations
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery
Bespalov et al.
Be positive about negatives–recommendations for the publication of negative (or null) results
European Neuropsychopharmacology
Arroyo-Araujo et al.  2019 Reproducibility via coordinated standardization: a multi-center study in a Shank2 genetic rat model for autism spectrum disorders Scientific Reports
Prager et al.
 2018 Improving transparency and scientific rigor in academic publishing
Improving transparency and scientific rigor in academic publishing 
Bespalov et al.
 2018 Industry is more alarmed about reproducibility than academia
Bespalov & Steckler
 2018 Lacking quality in research: Is behavioral neuroscience affected more than other areas of biomedical science?
Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Kokras et al.
Kinoscope: an open-source computer program for behavioral pharmacologists.
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Bespalov et al.   2016 Failed clinical trials for central nervous system disorders do not necessarily invalidate preclinical models and drug targets.
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery
Popp et al.
 2016 In search of the mechanisms of ketamine’s antidepressant effects: how robust is the evidence behind the mTor activation hypothesis.  F1000Research 
Steckler et al.
 2016 Reporting guidelines for psychopharmacology
Steckler et al.   2015 The Preclinical Data Forum Network: a new ECNP initiative to improve data quality and robustness for (preclinical) neuroscience. European Neuropsychopharmacology
Steckler  2015 Preclinical data reproducibility for R&D —  the challenge for neuroscience  Psychopharmacology 

Other events, symposia

  • ERA-NET Neuron Symposium on Robust Research, 22 January 2019, Bonn, Germany.
  • Brainstorming session on drug discovery in the SUD / AUD field, 8 October 2018, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Symposium on criteria for “unquestionable preclinical efficacy” to prioritize development and POC studies in selected areas of neuroscience where etiological / construct validity is deemed to be relatively strong (stroke, TBI, PTSD, SUD / AUD), 20 April 2018, Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • ERA-NET Neuron Symposium on Open Science, 24 January 2018, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Herrenhausen Conference "Lost in the Maze? Navigating Evidence and Ethics in Translational Neuroscience", 14-16 February 2018, Hanover, Germany.
  • Symposium "Addressing the challenge: Approaches to generating more robust, reproducible, and predictive preclinical data", Hellenic Neuroscience Society meeting, 9 December 2017, Athens, Greece.
  • Symposium on "Data quality, robustness and relevance in preclinical research and development", 6th Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress (PSWC), 21-24 May 2017, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Symposium on data reproducibility, ECNP Annual Congress, 17-20 September 2016, Vienna, Austria.
  • ACNP Study Group on Reproducibility and Robustness of Experimental Data in the Neurosciences, 7 December 2015, Hollywood, FL, USA.
  • Network-NIH alignment Meeting, 17 October 2015, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • ECNP Network Workshop, 23 April 2015, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Baronikova S, Steckler T, Winchester C (2019) Panel Discussion - Transparency: Industry Perspective. 2019 Biomedical Transparency Summit, 15 May 2019, Paris, France.
  • Ferland-Beckham C, Freeman A, Lane S, Steckler T (2019) Open Panel: Next Steps and Novel Approaches to Improving Research Transparency. 2019 Biomedical Transparency Summit. 15 May 2019, Paris, France.
  • Bespalov A (2018) Preclinical research data quality in neuroscience, ECNP Workshop for Junior Scientists in Europe, 17 March 2018, Nice, France.
  • Bespalov A (2018) Academic discoveries in drug research: Heads I win, tails you lose? German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, 14 March 2018, Magdeburg, Germany.
  • Skolnick P (2017) Trust but verify: developing (+)-opioids as medications to treat SUDs, 7 March 2017 (webinar).
  • Haas M (2017) Lecture on data sharing. ECNP Workshop for Junior Scientists in Europe, 11 March 2017, Nice, France.
  • Steckler T (2017) Symposium on “Data quality, robustness and relevance in preclinical research and development”. 6th Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress (PSWC), 21-24 May 2017, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Hooijmans C (2017) "GRADE for preclinical animal studies: translating evidence from bench to bedside", 28 June 2017 (webinar).
  • Bespalov A (2016) How novel should the new drug targets be? 2nd Central European Biomedical Congress, 17 June 2016, Krakow, Poland.
  • Bespalov A (2016) Lacking quality in research: Is behavioral science affected more than other areas of biomedical science? Measuring Behavior, 27 May 2016, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Bespalov A (2015) Predictivity of preclinical drug testing. 4th Heidelberg Forum for Young Life Scientists, 22 May 2015, Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Gallacher D (2015) Collaborating for healthier lives - the patients are waiting: The pharmaceutical industry’s role in fostering research integrity & creating better systems. 4th World Conference on Research Integrity, 2 June 2015, Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Millan M (2015) Reproducibility of biomedical research – The view from industry/R&D: translating experimental findings into new medicine. Symposium on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, 1-2 April 2015, London, UK.
  • Moser P (2015) Translational pharmacology. Postgraduate Course, 4 July 2015, Porto, Portugal.
  • Steckler T (2015) True or False? Transparency, Validation and Reproducibility of Research in Scholarly Communication (Panelist). FORCE 2015, 12-13 January 2015, Oxford, UK.
  • Steckler T (2015) The four Rs: reproducibility, robustness and relevance as goals of modern research. ECNP Workshop for Junior Scientists in Europe, 12-15 March 2015, Nice, France.
  • Steckler T (2015) Reproducibility, robustness and relevance in biomedical research. EMTRAIN PhD Workshop, 26-30 April 2015, Beerse, Belgium.
  • Steckler T (2015) Robustness and generalizability in preclinical R&D – topline of the challenges. 2015 Bordeaux International Workshop/Seminars on University-Industry Interaction in Neuroscience, 11 June 2015, Bordeaux, France.
  • Steckler T (2015) Reproducibility, relevance and reverse translatability in EU-AIMS. British Association of Psychopharmacology Summer Meeting, 26 July 2015, Bristol, UK.
  • Steckler T (2015) Quality aspects in the in vivo phenotyping of mutant rodents. 5th Postgraduate ONWAR Course in Behavioral Neuroscience, 24-29 August 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Targeted Network Meetings
What makes preclinical data translatable?’ (2 September 2015, after the 28th ECNP Congress, Amsterdam, the Netherlands).