ESCMID Publications

ESCMID Panorama


ESCMID invitation to submit proposals for clinical practice guidelines projects



European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) is launching a new initiative to develop new, timely clinical practice guidelines in the field of infectious diseases, clinical microbiology and infections.

Setting priorities is an essential component of developing clinical practice guidelines in the field of healthcare. This process ensures that resources and attention are devoted to those areas in which clinical recommendations will provide the greatest benefit to patients, clinicians, and policy makers. Aiming at a global perspective, major stakeholders worldwide have been invited to identify the fields where clinical practice guidelines are more directly needed.

In this first step, groups, societies, and organizations among ESCMID partners in scientific issues, have proposed their top priorities in terms of topics for future guidelines.
These results have been pooled, and the most relevant topics have been prioritized.




The objective of this call is to invite interested parties to propose to undertake the development of full clinical practice guidelines in one of the priority topics, as listed above. They engage in following the best recognized standards for the production of clinical practice guidelines, from the identification of objectives and health questions, search and selection of relevant evidence, to the formulation of recommendations.


Topics for guidelines are here intended as broad areas, where the applicant is expected to propose scope and focus, balancing feasibility and comprehensiveness.

In this call, ESCMID will consider proposals in the following broad areas:

1)    Antimicrobial stewardship:
ESCMID welcome proposals on any sub-topic: diagnostic, antibiotic, antifungal, hospital or community, adult and paediatrics, specific antimicrobials or antimicrobic class,

2)    Diagnosis and management of influenza:
ESCMID welcome proposals in any sub-topic: diagnostics, treatment, with a population scope or targeting specific patients’ categories,

3)    Surgical prophylaxis and infection control means, in patients colonised by MDR pathogens before surgery:
ESCMID welcome proposals with either broad or narrow scope (e.g. on specific MDR pathogens, patients’ category, or in specific types of surgery)

4)    Diagnostic and treatment of non-hospitalized Community Acquired Pneumonia.

ESCMID welcome proposals with either a broad scope or a more specific one (e.g. on specific patient populations)  



This call is open to ESCMID study groups and individual ESCMID members. Individual ESCMID members should, if possible, liaise with relevant ESCMID study groups to present joint proposals.
Proposals with other scientific societies are encouraged, and this information should be included in the application; in case the project is selected for funding, funding will be granted conditional on a Memorandum of Understanding between the cooperating societies.
A single member/study group will be allowed to submit only one proposal.
Proposals from non-ESCMID members will not be considered.




The procedure to select the proposals for the development of clinical practice guidelines will proceed as follow:
1)    Applicants to the call will complete the submission template, as detailed below, and submit it to the ESCMID Secretariat by email in PDF or other suitable format (guidancedocuments[at]
2)    Proposals will be checked by the Secretariat to assess if the submission requirements are met;
3)    Suitable proposals will be subsequently evaluated by the ESCMID Guideline Director (with Subcommittee) and ESCMID Guideline Officer, who will select the most suitable proposals (see below for quality criteria);
4)    The ESCMID Executive Committee will approve and allocate funding to the selected proposals. Comments and proposed modifications will be sent back to the ESCMID Guidelines Director, who will liaise with the applicants.
5)    The applicants of the selected proposals will be contacted for confirmation and for further steps (in particular, selection of the remaining panel members; see below)

The overall procedure, and any issues not covered in the present call, are detailed in the ESCMID Manual for clinical practice guidelines and other guidance documents (link).

Key dates


Step    Date    Notes
Call for projects16/09/2019
Deadline for project submission31/10/2019Email to: guidancedocuments[at]
Selection of funded projects30/11/2019By GL subcommittee and EC
Call for additional panel members07/12/2019By GL subcommittee
Deadline for application to be panel member10/01/2020
Final selection of panel members31/01/2020By GL subcommittee and GL Officer
Kick off of the funded projects (TC)01/03/2020Drafting group chair
First F2F meeting of the funded projectsECCMID 2020Drafting group



Guideline panel

The applicant of the proposal will serve as panel chair. The ideal size of the panel is around 9-15 members from different (predominantly European) countries. The applicant will propose a third of the panel members, a third will be proposed by the guideline subcommittee and the EC, and a third will be selected by an open call in the following weeks.
The panel should include both specialists in the narrow field under discussion, and people with a wider perspective. The chair and the members of the panel should be drawn from the membership of the Society whenever possible. The participation of a least one member or an advisor proficient in the methodology of systematic reviews is strongly recommended. It is strongly advised to include a representative of the patient population or of the lay public into the guideline panel. Gender, country and, whenever applicable, clinical specialty balance should be ensured.
Experts will not be eligible to be part of the guideline panel if they are already members of the panel of more than another guideline.
ESCMID has a clear policy on Conflict of Interest (CoI) of guideline panel members. Please refer to the Guidelines manual for details. The drafting group chair shall have no current or recent (i.e. past 5 years) direct or indirect financial CoI. The drafting group as a whole shall include no more than 50% of members with direct or indirect financial CoI.

Conflict of Interest declarations

A thorough Conflict of Interest statement will be required from the applicant and the proposed panel members at the time of the submission of the proposal (the ESCMID template can be found at the following link). The statement will be asked from all guideline panel members, if the proposal is accepted; it will be highly appreciated if the statement from the proposed panel members is submitted together with the application.
Interest is defined as any direct or indirect financial or nonfinancial interest besides the development of the guideline itself, i.e. to the purposes of the guidance document development represents a “secondary interest”. A Conflict of Interest arises when there is a risk that the professional judgement of an author regarding the specific guidance document will be influenced by a secondary interest.
Conflicts of interests do not necessarily imply improper motivation or require immediate exclusion of a person from involvement in guidance document development, but since they can influence decision-making, all Conflicts of Interest should be declared, transparently reported, identified and properly managed in order to limit bias.
Conflicts of Interest will be assessed considering both the nature of the interest, the relevancy to the task at hand and the potential impact. Conflict of Interests considered to be at high risk may lead to the refusal of the proposal.

Submission template

Only proposals including a fully completed version of the attached submission template will be evaluated. The template includes all critical components of a clinical practice guideline, covering the items composing the Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch & Evaluation (AGREE II)  instrument:
•    Scope and Purpose
•    Stakeholder Involvement
•    Rigour of Development
•    Clarity of Presentation
•    Applicability
•    Editorial Independence

In addition, the proposal should describe the following:
•    Composition of the guidelines panel
•    Availability to regularly re-assess the need for updates to the original guidelines
•    Conflict of Interest declaration of the submitter
•    Timeline for the guideline development process
•    Required budget

ESCMID has adopted the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to guidelines development. Any deviation should be properly justified in the proposal.

The systematic review of the literature, data extraction and the drafting of the summary of findings tables will be made in cooperation with the ESCMID Evidence Review Group.

ESCMID support

Specific support will be provided by ESCMID in the guideline development process:
•    Members from the evidence review group (usually 2-4 young professionals) will support data extraction for the systematic review of the literature
•    The ESCMID guideline manager will provide help in coordinating and setting up telephonic conferences



Amount of funding

The total budget for this call is 100 000 Euros. Overall, four proposals are expected to be retained and funded – this number might be lower or higher according to the number of proposals, the requested budget, etc.
A tentative budget should be submitted together with the proposal. This should contain the total costs of the development of the clinical practice guidelines, including travel costs, the salary of a librarian (as needed), and coordination travel costs. The organization and costs of teleconferences and data extraction will be covered by ESCMID and should not be included in the budget.
The final allocated budget will be assigned by the ESCMID Executive Committee.

Criteria for proposal selection

Proposals will be assessed according to multiple criteria, including:

•    Scope and Purpose (clarity, precision, and adherence to the current call topics)

•    Stakeholder Involvement (proposed guideline panel’s curriculum on the topic, previous experience in guideline development, presence of methodologists and patient representatives, gender/country/specialty balance)

•    Rigour of the proposed development methods

•    Clarity of Presentation of the proposal

•    Expected applicability

•    Editorial Independence (CoI declarations)

•    Expected timelines

•    Estimated budget




The ESCMID template for proposals for clinical practice projects can be found following this link

Supporting documents

A pdf version of this call can be dowload here

Template for proposals of clinical practice guidelines projects

The ESCMID template for proposals for clinical practice projects can be found following this link in pdf or this link for .docx


This document has two major aims:

(1) an outline of ways ESCMID guidelines can be proposed and developed;
(2) a guide for drafting group (DG) chairs and members for the guideline development process.

 This document clarifies the terminology and format to be used in ESCMID guidance documents submitted for publication in CMI, and highlights the principles behind ESCMID guidance documents.


You will find the ESCMID Development of Guideline Conflict of Interest document (CoI) following this link.