Repetitive and uncontrollable stress is known to be a powerful risk factor for mental disorders. Whether an individual will respond adaptively or maladaptively to a stressor is de?ned by his/her genetics, developmental history and the environment in adult hood. In particular traumatic experiences in early life, notably neglect or abuse during childhood, could considerably add to the risk of subsequent psychiatric illnesses including major depression, psychosis and post traumatic stress disorder. The societ al and economic burden of these stress-related illnesses is enormous. Hence it is of great importance to come to a better understanding of these in?uences of stress on mental health. The EUROCORES programme EuroSTRESS will focus on two important questio ns through an interdisciplinary aproach: • How can early life experience and genetic background in concert evoke lasting changes in signalling pathways within the brain, resulting in altered behaviour and increased vulnerability to negative effects of stress in adulthood? • How can periods of repetitive stress or traumatic events in adulthood (against a background of life history and genetic vulnerability) disrupt brain function such that the chances on precipitation of speci?c psychiatric disorders are increased? Full proposals have been reviewed by an experts panel on 4 December 2007 to rank proposals and recommend top proposals for funding.