1. Understand how Horizon 2020 Works:
You can apply for funding by responding to a call published by the European Commission. Each programme has different rules, ensure you are aware of these and understand them.
2. Allow enough time to prepare:
Submitting a proposal needs time to prepare the perfect proposal. As a coordinator you need to expect to spend 3 man months at least and a significant amount of travelling. As a work package leader, you should expect to spend 2 man months preparation including travel.
3. Read necessary documentation:
Every published call is accompanied by important documentation. Download Work Programmes, Guide for Applicants, and any relevant legal documents for your call on the Cordis webpage. Make a call checklist to determine that you meet the criteria in order to apply for a research grant.
4. Look at what has been done before:
Often themes described in the work programme have a history of previous projects. Locate these on the Cordis website and review who participated. It can be a good way to find partners for your project and identify potential competitors for your project.
5. Attend information, networking and brokerage events:
The commission organises public information events on calls. There you get a chance to discuss with Scientific Officers from the Commission. You might meet potential partners and competing groups.
6. Pull together the perfect consortium:
A strong consortium is a key factor for success. Build your consortium early. Make sure you get the best partners that are well known in Europe. It is likely that you will need to go outside your normal partner network. You must build a European consortium, with partners who fit perfectly to achieve the tasks and deliverables for each partner.
7. Write the perfect proposal:
Your proposal must lay out the science and technology, but it is also a marketing document. Your proposal must excel in terms of how it describes S&T, Management and Impact. All proposals are peer evaluated by experts. You only get one chance to sell your proposal. Be clear and consistent. Make sure all your objectives are consistently described. Halbert Research provides specialised training on proposal writing.
8. Stick to the evaluation criteria:
Follow and stick to the evaluation criteria in the guide for applicants for your call. Write your proposal in a way that makes it easy for the Evaluator to fill out their evaluation forms. Remember – every half mark counts!
9. Ensure the proposal meets with the eligibility criteria:
Some topics may have strict eligibility criteria, such as SME participation or budgets. Proposals will be rejected if they do not meet these criteria. Follow them carefully.
10. Submit on time a complete proposal
Call deadlines are absolute deadlines and one minute too late is too late!