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Are you FIT for Horizon 2020?

December 14 2017

There is an increasing dependence on European funding schemes. Proposal templates are getting more and more complex, while at the same time overall success rates have dropped from 20% to 12% between FP7 and H2020.

We have noticed that high-ranking, competitive proposals show a perfect Fit between the proposed project and the call’s intentions and expected impact. Below we summarized some tips to assess the Fit of your project to the call like an expert.

Fit, Framework, Write and Development: our proven method for winning grant proposals

At ttopstart we have established the FFWD (Fit, Framework, Write and Development) model to help you further develop your initial idea into a competitive grant proposal. The four steps of the FFWD are:

  • Fit: Fit-to-call and competitiveness
  • Framework: Conceptualisation of the research plan
  • Write: Proposal preparation
  • Development: Knowledge utilisation

For more information about the model, visit the FFWD page.

The 6Cs to successfully Fit your proposal to a Horizon 2020 grant call

ttopstart experts have identified six factors to be crucial for any call in the H2020 work programme. These 6Cs can guide you through taking a critical look at the Fit of your proposal, thereby improving your chances of a successful application. 

1. Call

  • Do you fully comprehend the call?
  • Do you understand what is really requested in every little detail?

Horizon 2020 consists of many different calls, each with very specific definitions and requirements. The first check is to make sure you fully understand the call. Only when there is a perfect understanding of the specifics can you develop your proposal to fit its objectives.

2. Concept

  • Can you truly oversee the entire scope of possible projects that can be submitted under this call?
  • Do you have a concept that would have the broadest impact and the least risk amongst them?

The full scope of the call includes different aspects and it is crucial that you can oversee what is included. In boosting your chances for success, it is crucial to ensure highest level of impact and minimize the associated risks.

3. Consortium

  • Is your consortium the only group that can realise this project?
  • Is each and every partner absolutely crucial to ensure successful completion of the project and maximum impact thereafter?

Horizon 2020 projects are of a size and scope that cannot be executed in isolation. Thus, the proposed consortium should be of the highest possible quality. One way to approach this is to establish each partner’s role in successfully completing the project and to ensure that the impact translates beyond the duration of the project. Additionally, the combination of partners should make your consortium uniquely appropriate to realise the project.

4. Chair

  • Do you have the leadership skills necessary to bind and guide this consortium?

To be able to get the best out of the partnership, appropriate leadership should be present to ensure smooth guidance through the project. Leadership of H2020 consortia includes decisiveness, political skills and the ability to keep the many different partners fully engaged with the project.

5. Conceivable

  • Can you build a concise narrative for both laymen and experts to comprehend the project and its feasibility?

While you may have defined the project topic, the consortium and its leadership, this is not enough to convince reviewers of the excellence of the project. There should also be a clear roadmap for implementation. Laymen and expert reviewers need to be able to grasp both the project concept and its feasibility.

6. Complete

  • Do you cover all formal and informal criteria of H2020 and the call you are aiming for?

Lastly and critically, it is important that your application is complete. All formal and informal requirements for the specific call as well as H2020 in general should be met. Every detail counts in competitive calls.

Request assistance

Ensuring that your project has the best fit to the funding opportunity you are applying to is the first step to success. ttopstart has extensive experience in interpreting life sciences Horizon 2020 calls and adapting ideas, improving the project proposal and its chances of success. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.

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