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Frequently asked questions to prepare for successful Horizon 2020 applications

March 01 2018

To ensure a smooth and successful Horizon 2020 application process ttopstart has listed several frequently asked questions that we have come across with our clients.

Several of these questions were:

  • What is a PIC code?
  • Where can I find the PIC code of my organisation?
  • How to obtain a PIC code?
  • What is the difference between a deliverable and a milestone?
  • What is the difference between a Gantt chart and PERTH chart?
  • Where can I find information on upcoming Horizon 2020 calls?
  • What services does ttopstart offer with respect to Horizon 2020?

What is a PIC code?

For each Horizon 2020 application an administrative form (Part A) needs to be filled in. For this a PIC code of each participant is required, but what is a PIC code?

The PIC code is a unique nine digit Participant Identification Code that is used to identify organisations (e.g. an academic institute or SME). The PIC code can be used for all future communication and interactions with the European Commission and its agencies. The use of the PIC code for each organisation helps to avoid redundant requests for information and facilitates the effort to keep participant-related information up-to-date.

Where can I find the PIC code of my organisation?

If you are not sure whether your organisation is already registered a PIC search can be performed here

How to obtain a PIC code?

If your organisation does not have a PIC code you need to register through the ECAS Participants Portal

At the end of the registration process, the PIC number of the organisation will be displayed.

What is the difference between a deliverable and a milestone?

To write a strong proposal it is essential that the project plan, including the deliverables and milestones is solid, but also achievable. But what is the difference between a deliverable and a milestone?

Deliverables are tangible or intangible objects produced as a result of the project that is intended to be delivered to a stakeholder (either internal or external).  A deliverable could be a report, a document, a server upgrade or any other building block of an overall project.

Milestones are scheduled events signifying the completion of a deliverable or set of related deliverables. There is no work associated with a milestone; it is a flag in the work plan to signify some other work has completed.

A deliverable differs from a project milestone in that a milestone is a measurement of progress toward an output whereas the deliverable is the result of the process. For a typical project, a milestone might be the completion of a product design while the deliverable might be the technical diagram of the product.

What is the difference between a Gantt chart and PERTH chart?

To visualise project timelines and the breakdown of tasks within the work packages (WP) along with the time it takes to perform the particular task Gantt charts and PERTH charts are frequently used. But what are the differences between a Gantt chart and a PERTH chart?

A Gantt chart is represented as a bar graph and is used to illustrate a project schedule. The Gantt chart shows the start dates, end dates and individually breaks down the project into smaller tasks. Select Gantt charts also show the dependency relationships between activities. The chart shows a horizontal bar which represents the task, while the length of the bar shows the time required to complete the task. On an x-y axis, the x axis represents the time for project completion. Independent tasks are connected using arrows, which show the relationship between two independent tasks.  The relationship stems from the dependency of one task on another, where one task must be finished in order to being the other task (see figure 1).


Figure 1: Example of Gantt chart

The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) chart is represented as a flow chart and is designed to analyse and represent the tasks involved in completing a given project. The PERT chart also analyses the various different tasks involved in a project and the time it will take to complete each task and subsequently the whole project (see figure 2).


Figure 2: Example of PERTH Chart

One of the key differences between a PERT chart and a Gantt chart is the way the information is presented. Gantt charts present information in the format of a bar chart. This presentation helps show the percentage of work completed for each task. A PERT chart, on the other hand, displays information as a network model. This means that a PERT chart presents an initial node from which tasks branch out. This helps to visualise the sequence of tasks, as you cannot start on the next activity until the one preceding it is completed.

Where can I find information on upcoming Horizon 2020 calls?

Information on upcoming Horizon 2020 calls can be found on the Horizon 2020 website.

For a quick overview of all calls relevant for life sciences, medical technology and health and their deadlines in H2020 and other (national) funding programmes please visit our Life Sciences Funding Database.

What services does ttopstart offer with respect to Horizon 2020?

To maximise the success and impact of your Horizon 2020 application ttopstart has several services to offer you, which include:

  • Horizon 2020 proposal writing: ttopstart is able to write 80% of the total proposal and manage the entire application process. Our support maximises your chances of success and allows you to fully focus on the design of the scientific work plan.
  • Professional non-scientific management: ttopstart offers an extensive management toolbox in both the application phase and the project phase.
  • Dissemination & exploitation: ttopstart is leading in development and execution of creative and detailed Horizon 2020 dissemination and exploitation plans.

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