Horizon Europe, the most famous European Union's research and innovation funding programme, provides tremendous opportunities for individuals, institutions, and organisations to contribute to groundbreaking projects. The programme aims to drive scientific excellence and technological advancements in Europe by supporting collaborative projects across various sectors, ranging from small-scale research initiatives to large-scale consortia. To access Horizon Europe call opportunities, it is essential to get familiar with the EU Funding and Tenders Portal.
Understanding the EU Funding & Tenders Portal is a fundamental skill for any individual or entity aiming to delve into the Horizon Europe funding landscape. The portal not only provides a comprehensive database of available calls but also offers the necessary resources and guidelines to craft a compelling proposal. It is a gateway that bridges the gap between groundbreaking ideas and the substantial financial support required to bring those ideas to fruition.
Navigating the portal can be overwhelming at first, especially for newcomers, but with a little guidance, you will be able to explore available calls for proposals and take advantage of the invaluable opportunities offered by the Horizon Europe programme for your research and innovation project.
Familiarise with the EU Funding & Tenders portal structure
The Funding & Tenders Portal serves as the central hub for all funding calls, tenders, and other procurement opportunities from the European Commission. It hosts a vast array of information related to various funding programmes, including Horizon Europe.
Whether you are an academic researcher, a small business owner, or a non-profit organization, the portal is the gateway to explore and access funding opportunities. It provides an interface that allows you to search for calls, access relevant documents, and submit proposals.
The main menu of the Funding & Tenders Portal includes several sections, each serving a specific purpose. In this article, we will focus specifically on two sections, which are open to all users, without the need of creating and using the EU Login credentials:
- the “Search Funding & Tenders” section
- the “How to participate” page
Exploring the available calls for proposals in Horizon Europe
You will find all the open calls for the Horizon Europe funding in the Search Funding and Tenders section.
The search facility is a powerful tool that helps you narrow down your options and find calls that align with your interests and expertise. By utilising the available filters effectively, you can save time and focus on the calls that are most relevant to you.
On the left side of the page, you will find the search filters, while on the right you will see the result of your selection.
As a first step, you can utilise the search function on top, by entering keywords that are in line with your research area, such as "healthcare," "sustainability," "artificial intelligence," or any specific area of interest.
Then, refine your search results by using the other available filters, allowing you to narrow down the list of calls that match your criteria.
You can select “Open for submission” calls to look for the topics for which the submission system is already available or filter “Forthcoming” calls, to check those opportunities that are still not open for submission, but are already scheduled, providing you more time for the planning and preparation.
If you are already familiar with the Horizon Europe programme structure, you can also sort the opportunities by “Programme part” (to select one or more Work Programmes that are relevant for your research areas), “Mission”, “Destination”, "Cross-cutting priority”, or “Call”.
Identifying the right call for you
Once you have identified potential topics, carefully review the topic details. It is essential to read the call documents carefully to understand what the European Commission is expecting from your project in terms of scope and impact, and any additional criteria that may apply.
Ensure that your project aligns with all the stated requirements, as disregarding them can jeopardise your chances of securing funding for your project.
Everything you need to develop your proposal is available on the Topic page, including call conditions, important documents, the standard application form, and other useful information.
The Topic page includes a link to the Portal Submission System, where you can submit your proposal. Additionally, here you will find updates on calls and topics (changes or relevant information for the applicants).
Exploring the "How to participate" page
After identifying the most suitable topic, it is time to prepare your proposal. At this stage, it is crucial to understand the application process, guidelines, and evaluation criteria for each specific call. Carefully follow the instructions provided by the European Commission, ensuring that your proposal fulfils all the requirements and addresses the evaluation criteria effectively.
In addition to the search facility, the Funding & Tenders Portal offers a dedicated section called "How to participate." This section provides valuable information on the application process, eligibility criteria, and evaluation procedures. It is essential to familiarise yourself with this part of the Funding & Tenders Portal to ensure a smooth and successful participation in Horizon Europe.
Expert tip: Check the Key Steps page for a step-by-step guide on how to submit your proposal, as well as the Reference documents page for the following files:
- the programme legislation (Programme Regulation, Programme Decision and Programme Financial Regulation)
- the Workprogrammes and the General Annexes (including the admissibility and eligibility criteria as well as details on the evaluation procedures)
- the relevant guidelines (including the list of eligible countries and the Online manual)
- the templates and the forms (including the evaluation forms)
- the list of experts (if you are curious to know who served as reviewer in the past years in your research area)
- the terms and conditions for the use of the Funding & Tenders Portal
By methodically filtering through the calls, understanding the specifics of each opportunity, and preparing a proposal that resonates with the objectives of the Horizon Europe programme, your research or innovation project stands a better chance of not just securing funding, but also contributing to the EU's ambitious goals of scientific and technological growth.
Remember that the key to a successful application is alignment: your project must not only align with the call's objectives but also with the overarching goals of Horizon Europe. The European Commission seeks projects that will push the envelope of knowledge and make a tangible difference in their fields. Therefore, ensuring your proposal's objectives and anticipated impacts are well-articulated and closely aligned with those of the funding call is paramount.
In conclusion, while the process may be daunting, particularly for those new to EU funding mechanisms, the potential rewards are significant. The EU Funding & Tenders Portal is your starting point on a journey that could lead to not only financial backing but also collaboration with peers across Europe, a contribution to your field's body of knowledge, and a lasting impact on society. Embrace the challenge, utilise the portal to its fullest potential, and your project may be the next to make a mark on the European research and innovation landscape.
This article is written by Serena Cogoni, Expert in EU Research Funding Programmes.