Horizon 2020 – how to write a successful application

- In the application it is important to show what the project will achieve, define all concepts and be specific. You should also write in an easy and understandable way, says Jeaneth Johansson, Luleå University of technology, Horizon 2020 evaluator.

In order to be successful in a Horizon 2020 application, evaluators and coordinators from Horizon 2020 projects give the following five advices:

1. Get to know the “Participant Portal” in an early stage.

2. Cooperation is key – build your application on collaborations that is strong.

3. Have face-to-face meetings with the organisations you cooperate with when writing your application.

4. Use internal reviewers before handing in your application and let someone else outside the project read your proposal before submitting.

5. Write in an easy and understandable way - define key words, concepts and include pictures and graphs.

All Horizon 2020 projects are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence, Impact and Implementation. The evaluators Per Lindqvist, SP, Maria Björklund, Linköping University, and Xavier Aubry, Zaz Ventures, suggest the following in regards to the different parts of the application:

Excellence
1. Let researchers describe the “Excellence” part of the application
2. Do not rush over “state of the art” part

Impact
1. Do not use general empty phrases – be specific.
2. Include SMEs when formulating the impact

Implementation
1. Since there is no negotiation phase – be meticulous!
2. Write risk-analysis and your back-up strategies
3. Show how you will organise the work

By following the above recommendations it is possible to write an excellent application for Horizon 2020. When writing an application, organisations are also able to get assistance from VINNOVA, Enterprise Europé network, RISE, and Sweden. Furthermore, the help is free of charge.