How to write effective EU proposals for Horizon 2020

If you write – or plan to write – a proposal for the EU Horizon 2020 programme you need to know how to:
  • Network and make yourself a natural partner for a proposal.
  • Apply successful partner search strategies and tactics.
  • Establish trust and build a consortium.
  • Write the proposal.
  • Follow the EU procedure precisely and exactly.
  • Review and improve your proposal before submission.
  • Submit and follow up.

Effective EU proposals for Horizon 2020

The Horizon 2020 book describes these steps beyond the technical requirements and focuses on the lesser known – but essential – social and procedural factors. The book shows you how to optimize and streamline your networking and proposal processes to increase the chance of getting EU funding.

The main benefits of the book are:

  1. Actionable knowledge to start networking, getting ideas, forming a
    partnership and writing  proposals for Horizon 2020.
  2. A step by step process to increase your chances of funding by
    guiding you through the often neglected areas of partner search,
    proposal positioning through excellence and urgency, and proposal
    writing for impact.
  3. You’ll gain confidence to manage your way to EU funding, weed
    out bad proposals and join successful networks.

The chapters of the book are:

1 Introduction
2 Background and Structure of Horizon 2020
3 Getting Started with Horizon 2020
4 Developing Successful Ideas
5 Networking for Horizon 2020
6 How to Find and Evaluate Partners
7 How to Form a Consortium
8 Getting Started with a Proposal
9 How Proposals are Evaluated
10 Writing a Proposal
11 Marketing and Submitting Your Proposal
12 Odds and Ends: Rules, Administration and Support
13 Additional Information Sources

Interested? The book is available through Amazon in the EU.


Do you have a question on Horizon 2020? An idea or suggestion? Please contact me at: Contact/Suggestions/Ideas


  • Survey results could help starters write better Horizon 2020 proposals There is much advice going around on writing successful proposals for Horizon 2020. Much is common sense, and most experienced participants have their own specific strategies for partner search and proposal preparation. However there were not many data points available on what problems and obstacles newcomers to Horizon 2020 faced. Before writing ... Read more ...
  • Horizon 2020 Funding Rates Here is a short overview of most of the Horizon 2020 types of actions and their funding rates. The detailed description of the types of actions are described in the General Annexes of the Horizon 2020 Main Work Programme and in the ERC Work Programme. Keep in mind that these numbers can change!Type EU funding ... Read more ...
  • What are the success rates for proposals in Horizon 2020? It was hard to get an overview of the success rates of proposals in all calls in Horizon 2020. In September 2015 the European Commission’s Director-General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits, told that success rates are between 12 – 14%. That figure is an overall rate for Horizon 2020, and thus varies in between ... Read more ...
  • Horizon 2020 Evaluation Criteria Changes In some Horizon 2020 calls evaluation criteria have changed. It seems that the evaluation criteria have begun to vary more and more by call, even within the same funding mechanism. Reviewers are now sometimes explicitly forced to address each of the sub-criteria in an online form. It is not yet clear how common this is. ... Read more ...
  • Horizon 2020: Updating call templates Online call templates for Horizon 2020 calls are sometimes updated when the call is open.  So make sure you download and use the latest templates from the participant portal shortly before submitting your proposal.  It can be a hassle if you prepared the final version of your proposal with an older template from the electronic ... Read more ...
  • Changing FAQs in Horizon 2020 calls – don’t be surprised The EU has started putting FAQs for most calls online.  This is of great help when you prepare a proposal for Horizon 2020.   These FAQs are  updated frequently, up to every week as the submission deadline approaches.   Be sure to check these FAQs regularly!  Sometimes they contain information critical to the call but not explained ... Read more ...