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.
  4. Effective EU proposals for Horizon 2020 require learning. Read the book to help you get started in learning and evaluating other Horizon 2020 knowledge sources.

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.

Horizon 2020 Training

What I liked a lot is that you made the concept of EU proposal more accessible for us. I can now see myself in the near future start planning/writing for a EU proposal, where before it was not even on my radar.

David Martini

Get effective training for EU proposals.


  • Funding & Tenders Portal replaces Participant Portal
    There’s a new Funding & Tenders Portal replacing the Participant Portal.  The Participant Portal was built at the beginning of Horizon 2020.  The scope was for the EU Research & Innovation Programme. However, as it’s use grew to other EU programmes, there was a need to re-brand the portal. The new portal will become a ...
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  • Horizon Europe – The follow-up to Horizon 2020
    The European Commission has published that Horizon Europe will be the follow-up programme to Horizon 2020. The plans are for a €100 billion research and innovation programme. Horizon Europe will start on 1 January 2021. In the next years this proposal by the European Commission will be worked out. Until then: ...
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  • Learning opportunity: The Horizon 2020 Summit
    October 2 – 6, 2017 a Horizon 2020 virtual Summit will take place online.  Nikolaos Floratos, a funding expert and trainer from Greece,  organizes the summit. Nikolaos recorded interviews with EU funding experts on different topics, ranging from ERC grants to FET and SME instrument grants. The virtual Horizon 2020 Summit is free to watch, and ...
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  • NPS Feedback for the book on Horizon 2020

    Writing a book is hard work.  After the book was finished, I got much valuable feedback from readers who contacted me.  Some readers are very happy how I helped them in getting started with Horizon 2020.  These readers took the initiative in sending me an email.  Now it’s my turn in asking:  I have set up a NPS feedback system.

    The reason I have started to collect feedback through a simple NPS (Net Promotor) survey  is that I want a system with not much effort for my readers.  When you visit the Horizonbook website, a short survey appears for some visitors.

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  • Horizon 2020 already tops # of funding applications in FP7
    Horizon 2020 has broken the funding application record of FP7: 140.000 funding applications have been submitted (see ). These high application rates imply that the overwhelming majority (nearly 90%) of funding applications never get any funding! As a result, low funding rates frustrate applicants, because preparing a proposal is a significant investment. This claim of ...
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  • Horizon 2020 Survey results could help starters write better 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.  I prefer to give advice ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 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. ...
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  • 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 ...
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