Finding calls that fit your project ideas

Where to find calls

All Horizon 2020 calls for proposals are published on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal, a one-stop-shop website that is available since January 2014. The Participant Portal provides all information needed for responding to a call: its opening and closing dates, its overall budget, the relevant Work Programme and all other documents related to the call. Calls can be searched and filtered using various parameters, such as open, closed or forthcoming calls as well as keywords. Another way to learn about open or forthcoming calls is to consult the Work Programme of a specific domain.

Eight tips how to find calls that fit your ideas

The sheer amount of calls, domains, and funding instruments under Horizon 2020 can be quite overwhelming, and it is not always easy to “cut through the maze” and identify calls that match your plans and needs for funding. The following points can serve as a guideline for identifying calls of your interest:

  • Be clear about what you are looking for. What is your field of expertise, what are your capabilities and what type of project would you like to initiate or join?
  • Contact the management of your organisation to make sure that your project idea is in line with their overall strategy. If your organisation has internal support staff dealing with European projects, make sure to speak to them as well.
  • Scan open calls per domain or use a keyword search. Consult Work Programmes by performing keyword searches.
  • Ask trusted partners if they have identified relevant calls or even are preparing a project proposal.
  • Contact your National Contact Point to help you identify themes, understand requirements and keep up to date on EU policy development in your field and relevant events (info days about calls for proposals).
  • Plan your timing: in view of the deadline, do you have enough time to take on the preparation of a competitive proposal?
  • Subscribe to the topic’s RSS feed, if available, to receive updates, such as new FAQs, that are periodically uploaded to the call page.
  • Check if you can benefit from national subsidies for preparing a Horizon 2020 project proposal. In Luxembourg, the “Fit4Horizon2020” scheme helps especially small companies shoulder the upfront investment in time and money necessary to submit a competitive proposal.

A word on timing

How long does it take to prepare a Horizon 2020 proposal? It is difficult to give a standard answer. Sufficient time must be allocated to finding partners, exchanging and even meeting with them, distributing tasks and roles, and setting up a project budget. Finally, the proposal must be drafted, reviewed and submitted in the European Commission’s online submission system. In view of this process, applicants should count on at least three to four months for the whole process.