Research & Innovation - Participant Portal H2020 Online Manual

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Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria

Before proposals are sent for evaluation, they are checked for admissibility and eligibility.


Admissibility criteria

A proposal is admissible if it:

  • is submitted via the official online submission system before the call deadline
  • is complete – accompanied by the relevant administrative forms, proposal description and any supporting documents specified in the call. See the Standard admissibility criteria for details of what supporting documents are required
  • is readable, accessible and printable
  • Grant proposals must include a draft plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results, unless otherwise specified in the call conditions. The draft plan is not required for proposals at the first stage of two-stage procedures.
  • Furthermore, page limits will apply to proposals/applications. Your proposal must not exceed the maximum number of pages indicated in the proposal template (PartB). The system will warn you of the consequence of submitting over-long proposals. (Excess pages will be automatically overprinted with a "watermark", after the call deadline.)
    Unless otherwise stated in the call conditions, the limit for a full proposal is 70 pages, except for coordination and support actions and ERA-NET Cofund actions, where the limit is 50 pages. The limit for a first-stage proposal is 10 pages. For prize applications, any specific limits will be set in the Rules of Contest.

Eligibility criteria

A proposal is eligible if:

  • its contents are in line with the topic description in the call
  • it involves enough of the right participants and meets Standard eligibility criteria and any other eligibility conditions set out in the call or topic page

The conditions specific to Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are described in the MSCA part of the General Work Programme.

The conditions specific to European Research Council (ERC) grants are described in the ERC Work Programme:

Evaluation criteria

Proposals are evaluated and scored against selection and award criteria. The Standard Evaluation Criteria describe in detail the criteria used for each type of action.

Templates of the forms that experts use to evaluate proposals are available on the topic conditions pages for each call. Horizon 2020 calls may have one or several topics each.

The evaluation criteria for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are set out under the relevant part of the main work programme.

The evaluation criteria for the European Research Council (ERC) grants for frontier research are set out in the ERC work programme:


Experts score each award criterion on a scale from 0 to 5 (half point scores may be given):

  • 0 Proposal fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information
  • 1 Poor – criterion is inadequately addressed or there are serious inherent weaknesses
  • 2 Fair – proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses
  • 3 Good – proposal addresses the criterion well, but a number of shortcomings are present
  • 4 Very good – proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present
  • 5 Excellent – proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. Any shortcomings are minor.

The maximum overall score is thus 15 (3x5), unless a weighting is applied.

Qualifying score

To be considered for funding a proposal must achieve a pre-defined qualifying score on each criterion, and an overall qualifying score. Qualifying scores vary according to the type of action – and between the first and second stage proposals in the case of two-stage procedures.
(For the first stage of 2-stage calls the overall threshold will be set at the level such that the total requested budget of proposals admitted to stage 2 is as close as possible to three times the available budget. The actual level will therefore depend on the volume of proposals received.)

For each call, qualifying scores and weightings are stated in the work programmes and template evaluation forms (available on the topic conditions pages).