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TOPIC : Addressing knowledge gaps in climate science, in support of IPCC reports

Topic identifier: LC-CLA-08-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
07 November 2017
2nd stage Deadline:
27 February 2018 17:00:00
04 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 07 June 2018 11:51

    Generalised feedback after stage 1:


    Information & Tips:

    Main shortcomings found in the stage 1 evaluation of topic LC-CLA-08-2018 (sub-topics a, b and c):

    -For some proposals in sub-topics a) and b), there was limited information on how data processing or modelling techniques or comparison between observations and models will be used and improved to address identified knowledge gaps.

    -For some proposals in sub-topics a) and b), the methodology on how knowledge gained in the project can be generalized into a global perspective, how this knowledge increases confidence in climate change projectionsand can be used to inform decision- and policy-makers was not sufficiently considered.

    -Some proposals in sub-topics a) and b) did not sufficiently consider the limitations of the observational datasets or the ability of models to reproduce relevant climate states.

    -For some proposals in sub-topic b) there was insufficient consideration of links and feedback to tipping points other than the ones selected. Moreover, some proposals did not sufficiently consider the interaction between atmospheric, land surface and marine processes, tipping points and extremes.

    -Proposals in sub-topic c) did not sufficiently build on outcomes from previous EU-funded actions, to justify the planned research. In addition, proposals provided rather generic descriptions on the pathways to achieve expected impacts. 

    In your stage 2 proposal, you have a chance to address or clarify these issues.

    Please bear in mind that your full proposal will now be evaluated more in-depth and possibly by a new group of outside experts.

    Please make sure that your full proposal is consistent with your your outline proposal.  It may NOT differ substantially.  The project must stay the same.

  • 07 February 2018 14:58

    The page limit for a first stage proposal is 10 pages, including the cover page. You may remove the page break in that page so as to start drafting your proposal therein.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Better understanding of the key processes controlling the climate-Earth system is fundamental in order to further improve climate projections, reduce uncertainty in climate sensitivity calculations, enhance understanding of frequency and strength of extreme weather events, and assess more accurately the impacts of climate change related to the proximity, rate, reversibility and tipping points of abrupt climate change, and the identification of safe operating spaces. Furthermore, future climate scenarios strongly benefit from the combined use of models and paleo-reconstructions conducted in Polar Regions as they allow a better understanding of how the climate system worked, both regionally and globally, during abrupt climatic transitions and under warmer or colder than present day conditions.


Actions should address only one of the following sub-topics:

a) Improving the understanding of key climate processes for reducing uncertainty in climate projections and predictions: Actions should achieve better understanding of key processes, and associated feedbacks, affecting the climate-Earth system over time, in order to improve climate projections and predictions and constrain climate sensitivity estimates. Actions may cover processes such as cloud and aerosol dynamics and cloud-aerosol interactions, biogeochemical cycles and their evolution under a changing climate, ocean dynamics and circulation, dynamic interactions between atmosphere, land, ocean and ice (both sea ice and land ice), troposphere-stratosphere coupling, external forcing and other relevant processes.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 million and EUR 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

b) Tipping points: Actions should result in better understanding of abrupt climate change, of climate-related Earth system tipping elements and their tipping points, and associated impacts. Actions should identify safe operating spaces, accompanied – where relevant – with long-term strategies for preventing or mitigating impacts. Actions should also advance the understanding of respective impacts and early warning indicators.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 million and EUR 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

c) Ice-core drilling in East Antarctica: Actions should build on the outcomes of the Horizon 2020 project 'Beyond EPICA' (, and contribute to the European endeavour which aims to obtain a 1.5 million year old ice-core from East Antarctica. This will allow to better constrain the climate response to future GHG emissions and to unravel key linkages between the carbon cycle, ice sheets, the oceans and the atmosphere.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • supporting major international scientific assessments such as the IPCC;
  • increase confidence in climate change projections;
  • providing added-value to decision and policy makers;
  • sustaining Europe's leadership in climate science.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Blue Growth
International cooperation

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below. 

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission link below.
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement

Additional documents

  • Call Update-Call Results en
  • Generalised feedback after stage 1_LC-CLA-01-2018 en
  • Call Update - Call results - Two Stage (Second Stage) en

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