LIFE - How to apply

The Commission publishes calls for proposals based on the LIFE multiannual work programmes. The application procedure varies according to which sub-programme and project type you apply for.

When preparing an application, you should first carefully read the documents of the call for proposals. The conditions laid down in the respective application package are binding on successful applicants.

The Commission checks and evaluates proposals against defined criteria. After a review phase, the Commission proposes funding for successful projects, within the available budget. 

The 2019 calls for proposals are currently under evaluation. The 2020 calls for proposals will be open as of 2 April 2020.

Actions grants for traditional projects

For traditional projects, you must use the eProposal web application to build and submit your application.

The environment sub-programme has a two-stage application procedure:

  1. You are first asked to submit a concept note of 10 pages. You can modify a submitted concept note as many times as you want until the call for project proposals is closed.
  2. If your concept makes it to the second stage, you submit the full project proposal based on the feedback from the LIFE programme.

The climate action sub-programme follows a single-stage application procedure, meaning that you are asked to submit full project proposals from the start.

Submitting a close-to-market proposal? Read our 8 tips

Action grants for integrated projects

If you apply for an integrated project, you follow a two-stage application procedure in both the environment and climate action sub-programmes:

  1. You first submit a concept note.
  2. If your concept is successful, you draft and submit the full project proposal.

To draft your concept note and full project proposal, you must use the forms in the application guide.

The concept note submission is fully electronic. The full project proposal is not, necessary files must be submitted in electronic format (on CD-ROM, DVD or USB stick), by post or hand delivered to the address indicated in the application guide. See that guide for more details.

Action grants for preparatory and capacity building projects

For preparatory and capacity building projects, you are asked to submit a full proposal from the start. The application guide contains forms which you must use for drafting your project proposal.

The proposal and necessary attachments must be submitted in an electronic format (CD-ROM or DVD). You will need to post or hand deliver them to the address indicated in the application guide before the deadline.

Action grants for technical assistance projects

Applicants to the LIFE Technical Assistance Call for proposals 2019 will access the call documents and submit their proposal through the European Commission website Funding & tender opportunities SEDIA (Single Electronic Data Interchange Area). The submission process is explained in the Participant Portal Online Manual (together with detailed instructions for the IT tool).

NGO operating grants

The call for proposals aimed at the award of LIFE operating grants for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the field of environment and/or climate foresees an application procedure in two steps:

1.  NGOs first apply for a framework partnership agreement, that covers the following two financial years.

2. Applicants that are selected to sign the biennial framework partnership agreement will be asked to apply for a specific grant agreement by submitting the NGO’s yearly work programme and budget.

Support for applicants

In each EU country there is a national contact point (and sometimes several regional contact points) to help you with your application. These national contact points organise information and networking events and proposal writing workshops in the different EU countries. They can also point you in the direction of local partners.

For IT-related questions on the eProposal web application, please contact the IT help desk via email​.

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