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Research & Innovation - Funding & Tenders Portal H2020 Online Manual

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Get prepared

Before you can start writing your proposal, you will have to find a call, select partners and plan your project.

1. Call and topic specific documents

Choose your call and the relevant topic, and then read carefully the related documents or templates that are available on the given call and topic page on the Funding Opportunities page of the Participant Portal: general documents are listed on the Call Documents page, while topic specific documents are available on each topic's page under "Topic Conditions and Documents". They may include a specific Guide for Applicants.

Eligibility: The submission system helps detecting basic eligibility problems, e.g. issues related to the number of required partners or the place of establishment of organisations, but the eligibility rules cannot be fully automated; in any case the users' awareness about those rules is required. The respective eligibility conditions are referred to on the topic page (see also the Work Programme, Annex D "Type of Action - Specific provisions and funding rates" or the Work Programme for ERC calls).

  • The International Organisations and International Organisations of European Interest may have special eligibility rules for different calls. The submission system will not automatically apply those eligibility rules.

Informational templates: In order to allow an early preparation of the proposal, the standard administrative forms (with a watermark) and requirements for the technical annex are available amongst the topic's documents. It is important however to use the definitive versions which may be adapted for a particular call or topic and which are available only in the submission system.

2. Select your partners for the project

Most calls require the participation of several participants in the proposal. Partner search is facilitated by National Contact Points or by the partner search web page. Read more on the Partner Search page of the Online manual.

Not all calls require the participation of several partners; please read the eligibility conditions or the respective information package on the Topic Conditions page of your call.

Non-EU countries or so-called Third Countries have also a lot of opportunities for cooperation in H2020.

3. Plan your project

Planning of the work (work packages, deliverables, milestones)

Read the requirements for the technical annex (see template on the call/topic conditions page), in which the proposed work has to be described in detail. Read carefully the evaluation criteria of the call/topic.

For most types of action the technical annex must give a detailed description of the project idea and the work plan, which:

  • divides the planned work into work packages,
  • assigns the related responsibilities and resources within the consortium,
  • sets out a project time schedule, main milestones and deliverables,
  • describes the project management structure,
  • describes the dissemination and exploitation plan and communication activities.

Additional annexes or supporting documents may be required, e.g. consortium description, supporting documents for ethics issues.

Please refer to the specific call/topic page for more detailed information.


Please check the required budget table included in the administrative forms of the proposal, which is specific for the given type of action. The budget table categories may vary per type of action. Some of the required budgetary details may need to be outlined in more detail in the technical annex of your proposal.

The Rules for Participation provide information about the standard budgetary conditions.
The Annotated grant agreement provide detailed explanations on the budgetary items.

Most significant budgetary rules introduced in Horizon 2020:

  • Personnel costs
    • Wider acceptance of average personnel costs (under unit costs).
    • Acceptance of supplementary payments for non-profit organisations, up to €8,000/year/person.
    • Simpler participation for SMEs - new unit cost system for SME owners and physical persons without a salary.
    • No need for time records for researchers working exclusively on the project.
  • Indirect cost: Unique flat rate of 25%