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Research & Innovation - Funding & Tenders Portal H2020 Online Manual

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Evaluation Criteria

When your proposal is admissible and eligible, the independent experts follow the below evaluation criteria during the evaluation.

The experts will also advise the Commission if applicants have the sufficient operational capacity with respect to their role and tasks in the proposed action. This assessment will be based on the competence and experience of the applicants, including operational resources (human, technical and other) and, if applicable, exceptionally the concrete measures proposed to obtain it by the time of the implementation of the tasks.

Evaluation criteria

Proposals are evaluated and scored against selection and award criteria - excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of implementation. 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 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. The criterion is inadequately addressed or there are serious inherent weaknesses.
  • 2 – Fair. The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses.
  • 3 – Good. The proposal addresses the criterion well, but a number of shortcomings are present.
  • 4 – Very good. The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present.
  • 5 – Excellent. The 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.


  • For the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSC) actions and SME instrument, scores with a resolution of one decimal place may be awarded.
  • If the work programme/call provides for a weighting factor, this will be used to determine the final ranking.


In order to be considered for funding, your proposal must score above a certain threshold for each criterion, and above an overall threshold. Thresholds may vary according to the work programme.

Specific cases:

  • For two-stage submission schemes, thresholds and the maximum overall score may vary between the first and the second stage.

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.

Specific cases:

  • 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, and in any case, not less than two and a half 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).


Proposals will be evaluated on their own merit, and not their potential should certain changes be made. Proposals with an inflated budget are likely to receive a lower score.