Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Synchronised Call initiatives

Topic identifier: INSO-8-2014
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
11 December 2013
Deadline: 29 April 2014 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific Challenge: The aim of this pilot activity is to promote co-operation between national/regional funding bodies and contribute to increasing the quality of research in Europe.

To this end, national/regional funding bodies will form consortia to launch synchronised calls at European level, addressing a pre-determined scientific field with one identical call deadline and using joint international peer review. This international joint peer review will ideally replace the national/regional evaluation procedure of the national research proposals. The funding decision will ultimately be made by each national/regional research funding body.

Synchronised Calls are intended to:

  • enhance research excellence by helping Member States to improve their evaluation systems
  • enhance transparency and fair treatment by providing one comparable pan-European score for proposals at national/regional level based on joint international peer review.
  • improve the  effectiveness of national research systems by helping Member States to benchmark areas where their researchers perform best and to guide national research and innovation strategies focused on their strengths
  • increase efficiency of research funding in Europe by highlighting topics in which different researchers are focusing on the same aspect of a research issue (in order to avoid duplication). 
  • increase visibility of high performing researchers in less research intensive countries by identifying them through the joint international peer review.

For each Synchronised Call, research funding bodies will determine a scientific field in which they publish a call on a synchronised basis in several European countries. There will be a common deadline for proposal submission as well as common evaluation criteria and a common scoring method. There will be a common working language for proposals. A common evaluation panel will be composed of internationally recognised experts.

After the joint international peer-review the participating funding bodies will receive the evaluation summary reports only for their national research proposals. The abstracts and metadata of proposals which are above threshold will be made available across the participating research funding bodies, e.g. to facilitate benchmarking. The actual selection of proposals for funding would ultimately be made by each national funding body: individual funding bodies would not be bound by the evaluation result, but would be encouraged to fund only those proposals which are above threshold. The project proposals may, but are not required to, have a transnational dimension.

Scope: The Synchronised Calls initiative will be open to any thematic area and each consortium will launch one call in a scientific field pre-determined by that consortium.

The consortium of national/regional funding bodies will:

a) Organise a Synchronised Call (planning, documentation, evaluation process, selection of evaluators, call publication, IT systems for proposal submission and evaluation, promotional activities, etc.)

b) Implement the joint international peer review of the Synchronised Call;

c) Provide a detailed report on the outcome of the Synchronised Call and related statistics.

Up to 5 Synchronised Call initiatives will be supported under this action. The expected duration of the project is to 2 years.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.2 million and 0.5 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: Participation in a joint international peer review process will help Member States to improve their evaluation systems. By evaluating research project proposals on a transparent, objective and comparable basis, it will be possible to identify the best researchers in Europe. This in turn will bring the best ideas in a particular field to the forefront and ensure equal and fair treatment.

Synchronised calls based on a joint international peer review allow Member States to benchmark how their research teams perform against their European peers.  Equally, because this approach helps to identify high performing researchers in less research intensive countries, it will increase the visibility of high calibre researchers in those countries. This could also open the way to new research collaboration opportunities for these researchers and, in this way, contribute to achieving the widening objective for research in Europe.

It can facilitate the entry of new research teams to the Framework Programmes and the ERC; researchers who have not participated yet in the Framework Programme could be encouraged to submit research proposals to the Framework Programme building on the positive experience of a joint international peer review through the synchronised call.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme , with the following exceptions: Due to the specific objectives of the call, proposals shall include at least three legal entities  established in three different Member States or Associated States. 

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Information on the outcome of one-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.

  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement

  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information
  8. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. 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.


Additional documents

  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 13. Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies en
  • WP H2020 - 17. Communication and Dissemination en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en
  • Frequently asked questions on selected topics en
  • A guide to ICT-related activities in WP 2014-15 en

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No submission system is open for this topic.

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