Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Dynamics of inequalities across the life-course

Topic identifier: REV-INEQUAL-03-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: ERA-NET-Cofund ERA-NET Cofund
Opening date:
27 October 2015
Deadline: 04 February 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Existing and rising inequalities pose fundamental challenges to European societies and economies. The sources of inequalities in contemporary societies are complex and highly intertwined. A key concern and indeed challenge is the increasing gulf between rich and poor exacerbated by the financial and economic crises and ensuing high unemployment rates, especially among the young and marginalised groups. The action should address the underlying mechanisms behind existing inequalities in general and the development of inequalities across the life-course in particular. In this context, time is a significant and often neglected key resource. The evolution of disposable time over the life-course can be an important indicator of intergenerational inequalities and raises questions of intergenerational justice and solidarity. A new understanding of the complex dynamics of inequalities across life-courses and between generations as well as their relationships with social cohesion in a contemporary historical perspective is therefore needed. The specific challenge of this call is to address these dynamics comparatively in their social, cultural, economic and political dimensions.


Activities under this topic should contribute to exploring the underlying dynamics, structures processes and measurement of inequality across life-courses and contribute to better understanding some of the most pressing problems of present-day society related to inequality and social cohesion. They aim to engage, bring together and broaden the research community including in Southern and Central and Eastern Europe, and facilitate capacity-building for research into inequalities and life-courses on a comparative, multi-disciplinary and cross-national basis which has to take account of the variety of situations, including in Southern and Centrals and Eastern Europe. The participation of disciplines such as sociology, education, law, demography, population health, political science, economics, history, anthropology and psychology is anticipated and encouraged.

Building on and taking stock of existing data, research should compare the life-courses of different generations in Europe and also set them into relation to disposable time and income. Comparisons should be made between time-use patterns of various generations, whereby special attention should be paid to the elderly, gender differences and of rural and urban populations in Europe, in order to investigate the conditioning factors of disposable time at various stages of the life-course at both the individual and structural level.

Research should examine how crucial points in the life-course of individuals and crucial demographic events can precipitate or mitigate the risk of poverty and social exclusion. It should disentangle the impact of past events and current circumstances on later outcomes. Research could also address issues such as intergenerational justice. It may be opportune to employ demographic modelling. Research should provide the evidence base for effectively planning time in the working environment, but also insights on how relevant policies, such as pension, employment including extended working life, social, housing or education policies, can provide the frameworks in which men and women feel that they can use their life time in a manner they experience as healthy, comfortable and fair. Research should make recommendations regarding possible harmonization of European data sources available to study inequalities.

The proposed ERA-NET Cofund should include countries from all regions of Europe, including the Southern and Central and Eastern European countries. It aims at coordinating the research efforts of the participating Member States, Associated States and Regions in the field described. Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes and implement a joint transnational call for proposals with EU co-funding (resulting in grants to third parties) to fund multinational innovative research initiatives in this domain. Proposers are encouraged to implement other joint activities, including additional joint calls without EU co-funding.

Participation of legal entities from international partner countries is encouraged in the joint call as well as in other joint activities. Participants from countries which are not automatically eligible for funding[1] may nonetheless request a Union contribution on to cover the coordination costs of additional activities on the basis of the ERA-NET unit cost.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of a maximum of EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Effective trans-national, pan-European research networking and synergies among national/regional and EU research programmes in the area, including in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, will increase the knowledge base on the dynamics of inequality over life-courses and especially the role of time with regard to inequalities, realities and conceptualisations of life-courses and intergenerational justice. It will lead to sustainable approaches to work/family/recreation balances. Research is expected to draw conclusions and make recommendations on sustainable future interactions between human capital and social capital in order to help reversing inequalities. The projects should provide practical solutions to reverse inequalities across the life course. A survey of approaches to inter-generational justice systems, projections of future scenarios as well as recommendations on the feasibility and extent of European convergence should be provided.

Delegation Exception Footnote:

This activity directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation


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.
    Note also that 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 (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  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 Specific evaluation procedure: At least 1 proposal per topic will be selected for funding provided it passes all evaluation thresholds. 

    3.3 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
    Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic: 

    ERA-NET Cofund:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 MGA ERA-NET Cofund - Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
    Thematic clusters of previous ERA-NET projects
    Practical guidance how to organise ERA-NET joint calls
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. 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.

    This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:
    • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).
    • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.
    • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.
    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
    Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

  8. Additional documents

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support

H2020 Online Manual your online guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

National Contact Points (NCP) - 
contact your NCP for further assistance.

Research Enquiry Service
– ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

Enterprise Europe Network
– contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

IT Helpdesk
- contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

Ethics – for compliance with ethical issues, see the Participant Portal and Science and Society Portal

European IPR Helpdesk
assists you on intellectual property issues

and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment

Partner Search Services
help you find a partner organisation for your proposal