Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Exploiting research outcomes and application potential of the human microbiome for personalised prediction, prevention and treatment of disease

Topic identifier: SC1-BHC-03-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
07 November 2017
Deadline: 18 April 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Updates
  • 05 October 2018 11:58

    A result overview of the evaluation that closed on 18 April 2018 is now available under the "Topic conditions and documents" section.


Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The human microbiome plays an important role for health. Many different projects in 'metagenomics' and epidemiological research in recent years have delivered new knowledge on associations between the microbiome and a wide range of diseases. International initiatives such as the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC) have generated large-scale data. These research efforts were first of all made to identify host-microbe-interactions and links of the microbiome with diseases. Now the challenge is to accelerate the translation of data and knowledge to define balanced healthy conditions and to predict and prevent diseases through the development of personalised approaches and clinical tools. Building on existing data it is necessary to produce also new data with the aim to make the research more comprehensive or more holistic and to achieve more valuable clinical tools. Whilst the promise of such tools is evident, they need to be validated and be part of personalised medicine.

This topic will focus on the clinical aspects of personalised prediction and prevention of disease. Other aspects of microbiome research in relation to food/nutrition will be addressed by a cluster of topics in Societal Challenge 2. Further topics may be launched under the IMI2 JU.


The aim is to achieve understanding of balanced states of health and on that basis to deliver personalised approaches and clinical tools for predicting and preventing diseases. Proposals should integrate and use high quality microbiome, metabolome and other -omics data produced by large scale international initiatives. They should combine and expand these data with approaches including disease-oriented functional analysis, endogenous and exogenous factors, innovative imaging, functional, structural and lifestyle, ageing, dietary data, environmental data, mental disorders and/or any other comorbidity.

Proposals should build on data from existing microbiome projects and, as appropriate, on data from other international initiatives. Focussed production of new data should make subject coverage more comprehensive with the aim of delivering more valuable clinical tools. Proposals should address relevant ethical implications, take into account sex and gender differences, the effect of country-specific issues and should include a section on research data management. The proposed work should be connected to the future European Open Science Cloud[1] to enable sharing and re-use of resources as well as interoperability with other types of data and tools across disciplines. Proposals should contribute to standardisation of sample collection and storage, methods (Standard Operating Procedures) and study designs. SMEs participation is encouraged.

Proposals addressing rare diseases are not in scope of this action.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 10 and 15 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:
  • Personalised medicine approaches for the prediction and prevention of diseases through exploitation, integration and combination of data from existing microbiome projects and appropriate other international -omics studies.
  • More valuable clinical tools built on existing data and new complementary data in relevant repositories.
  • Identification and validation of microbial functionalities; robust healthy conditions and determinants of resilience for defined populations at specific body sites.
  • Better prediction and prevention of diseases through validated novel clinical tools that are helpful for end-users.
  • More intensive collaboration and strategic synergies between scientists across disciplines and sectors.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation
Open Science

[1]In particular, microbiome data sharing is relevant for the future Health Research and Innovation Cloud, which will be a thematic component of the European Open Science Cloud:

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
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. See the information in the Online Manual.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

The thresholds for each criterion in a single stage process will be 4 (Excellence), 4 (Impact) and 3 (Implementation). The cumulative threshold will be 12.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

Essential information for clinical studies

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

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.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

8. Additional documents:

Introduction WP 2018-20
Health, demographic change and well-being WP 2018-20
General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

Additional documents

  • Call Results en

Submission Service

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