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TOPIC : Establishment of an International Network of Social Sciences Research Centres to help address governance and other challenges in the preparedness for and the response to infectious threats

Topic identifier: SC1-HCO-06-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support 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:

Infectious diseases, in particular epidemics and antimicrobial resistance, pose significant threats to the social, economic and health security of communities and countries around the world. However, these diseases also transcend borders and require multi-sectoral and multi-jurisdictional co-operation and preparedness to ensure the world is safe from global threats.

Many global infectious disease outbreaks are enabled, accelerated and allowed to spread by shortcomings in governance at all levels (national, regional as well as global). This governance challenge has been recognised and many initiatives are beginning to work in this space. However, communities would be better prepared to respond to infectious threats (public health emergencies or antimicrobial resistance) if such efforts and structures that govern the overall prevention and response were informed by research evidence from the range of social sciences and humanities disciplines.

The Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R- ) and the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPI-AMR- ) have identified the need to establish an international Network of Social Sciences Research Expertise, to better address governance and other challenges in prevention and response to infectious threats, be it at local, national, regional or global levels.


The scope of this Coordination and Support Action (CSA) is to:

I. Initiate, in an organised and coordinated manner, the International Network of Social Sciences Research Expertise, addressing governance challenges, engage with stakeholders on behalf of network members, and work with research funding agencies to grow the network to an effective, internationally representative scale. The proposed network would have the following main objectives:

  1. Strengthen research capacity and catalyse social sciences researchers to generate and apply new knowledge about effective governance arrangements for infectious disease preparedness, combating antimicrobial resistance, and prevention and response efforts. This would include addressing the ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) as well as among others the issue of accessibility;
  2. Foster cross-region and global research collaborations to better connect researchers currently working in isolation and to support bigger, more robust social science research on the governance aspects of infectious threat prevention and response;
  3. Facilitate ongoing engagement between researchers and global policymakers to inform national and global decision-making on appropriate governance arrangements for effective prevention and response measures;
  4. Inform and enable better preparedness and response efforts through the application of knowledge, sharing of lessons learned, and creation of improved governance arrangements. But also be a source of advice in case of a public health emergency, to inform priority setting and response from a social science perspective. In this respect flexibility will be expected from the consortium.

Activities supported by this CSA should include among others the following:

  1. Identifying best practices and lessons for enabling, coordinating, and supporting prevention and response efforts by international institutions and regional agencies across borders, while also taking into account research-constrained settings and systems;
  2. Identifying strategies to strengthen the discovery, development, and take-up of existing and new innovative interventions and other measures across multiple sectors including examining their impact on health systems. This would include identifying the barriers and motivations that influence the wider use and uptake of these innovations such as vaccines;
  3. Developing proposals for more effective raising of public awareness about infectious threats in general and AMR in particular, and inducing behaviour change;
  4. Conducting socio-economic and cultural analyses to better understand the societal cost/benefit of different strategies to prepare for and prevent AMR and epidemics.

II. Establish the central coordinating hub for the network under development, focusing on maximising opportunities for collaboration, learning and data sharing in order to scale-up evidence.

The consortium is expected to collaborate with GloPID-R members and JPI AMR and their various initiatives in this domain, as well as other relevant initiatives already existing or under development at national, regional, and international level, in order to maximise synergy and complementarity. Specific propositions on how this can be achieved should be included in the proposal. It is expected that, at a minimum, the network hub will host an annual meeting for the network, and additional thematic workshops as appropriate.

The Commission considers that a proposal requesting an EU contribution between EUR 2 to 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amount.

Expected Impact:
  • Effective cross-region and global research collaborations that better connect multidisciplinary researchers currently working in isolation.
  • Strengthened capacity to address the socio-economic and governance dimensions of an effective research preparedness and response to infectious threats.
  • Robust evidence to guide policy makers on global infectious disease governance.
  • Built in-country capacity in low and middle income countries to better support global efforts.
  • Contribution to the implementation of the 'European One-health action plan against AMR and the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR'.
  • Contribution to the achievement of SDG 3, and in particular the targets 3 on combatting communicable diseases, B on supporting the research and development of vaccines and medicines for diseases that primarily affect developing countries, and D on strengthening capacity on early warning and management of global health risks.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

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):

Coordination and Support 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

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