Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Understanding host-pathogen-environment interactions

Topic identifier: SFS-14-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
27 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
17 February 2016 17:00:00
13 September 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:

Disease emergence and spread are the result of a number of factors linked to the infectious agent, the host, possible vectors and the environment. The virulence of the pathogen and immunological status and genetics of the host(s) are critical in determining whether the infection develops, remains, spreads or disappears and whether the animal circumvents the disease, becomes sick or a carrier, or recovers. Establishing the biological interplay between pathogen, vectors and host(s), possibly involving other microbiota and reservoir species, is key to understanding the dynamics of infections/diseases and developing control and prevention strategies. There is a growing body of evidence on the capacity of infectious agents to evolve and circumvent the host immunological reaction or treatments and profit from environmental niches; this represents a real challenge. Although modern tools facilitate the tracking of pathogens, a lot still needs to be done to extend our knowledge of the host reaction and how we can use this to develop control and prevention strategies, in particular vaccines or diagnostics, and take the related opportunity to increase the biosecurity status of livestock, which is important both for sustainable production and safe trade.


The research will improve knowledge of the pathogen-host-environment/possible vectors triangle and their interaction in the spread of major diseases affecting terrestrial livestock. It will contribute to understanding of the dynamics of the disease and the development of more effective control strategies, vaccines or other compounds increasing the host's natural defence/immunity and diagnostics. Projects should address either an epizootic disease such as potentially pandemic animal influenza (scope A) or endemic/production diseases (scope B).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 5.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Funding will allow for support for at least one project under scope A and one under scope B.

Expected Impact:

Projects outputs should contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of the diseases in question, as regards the pathogen, the host and (where appropriate) the environment. Project outputs should strengthen the evidence base for prevention and control strategies, including diagnostic, therapeutic and other policy strategies. More generally and in the longer term, the outputs will support the improvement of animal health, contributing to the sustainability and competitiveness of the agri-food sectors.

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 [, with the following exceptions]:

    3.2 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.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
          For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

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

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    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 inH2020 Online Manual.

8. Additional documents

Additional documents

  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 second stage Flash info en
  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 first stage Flash info en
  • Generalised feedback en

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