Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Taking stock of the application of the precautionary principle in R&I

Topic identifier: SwafS-18-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
05 December 2017
Deadline: 10 April 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Science with and for Society
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Science with and for Society
Topic Updates
  • 06 March 2018 11:23

    Regarding the 2018 topics of the H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 call, in the proposal template for part B section 1-3, which is accessible from the submission service, there is a page break after the cover page. In order to gain space, in view of the page limit, applicants are advised to remove this page break from their proposals.


  • 26 February 2018 13:49

    For this topic, in terms of the impact, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators. To this end, please note that ‘The evolution of Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe: The MoRRI indicators report (D4.3)’ has been recently published and is available to download at

  • 21 December 2017 11:08

    A policy briefing for the 2018 topics of the H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 call (Science with and for Society) has been recorded and is accessible together with the slides under 'Topic conditions and documents', section '8. Additional documents'.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

In 2000, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the precautionary principle[1] (PP) following several crises in the fields of health and food safety. PP was then seen as enabling rapid response in case of possible danger to human, animal or plant health or to protect the environment, especially in cases where scientific evidence was lacking. The Communication proposed common guidelines on the application of the precautionary principle. Since then, the application of PP has become controversial, with some stakeholders advocating an Innovation Principle (IP), by which potential innovation benefits should be favoured when weighed against potential risks. Yet debate and controversy related to the need to take due and proportionate precautions in research and innovation activities, and to anticipate and assess the potential environmental, health and safety impacts of policies and technologies, continue today. The challenge is to find a balanced approach that allows decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis, responding to the question "how safe is safe enough and how risky is too risky".


Consortia will take stock of the implementation of PP since 2000 in various contexts, analyse the effects of the PP and propose several scenarios for the future of the PP and IP. Consortia are expected to examine international, EU, national (and sub-national) level initiatives and policies related to due and proportionate precaution. They should examine and analyse recent and on-going controversies, understanding the competing interests and concerns of different stakeholders, and analyse whether and how their views are taken into account, for instance in the media, by pressure groups, citizens, governments, and in policy making.

Consortia should strive to develop new tools or approaches to PP or IP, in order to help policy makers and other stakeholders apply RRI principles, that is, build effective cooperation between science and society, and pair scientific excellence with social awareness and responsibility. These new tools should be created in a full co-creation approach with the different actors involved.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of 2 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:

Consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators[2] (in particular PE 1 to 10, E 1 to 3 and GOV1 to 3) and to the Sustainable Development Goals[3] (for instance goals 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15). Consortia are expected to evaluate their activities and provide evidence of societal, democratic, economic and scientific impacts.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1](COM(2000) 1final)

[2]See (Table 3.2).


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.

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

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

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:


Applicants are advised to view both policy briefing recordings as well as the accompanying slides (starts with topic briefing) and to carefully read the introduction to '16. Science with and for Society WP 2018-20'. Please note that this material will also be part of the evaluator briefing.

SwafS-18-2018 policy briefing recording

Policy overview for SwafS 2018 topics recording 

SwafS-18-2018 policy briefing_Policy overview for SwafS 2018 topics slides

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
16. Science with and for society WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation 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


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) H2020-SwafS-2018-2020

Additional documents

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