Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Societal challenges and the arts

Topic identifier: TRANSFORMATIONS-17-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
06 November 2018
Deadline: 14 March 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The arts[1] can shed new light on the past, hold up a mirror to contemporary life and initiate new perspectives for the future. They have the power to move us, educate us and question accepted narratives. They can also foster an exchange in which people encounter points of view radically different from their own. In the process, the arts can inspire personal belonging and mutual understanding. They can also foster civic engagement and social change, mobilising a variety of actors around a common agenda. As such, the arts can complement scientific and policy approaches.

While art has value in and of itself, the arts have also engaged directly with societal challenges such as inequalities, migration, climate and environmental change, social justice, conflict and violence. However, there is substantial fragmentation as artists and arts organisations sharing common concerns often do not interact or network across artistic genres or geographic locations. Better multidisciplinary methods for capturing, assessing and harnessing the societal impact of the arts are still needed. In addition, the potential of the arts and of artistic research to generate alternative or unconventional solutions to current and emerging societal challenges remains largely untapped.


Proposals should identify and study artistic productions that have generated new thinking, engagement and possibly action in relation to contemporary societal challenges as experienced in Europe. In doing so, they should capture and analyse motivations, philosophies, modes of engagement and impact from a comparative, geographically balanced and multidisciplinary perspective. They should identify and analyse projects and actions that have succeeded in mobilising members of our societies for a common cause, including sections of society which might otherwise remain remote from such initiatives, and identify their success factors as a basis for recommendations to policy makers. Particular attention should be paid to artistic productions, including participatory ones, which give voice to marginalised or disengaged groups and individuals. Community penetration and mechanisms of diffusion, including the role of digital technologies for providing access to the arts, should be studied as should barriers to engagement. The relationship between art and democracy and between art and individual or community resilience should be addressed. Proposals should also consider the role of local, regional and national identities and traditions, of global and European intellectual trends, and of social movements in shaping artistic representations. Historical analysis and other relevant approaches from the social sciences and humanities could be used as relevant. Artistic entrepreneurship as well as links to the cultural and creative industries could also be addressed. Where relevant, the impact of EU, national, regional or local policies and funding on the arts could be considered.

Proposals should develop multidisciplinary and comprehensive methods for capturing and assessing the impacts of arts on individuals, communities and policymaking. They should also identify and test solutions to boost the role and reach of the arts as a vehicle for individual, social and political change. This should include guidelines for how artists, organisations and scholars may help to solve societal challenges, for instance through influencing priority setting and through integrating the perspective of the arts in social, political and research agendas. To this end, opportunities for common reflection should be developed to connect actors and stakeholders such as practitioners, curators, researchers, representatives of the civil society and policy makers. Practice-based research and outputs in the form of artistic production (e.g. exhibitions, performances, performing and visual arts, digital media, community arts) are encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 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:

The action will promote innovative approaches to societal challenges that take into account artistic perspectives. It will formulate and test innovative art-based practices aimed at mutual understanding, dialogue and civic participation, thereby enhancing social inclusion. The action will also contribute to the further integration of the arts in the policies and strategic goals of the EU.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]For the purpose of this topic the arts include - but are not restricted to – painting, sculpture, photography, literature, poetry, music, dance, theatre, cinematography, digital arts, architecture, design and crafts.

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.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-2020
2. Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies WP 2018-2020
3. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-2020

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

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.


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Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Societal challenges and the arts - TRANSFORMATIONS-17-2019
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
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