EARMA Conference Oslo


All Quiet on the Front? Impressions of LERU researchers and RSOs on the preparation and submission of proposals under pillar II


Mr. Torben Høøck Hansen


  • T
    Tom Vercruysse, KU Leuven
  • A
    Astrid Cermak, University of Copenhagen
  • W
    Wannes Ribbens, KU Leuven


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Topic: Proposal Development


Horizon Europe was launched in 2021 after a bumpy ride towards adoption. The European Commis-sion’s mantra on Horizon Europe is that it is very much an evolution, rather than a revolution. Much indeed looks the same, or at least not completely new and unfamiliar (e.g., three pillar structure, types of actions, etc.). However, once you start looking more closely under the bonnet, in particular at im-plementation modalities, there are various new elements researchers and RSOs need to come to grips with or which may even raise an eyebrow (e.g., new rules for MSCA doctoral fellowships and training networks, new pillar for innovation, portfolio management, etc.).
As a decisive factor for winning grants, understanding the proposal template and its novelties is of particular interest to researchers and RSOs. This is especially the case for pillar II projects where sci-ence goes hand in hand with impact logic and transversal policy priorities such as Open Science, gen-der, interdisciplinarity, etc. Although the structure (part A/B) and the division between excellence, im-pact, and implementation have remained intact, some would argue that the well-known template for Research & Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), and Coordination & Support Actions (CSA) has radically changed. Shorter proposal templates (at least for most of the topics), an updated impact logic, a radically new set of A forms, Open Science under excellence, etc. is new territory for many researchers and RSOs alike.
Coming to grips with the new Framework Programme and acquiring insights into proposal develop-ment, in particular the novelties is an important task for all research support offices and key in any Horizon Europe strategy. Therefore, a working group within the League of European Research Univer-sities (LERU) has decided to pool resources for a systematic exercise into the perceptions of LERU re-searchers and RSOs on the preparation and submission of proposals to pillar II of Horizon Europe. By means of interviews with RIA/IA/CSA coordinators from the 23 LERU universities and feedback collect-ed from the respective EU offices, we will shed light on how the novelties have influenced the proposal preparation and submission process, as well as on how these novelties are evaluated by the users.
We aim to present findings, ideas and views that will be informative for researchers, and in particular RSOs working with collaborative proposals under Horizon Europe.
Intended learning outcomes
- Gain insights into the perceptions and evaluation of LERU researchers and RSOs on the Horizon Europe pillar II proposal and submission process.
- Understand the changes between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe and how to potentially deal with them from a RSO perspective.
- Generate insights that may feed into the institutional or European Commission’s evaluation of Horizon Europe.

Footnote - Together, the LERU universities have signed more than 6300 Grant Agreements under Hori-zon 2020, worth more than 4.5 billion euros