After equipping you with the checklists of things to consider when writing a Horizon Europe proposal, and the focus on the first steps and tasks, we finish our Horizon Europe proposal writing perspectives blog series with points considering impact and budgeting.
The Impact part: What to keep in mind
The Impact part presents an issue or, sort to say, a battlefield where most of the projects are failing – it was the case with Horizon 2020 as is now the case with Horizon Europe.
The impact part is something you should spend a lot of time preparing.
Besides the pathways to impact, this proposal section includes a dissemination, exploitation, communication strategy, and planned measures.
Don't forget to
- Include KPIs in your Impact,
- Emphasize the partnership outreach potential in terms of dissemination and communication,
- Stress the potential for exploiting the results for each organisation individually within the partnership and then jointly,
- Link the measures with your Open science strategy.
When describing the linkages between our DEC measures, the impact pathways, and the work plan, we need to help the evaluators easily understand these connections. Tables and graphs help.
Ask your partners to fill in specific tables, such as this one. Linking exploitation measures with IP rights can fall outside the researchers' expertise, so ask for help from the technology transfer office or the legal department.
Before doing any exploitation, think about the protection measures.
Giving options and examples to your partners may help them fill in the table correctly.
Only some of the details and the examples provided by the partners can be included in the proposal - the key information and the main routes all partners agree on.
You might think that the evaluators don't have enough time to go through the budget details but rest assured that the evaluators do spend some time and effort to check the projects' value for money by checking the resources and the budget distribution, as there is also an additional evaluation question on how the staff effort has been distributed (to different tasks between different partners).
There is only one table in the proposal template that the evaluators will thoroughly check, together with the cost justification linked to the work packages.
So, allocate some time to discuss with the partners how to make this balance within the consortium and consider:
- How much travel budget do you need
- What will make the project even more cost-efficient
- Check other direct costs
- Don't overlook the equipment and overhead
Final notes and summary
- Cooperation is key:
- You can make it more efficient by mapping the STRENGTHS of your partners. Please do so by asking questions and asking for further details, e.g., about the specific expertise that the partners may bring to the project, how they are connected with the innovation ecosystems, and how much they are embedded in the system.
- Think about the distribution of the writing tasks – give your partners enough work to ensure different perspectives are visible in the proposal. Every partner will contribute content-wise and see the tasks differently and approach the sections from a different role.
In the end, please remember that European projects are collaborative projects, and collaboration doesn't mean there is a task per partner. Everyone who can contribute with added value should be included in the task implementation.
If, after following this entire series, you decide to become a coordinator, here is a helpful checklist to keep in mind:
- Check language, style, and formatting: grammar, spelling, terminology
- Ensure proper concept and logic flow: background, objectives, methodology, work plan, outputs, outcomes, impact
- Ensure everything has been addressed (e.g., cross-cutting issues)
- Cross-check for consistency (WP titles, deliverable names, Gantt, PMs)
- Ensure balanced resources and budget
- Address the evaluator's perspective
- Double-check the admin forms
- Upload and press submit!
GOOD LUCK, and don't hesitate to contact us if you need help with your proposal development or project and financial management!