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​EU Funding Advice


Horizon Europe: Top Tips for Writing a Winning Proposal


Start early – it’s never too early to start your proposal.

  • Most funding calls are announced up to a year prior to the deadline
  • Usually takes 4-6 months (or longer) to create a quality proposal
  • You can search the Participant Portal for live calls

We can help you to identify the most suitable calls and advise on the amount of time required to develop a quality proposal.


Read the Documentation – all published calls are accompanied by a Work Programme, Guide for Applicants and other important information. It is important to read these.

  • Ensure your proposal is eligible
  • Be aware of any specific rules you and the wider consortium must adhere to

We can advise on eligibility criteria and answer any queries in relation to funding rules and regulations.


Create a winning consortium – all Partners should add value to the proposal.

  • Consortiums should include a mix of academia and industry
  • Try to include Partners that are well known in Europe and that have previous experience of EU funding (e.g. FP7)

We can undertake searches to identify suitable academic and industrial Partners via our external networks.


Ensure your proposal fits with the call requirements

  • Refer back to the original call
  • Quote key words from the call

We can help to ensure that your proposal fits with the call, and if not, identify other calls or alternate funding streams.


Ensure your proposal is innovative – innovation is at the heart of Horizon 2020 funding

  • Reflect the uniqueness of your proposal
  • Address how your proposal differs from/builds on any similar research/products/processes etc
  • Take note of any required Technology Readiness Levels required within the call and highlight how these will be reached.

We can undertake an IP search to identify any similar products/processes on the market. We can also help shape your proposal to highlight its innovative aspects.


Ensure your proposal will create impact – the results of your proposal should create an impact at EU level (or wider)

  • Impact could include economic growth, job creation and progression in a scientific field.
  • Quantify impacts wherever possible.

We can help to identify and highlight suitable impacts within the proposal.


Use straightforward language and be clear/concise – not all of the Evaluators will have English as  their native language and some calls attract hundreds of proposals.

  • Ensure that your proposal is clear:  why this Consortium, why now, and why is this idea the best?
  • Be concise – use tables and diagrams where possible – ‘a picture is worth a thousand words!’

We can provide templates for presenting aspects of the proposal such as objectives, dissemination and exploitation plans and risk management. We can also review these areas of the proposal and advise of their suitability.


Don’t underestimate the importance of project management and implementation – quality and efficiency of the implementation is taken into account.

  • Work Plans should be coherent and associated tasks appropriate
  • The management structure should be appropriate to the complexity of the project and should take into account risk and innovation management

We can provide boilerplate text and proven models for project management, exploitation, risk and quality assurance.


Seek peer review – self-evaluation forms are available for all calls.

  • Peer review can identify ways your proposal could be improved prior to submission.

We are experienced in reviewing proposals and can comment on: general language/presentation, fit with the call, impact and quality and efficiency measures. Academic staff within your School may be available to review the scientific aspects of your proposal.