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The Horizon Europe proposal submission timeline detailed by our team provides a useful overview of the steps that must be followed to submit a research proposal.

Horizon Europe, the EU’s second long-run EU Research and Innovation programme, runs from 2021 to 2027. It facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting, and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. The progamme supports the creation and better diffusion of excellent knowledge and technologies.

When should you begin working on a Horizon Europe proposal?

It takes time and extensive planning to develop the complete proposal for a Horizon Europe collaborative research project. The development process for a Horizon Europe proposal might seem difficult given the many requirements, but Team Space will help you make sure that each requirement is satisfied, saving you time and enabling your teams to concentrate on developing a successful proposal.

Once you have an idea for a specific research project, it’s time to start exploring funding opportunities. The development process starts after the topic is decided upon and the deadline is established.

Building a Horizon Europe collaborative project will be divided into two main sections:

  • Consortium-related activities (defining functions, recruiting, negotiating, managing contributions, etc.)
  • Proposal-writing activities (objectives, answering the call text, concepts, describing impact, developing a work plan, budgeting, etc.)

It’s essential to involve all partners in the writing process. This is achieved through data gathering, consultation, discussion, and story development for the project.

Based on our team’s experience in order to have everything ready in time, you typically need to begin creating your proposal 8 to 4 months prior to the deadline of the call. However, it’s important to know that if your deadline comes during a downtime period, such as the holiday season or summer vacation, we advise giving yourself even more time to prepare the application.

The timeline for the Horizon Europe proposal development

Below, you can find an 11-step detailed breakdown of the various stages of a Horizon Europe proposal development process. It’s from our team to yours, for creating and submitting a successful Horizon Europe proposal. Let’s start:

  1. Create the project summary or abstract in its preliminary form

This summary should be a living, working document that will help in defining the project description, objectives, and consortium structure. It should be no longer than two pages and written in English.

  1. Create the list of project partners

A list of partners is created based on the project’s preliminary summary or abstract to find partners for the projects. Since the partners should actively participate in the project proposal development, we strongly advise finishing the partner’s list at least two months prior to the call date.

  1. Send the instructions together with the proposal template

It’s time to assign duties to the partners and begin writing once the list of partners is complete. Use the proposal template that is the most updated. Use the official recommendations and add essential information for the partners. Manage the writing of this document moving forward with the help of your partners until you submit it electronically.

  1. Open the Participant Portal and a submission system

It takes time and the partners’ cooperation to upload the information into the electronic system. Add the partners to the system once it has set things up. Keep in mind that you will need their PIC numbers for that matter!

  1. Collect administrative data about the project partners

This task is typically administrative. Each partner must complete certain administrative fields in the electronic submission mechanism. We advise avoiding waiting for this until the very end of the process. Make sure there are no validation problems by keeping an eye on the procedure.
Additionally, this is a great chance to gather information about your partners’ financial requirements. This is a piece of crucial information in building the consortium budget that must be included in the proposal.

  1. First draft

You must have a preliminary draft of the entire proposal about a month before the deadline. It will take the remaining time to complete the finishing touches, address last-minute budgetary concerns, conduct quality assurance procedures, proofread, etc.

  1. Consider supplemental issues, such as ethics and security

Be sure to spend the necessary time on supplemental issues and to make sure there are no half-done jobs if the project depends on them. Dealing with ethical issues and regulations may take a considerable amount of time.

  1. Budget finalization

The budget would be better to be completed sooner, but reality and experience indicate that this will not be possible in most cases. In most cases, the budget is completed only during the very last stage of proposal preparation. Final agreements between the parties are pending. Additionally, in big corporations, for example, it might be subject to internal approval. The budget template must be completed and submitted no later than two weeks before the deadline.

  1. Nearly finished draft

Give the finishing touches and proofreading around a week. At this time, sharing these tasks with partners is acceptable, but we advise against further involvement on their part. Whenever you receive additional input, be sure it is significant enough and carefully consider it before adding it to the proposal to prevent any imbalance or incoherence. Review the call documents carefully to ensure you meet all the mandatory requirements.

  1. Final version & initial submission

Do not postpone submitting the proposal until the very last minute. The system is set up to let you submit different drafts of the proposal up until the submission date, but only the latest version submitted will be approved. We strongly advise submitting the first version of the proposal around three days before the deadline owing to several factors (system instability, stress on the system as a result of concurrent submissions, etc.). This way, you ensure there are no validation problems, which is extremely crucial (validity errors will not allow you to submit any version of the proposal). By submitting the proposal again as you go after submitting the initial draft, the system will have the most current version of your submission.

  1. Final submission

It is best to submit the final draft the day before or on the deadline, then take a well-deserved break. You did it. Good luck!

Collaborate with context and efficiency using a single source of truth

When you make a new proposal, everything is up to speed, from ideas to partners, and many documents are generated. It’s important to pay close attention to and abide by the tight guidelines of the Horizon Europe proposal even if you’ll need to prepare your proposal quickly.

Make your project teams more efficient and productive by using Team Space – it contains all the communication & document management tools they need to collaborate effectively, such as an online document editor, a document repository, group chats, custom emails, etc. The Team Space platform allows you to collaborate with all your project partners and teams in real-time on your project proposal.

Team Space offers you a private virtual space in which you invite collaborators to share the proposal documents, simply manage email lists, and more. Outline the project, specify its nature, and segment deliverables into smaller tasks and activities. This way you’ll have a clear project overview of the team, milestones, and tasks status.

So it’s easy to ensure that the proposal is complete, accurate, and adheres to the guidelines, schedule, budget, and required policies.