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Moving from stage-1 to stage-2 with your Health proposal – tips for the non-scientific parts

25th January 2024 at 11:44 am

Blog series 1/5: Horizon EU Health calls 2023/2024

After four months of waiting for the evaluation results of the Health stage-1 proposals on 19 September 2023, in total, more than 1,000 project coordinators and several thousands of project partners have now been informed on whether they are invited to submit a stage-2 proposal by 11 April 2024. Submissions for the following nine stage-1 call topics have been evaluated:

  1. HLTH-2024-DISEASE-03-08-two-stage: Comparative effectiveness research for healthcare interventions in areas of high public health need
  2. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-DISEASE-03-11-two-stage: Pandemic preparedness and response: Adaptive platform trials for pandemic preparedness
  3. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-DISEASE-03-13-two-stage: Validation of fluid-derived biomarkers for the prediction and prevention of brain disorders
  4. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-DISEASE-03-14-two-stage: Tackling high-burden for patients, under-researched medical conditions
  5. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-TOOL-05-06-two-stage: Innovative non-animal human-based tools and strategies for biomedical research
  6. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-ENVHLTH-02-06-two-stage: The role of environmental pollution in non-communicable diseases: air, noise and light and hazardous waste pollution
  7. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-CARE-04-04-two-stage: Access to health and care services for people in vulnerable situations
  8. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-STAYHLTH-01-02-two-stage: Towards a holistic support to children and adolescents’ health and care provisions in an increasingly digital society
  9. HORIZON-HLTH-2024-STAYHLTH-01-05-two-stage: Personalised prevention of non-communicable diseases – addressing areas of unmet needs using multiple data sources

Although April still seems to be far away, with the end of the semester at most European universities starting in February, the submission deadline is practically on the doorstep.

Learning from recently approved Health proposal’s

We are happy to share some of the comments from one of our recently approved Health proposal’s Evaluation Summary Report. Based on the positive feedback and our many years of experience in full proposal writing support, we suggest how you can cover some of the non-scientific aspects.

The proposal describes in a credible and detailed way how it expects to achieve the outcomes and impacts, because it follows the correct analysis of the needs, requirements and gaps and its pathways clearly outline scientific, economic, and societal impacts.
The proposal provides very good quality measures to maximise the outcomes and impacts of the project.
Communication and dissemination activities are realistic, well-articulated and comprehensive. The plan outlines clear objectives and strategies for stakeholder engagement, compliance with EU's Open Science policy, and a cross-channel multimedia approach, which are well organised in a specific work package and described with an adequate method and proper assigned KPIs (including audience and channels).
The proposed communication plan is robust, with regular updates planned via multiple channels, including website and social media platforms. All the measures are proportionate to the scale of the project and contain concrete action.
Exploitation of project results is credible, largely led by accelCH, and will be supported by a specific roadmap for exploitation and digital training modules beyond the project end.
The management of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) foreground and results is carefully considered with sufficient details for supporting the exploitation of results, via a comprehensive, hybrid approach, a detailed exploitation roadmap and stakeholder involvement activities.

As the Consortium Agreement (CA), a contract between the project partners to be concluded prior to the project start, contains IPR rules, it is advisable to define the general rules already in the proposal. This includes the following two main aspects:

Please note that the DESCA model CA is typically used for Horizon Europe projects and most institutions are familiar with its terms and conditions.

The resources allocated to the tasks are realistic and aligned with the proposal description. The timing and the effort assigned to the work packages are appropriate, both regarding the complexity of the work and the structure of the task's inputs and outputs.

Despite requiring a lump sum approach in this Health call, costs and financial details need to be gathered and provided for the stage-2 proposal (if not already done for your stage-1 application). We have found it helpful to follow a three-step approach:

  1. An overall budget estimation for all work packages and partners involved gives you and your collaborators an indication of the resources available within the recommended budget lines of the EC. We use our accelBUDGET© Proposal estimation tool for this purpose.
  2. Once agreed on the overall costs and budget distribution, all partners should provide their expected costs in the new format for lump sum projects. We provide our accelBUDGET© Proposal collector to assemble all financial details to ensure that partners request the required resources, the budget is balanced and in line with the EC rules and stays ideally within the recommended EC budget limits.
  3. The individual partner budgets should then be compiled to complete the Part A online budget form in the EU Portal and to draft the justification on the use of resources chapter in Part B. Thanks to our accelBUDGET© Proposal planning tool we can do this efficiently and in a format that can be used for the financial project management later.

Looking for proposal writing support and complementary expertise?

If you would rather get someone else to address these and other non-scientific aspects in your Health stage-2 proposal, you are welcome to reach out to us. We at accelopment have successfully supported many health EU-funded Research and Innovation Actions, including three new Horizon Europe Cluster 1 Health projects that started in January 2024: EDiHTA, EU PAL-COPD and GLIOMATCH. These are in addition to our four ongoing Horizon Europe projects COVend, GENEGUT, MyPath and ThermoBreast, and even more Horizon 2020 health projects, such as AI-Mind, ENVISION, EURO-SHOCK, EXIMIOUS and VANGUARD.

Our dedicated team is always interested in writing proposals together with new consortia, applying our experience and knowledge to advance European health research. Get in touch with us to discuss how we might be able to collaborate on your project.

Andreia Cruz
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Blog series 1/5: Horizon EU Health calls 2023/2024