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Preparing a short stage-1 proposal? Mind the new declaration

22nd December 2021 at 8:00 am

Two-stage submission procedures still exist in most instruments or sub-programmes of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe. We have analysed the single- and two-stage procedures within the current Work Programmes 2021-2022 of some of our priority areas, namely Health (Cluster 1), Climate, Energy and Mobility (Cluster 5) and Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment (Cluster 6) in terms of number of call topics, timing, budget and other criteria. Based on our experience from our last two-stage submission proposal submitted in Horizon 2020 (H2020), the DECIDE project, we have additionally tried to find out whether the rules are still the same. For example, we checked whether changes from the short proposal submitted in stage-1 can still be made in the full proposal in stage-2, knowledge that we shared in one of our H2020 blog posts – and we found a big difference and important change! Please read more further below.

Statistics on stage-1 and stage-2 procedures

As you can see from the table here, 2-stage procedures seem to be more present in Cluster 6, more precisely in the areas of biodiversity, food, bioeconomy, and resilient communities. The share of the funding allocated to two-stage calls is however higher in the Health Cluster.

Horizon Europe Cluster1. Health5. Climate, Energy and Mobility6. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment
No. of call topics,
single stage / 2-stage
41 / 7180 / 3159 / 16
Proportion of 2-stage calls
Submission timing
Different datesSame datesSame dates
Nb. of expected projects to be funded, single stage / 2-stage159 / 56443 / 8289 / 36
Budget allocated to 2-stage calls (share)€ 440 M (25.11%)€ 51 M (1.41%)€ 221.5 M (11.86%)

Our comparison also revealed that the submission deadlines are rather scattered over the year and there seems to be no clear pattern or uniform schedule. We can assume that the results of the stage-1 proposals are communicated at least two months in advance before the stage-2 submission deadline.

Declaration of changes between stage-1 and stage-2

In H2020, consortia could make substantial changes to their stage-1 proposal theoretically and submit the stage-2 proposal with significant modifications, such as new partners and a different budget.

Screenshot declaration for two-stage proposals

Although we always recommended avoiding big changes and having everything “in place” already for the short proposal, we wonder of course why the European Commission has introduced a new online form on the EU Funding & Tenders Portal where changes need to be declared.

This new form, as shown on page 24 (Section 5 – Other questions) of the so-called Guide for Applicants, the guidelines for the “Standard Application Form (HE RIA, IA)”, requires applicants to report changes regarding the partnership, budget, and the approach. As “the full stage-2 proposal must be consistent with the short outline proposal submitted to the stage 1”, this implies that (substantial) changes are no longer possible. For this reason, we highly recommend starting early with the preparation of short proposals, even though it is only ten pages, and having your project partners confirmed before the submission of stage-1. This is also important because the administrative details, except the partner description with the list of publications and projects, need to be provided for each participant in the forms “organisation data”.

accelopment in stage-1 proposals

Given that partner changes need to be declared and are not recommended, have you considered including a professional partner for EU project management, communication, and dissemination support? As we have ample experience with short proposals where only the excellence and impact of your proposed project will be evaluated, we would be happy to share our knowledge and can give you advice at this early stage, even at short notice, and then support you in the preparation of the full stage-2 proposal.

In the tables below, you can find the list of two-stages calls in the three Horizon Europe clusters, with key information on the deadlines, the budget, and the anticipated number of funded projects.

Cluster 1 – Health
Call acronymCall title (type)Deadline stage-1Deadline stage-2Budget per projectEstimated successful projects
Boosting mental health in Europe in times of change (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 7 M7
Trustworthy AI tools to predict the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases and/or their progression (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 6 M10
Prevention of obesity throughout the life course (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 10 M6
HORIZON-HLTH-2022-DISEASE-06-02-two stagePre-clinical development of the next generation of immunotherapies for diseases or disorders with unmet medical needs (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 6 M10
HORIZON-HLTH-2022-DISEASE-06-03-twostageVaccines 2.0 – developing the next generation of vaccines (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 8 M5
HORIZON-HLTH-2022-DISEASE-06-04-twostageDevelopment of new effective therapies for rare diseases (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 8 M8
HORIZON-HLTH-2022-TOOL-12-01-twostageComputational models for new patient stratification strategies (RIA)01/02/202206/09/2022EUR 6 M10

Cluster 5 – Climate, Energy and Mobility
Call acronymCall title (type)Deadline stage-1Deadline stage-2Budget per projectEstimated successful projects
HORIZON-CL5-2022-D1-01-01-two-stageCarbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) approaches (RIA)10/02/202227/09/2022 EUR 7 M3
HORIZON-CL5-2022-D1-01-02-two-stageSocio-economic risks of climate change in Europe (RIA)10/02/202227/09/2022 EUR 5 M2
HORIZON-CL5-2022-D1-01-03-two-stageSocial science for land-use strategies in the context of climate change and biodiversity challenges (RIA)10/02/202227/09/2022EUR 6-7 M3

Cluster 6 – Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment
Call acronymCall title (type)Deadline stage-1Deadline stage-2Budget per projectEstimated successful projects
HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-02-01-twostageMaintaining and restoring pollinators and pollination services in European agricultural landscapes (IA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6-10 M3
HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-02-02-twostageBoosting breeding for a sustainable, resilient and competitive European legume sector (IA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 7 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-BIODIV-02-03-twostageResilient beekeeping (RIA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-02-01-two-stageAgroecological approaches for sustainable weed management (RIA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 5 M3
HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-02-02-two-stageEmerging and future risks to plant health (RIA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 7 M1
HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-02-03-two-stageEcology of infectious animal diseases (RIA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 6 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-02-04-two-stageSmart solutions for the use of digital technologies for small- and medium-sized, farms and farm structures (IA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 5 M3
HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-02-05-two-stageInnovative food from marine and freshwater ecosystems (IA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 6 M3
HORIZON-CL6-2022-CircBio-02-01-two-stageIntegrated solutions for circularity in buildings and the construction sector (IA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6-8 M3
HORIZON-CL6-2022-CircBio-02-02-two-stageExploring extreme environments: novel adaptation strategies at molecular level for bio-based innovation (RIA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 5 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-CircBio-02-03-two-stageSustainable biodegradable novel biobased plastics: innovation for sustainability and end-of-life options of plastics (IA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-CircBio-02-04-two-stagePhotosynthesis revisited: climate emergency, “no pollution and zero-emission” challenge and industrial application (RIA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6 M1
HORIZON-CL6-2022-CircBio-02-05-two-stageLife sciences and their convergence with digital technologies for prospecting, understanding and sustainably using biological resources (RIA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-CircBio-02-06-two-stageHarnessing the digital revolution in the forest-based sector (IA)15/02/202201/09/2022 EUR 6-8 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-02-01-two-stageSmart solutions for smart rural communities: empowering rural communities and smart villages to innovate for societal change (IA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 7 M2
HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-02-02-two-stageDeveloping nature-based therapy for health and well-being (RIA)15/02/202206/09/2022 EUR 6 M3

Johannes Ripperger

Dr. Johannes Ripperger
Research & Innovation Manager

Andreia Cruz
Research & Innovation Project Manager