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Moving from stage-1 to stage-2 with your Health proposal – tips for your work plan

1st February 2024 at 12:33 pm

Blog series 3/5: Horizon EU Health calls 2023/2024

Have you been invited to submit your Health stage-2 proposal by 11 April 2024 under one of the nine call topics shown in our recent blog providing tips for the non-scientific parts of your full application? If so, congratulations! Time to get started on your work plan and the work package (WP) descriptions for the implementation section of the Part B document.

In stage-1, the work plan with the WPs was most likely already defined and briefly described in all proposals. In stage-2, the WPs can still be changed or updated when describing the WPs in more detail. Based on our experience from many Horizon health projects, we would like to share our experience on points that we typically consider when establishing and elaborating the work plan.

Considerations for your work plan and work packages

Most (research and) innovation actions (RIAs and IAs) typically have six to ten WPs, including one management and one communication and dissemination WP. Examples can be seen on our Health project websites for EDiHTA, ThermoBreast and MyPath.

Depending on the call topic-specific requirements and whether it is a RIA or a (more applied research-based) IA, for example an additional WP for exploitation might be useful. Especially if your consortium contains companies with an interest in using the project results for commercial purposes in the future, the validation of the innovations at a larger scale and their subsequent exploitation could be convincing for reviewers.

Several of these Health call topics explicitly require social sciences and humanities (SSH) and related activities as part of the project implementation. Hence, a WP dedicated to SSH such as socio-economic analysis, cost-effectiveness and/or the evaluation of ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) is common in many projects, as evidenced in for example our Health projects MyPath and ThermoBreast.

Given that Open Science and Open Data as promoted through the European Health Data Space (EHDA) are key elements and sometimes even formal requirements of Health projects nowadays, it might also be worth having a separate ’Data WP‘. Tasks within such a data-driven WP can include the development of the mandatory Data Management Plan by project month six, the setup and maintenance of a data governance structure and infrastructure as well as data harmonisation and integration with other European data sources. This is particularly important in projects in which retrospective data will be used and in those projects with a clinical trial to collect prospective data.

Finally, in some research areas and topics, collaboration with other funded projects is expected or even mandatory. For example, a WP focused on the collaboration with complementary or synergistic activities and objectives might be an option as is the case in our EXIMIOUS project, a member of the EHEN network that formalises the cooperation between nine H2020 projects all undertaking research on the human exposome. Alternatively, in our two more recently started projects ThermoBreast and GLIOMATCH, collaboration on specific common tasks, such as data management and dissemination, with other Cancer Cluster projects is a requirement and enforced by the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Last but not least, in our new EDiHTA project, knowledge exchange with the second project funded under the same call topic is expected where a collaboration agreement (COLA) might make sense.

Finetuning your work plan and work packages for stage 2

In case ten WPs are not sufficient to break down the project work, the work plan should be subdivided into several “sub-projects” in which several WPs are clustered in each sub-project. This makes the project more manageable. Additionally, we would recommend the following:

For this important change with significant impacts on how you plan your project, we have decided to publish more blog posts in our Health series such as on “lump sum budgeting” soon.

Implementation of the new rules in proposals and projects

If you are looking for a project partner to help you implement the lump sum approach and other call topic-specific requirements in the proposal preparation and, if approved, during the project execution later, we at accelopment can do so. For the Health stage-2 proposal submission, we offer reviews and full writing support, depending on your consortium’s needs.

Our team has 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, and many health-focused Innovative Training and Doctoral Networks, including AGePOP, MITGEST and MobiliTraIN.

We look forward to hearing from you and discussing how we might be able to support you in your stage-2 proposal submission and, if wished, how to collaborate on your Health project.

Dr. Eva Avilla Royo
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Blog series 3/5: Horizon EU Health calls 2023/2024