New RIA and IA templates for Horizon Europe demand different focus

Even if you’re an experienced applicant, the shift from one EU framework programme to the next requires careful consideration of the new requirements and focus points. Apart from the usual changes and restructuring of content in the programmes, in this particular framework transition the RIA/IA proposal template itself has undergone major changes. Here, I highlight the most relevant changes of the Horizon Europe full proposal template compared to Horizon2020.

Horizon Europe

Focus on impact

Even more than in Horizon2020, the impact of your project is key in writing your application. The template is structured in such a way that not only you need to describe the expected impact of your project, but also the pathway towards achieving this impact. This includes project outcomes and the wider impacts the project is likely to yield, as well as an assessment of potential barriers that may prevent you from achieving the intended impact. In the impact section, you will need to provide a so-called ‘impact canvas’. This is a structured summary of the trajectory from needs assessment to real lasting impact and all steps in between.

Reduced page limit

Perhaps the most obvious change in the new HEU proposal template is the significant reduction of the page limit from 70 to 45. At the same time, the requested content is not significantly reduced. (One exception is the omission of the description of the management structure in the implementation section.) In our experience, writing a proposal with similar content in less pages requires even more preparation. A clear joint vision and ambition carried by the whole consortium is definitely beneficial in creating a focused storyline.

Administrative forms

You may wonder where the annexes for describing your consortium and the ethics aspects went. All information on the consortium partners as well as the ethics self-assessment are now part of the online forms. More or less the same information is requested, but since this is now part of the online tables, there is considerably less flexibility regarding the information to be provided. For the ethics part, it is worth noting that a new section has been included on ethics issues. This concerns the design, development and/or use of artificial intelligence.

How can we help?

Fundament believes that it is always wise to start your project outline by defining the impact you aim to achieve – regardless whether the template demands you to. We are happy to support you and your consortium in discussing the intended impact and the pathways to achieve this. For full support trajectories, we also take care of the administrative forms, work with you to present a convincing storyline within tight page limits, and much, much more. Are you considering a resubmission of a Horizon2020 proposal to Horizon Europe? We can advise you on the necessary changes in your project to ensure a match with the new HEU framework programme.

Author: Neeltje Peters

Co-founder and Research Funding Professional at Fundament.

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