Writing your proposal – the research part

Part B of the proposal is the narrative part that outlines in detail the proposed research project. It is a technical description of all planned activities and expected impacts. This must be prepared in advance using the template downloaded from the system and uploaded to the submission system as a PDF document.

When it comes to drafting Part B of the proposal, you cannot start too early. Drafting is a collaborative process across the consortium, managed by the coordinator who should develop a timeline for proposal development and writing at the outset. Ensure you leave plenty of time to source input from all partners, to allow for review of the proposal text both within the consortium and external review as appropriate (for example, by peers working in your field, by your university research office or your NCP), and for final proofreading and uploading. Talking to previously successful applicants and looking at their proposals can be helpful to steer you in the right direction before you begin drafting.

Linking your proposal to the call topic

To write a good research proposal, it is essential to understand the funding call topic in the work programme. When writing the application, keep referring to the call topic and the key wording used within the scope of the topic. Ensure you remain within the scope of the topic, and that your proposal addresses all evaluation criteria, which are outlined in Annex D and Annex F of the Work Programme (General Annexes to the Work Programme can be downloaded from the HRB website). 

If you have questions on the scope, a Q&A on each call topic will be available in the portal. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, contact your NCP for further assistance. 


Part B of the application: Writing a successful proposal 

Part B of the proposal is divided into two sections:


1. Excellence

This is where you clearly outline the aims and objectives of your research, what makes the proposed research ambitious, and where it will go beyond the current ‘state of the art’. 

The Excellence section is also where you describe in detail the planned project activities and the proposed methodology that will be used to deliver them. The planned project activities should be grouped in a logical, consistent and structured way into work packages. Each work package must present a clear link to the project objectives and to other work packages. Activities within work packages should be clearly defined as tasks. Projects should have at least two work packages: one for management and coordination activities and one for outputs related to the project goals. Beyond that, create only as many as you need. 


2. Impact

This is where you set out how your research can contribute to the outcomes and impacts described in the Work Programme. You should clearly detail the planned activities and actions the project will take in order to maximise the outcomes and impact of your research outputs. You should explain how this will feed into the six higher-level expected impact areas of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan, which correspond to the six destinations (key areas) of this work programme. 

Over and above describing the research itself, topics to be covered in part B include: 

  • Communication, dissemination and exploitation: Beneficiaries of Horizon Europe funding are required to communicate with stakeholders and the public about their research, disseminate their research results (make them publicly available), and outline paths for exploitation (making concrete use of research results). A plan for these activities must be included in Part B of the proposal. Further details are available in this EU webinar and in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide
  • Gender dimension of research and innovation: Integration of the gender dimension within research and innovation content is a requirement by default in Horizon Europe. It will be evaluated under the excellence criterion unless the topic description explicitly specifies otherwise. For further guidance on how inclusive analysis contributes to research and innovation, read this EU policy report.
  • Intellectual property management: Applicants must provide details on how they will manage intellectual property rights (IPR) throughout their research, particularly in the context of the exploitation of results following the project. For more details, the European Commission has an Intellectual Property Helpdesk.
  • Research data management: This is mandatory in Horizon Europe for projects generating or reusing data. If you expect to generate or reuse data and/or other research outputs (except for publications), you are required to include a one-page outline of a data management plan. More details can be found in the Programme Guide.  
  • Open science: In Horizon Europe, open science practices are considered in the evaluation of proposals. You must provide details of how your project will comply with defined mandatory practices, and explaining how you will adopt recommended practices will be viewed positively in the evaluation. More details are available in the open science chapter of the Programme Guide
  • Inclusion of social sciences and humanities: The effective integration of social sciences and humanities in all clusters, including all Missions and European Partnerships, is a principle throughout Horizon Europe. See further details in the Programme Guide and in this video which explains how this component of the proposal will be evaluated. 

For more advice on how to draft a successful application, read our top proposal-writing tips for Horizon Europe and take a look at this EU webinar: ‘How to prepare a successful Proposal in Horizon Europe’.


Essential information for clinical studies

For calls that involve clinical studies, project participants must add a completed template to the application and upload it as separate annex to Part B in the Submission System. Templates are available to download from the Funding & Tenders portal, and you can watch this webinar on clinical studies in Horizon Europe for more information. 


Blind evaluation pilot

Please note that the EC is currently running a pilot whereby for certain calls, first-stage proposals of two-stage submissions will be evaluated blindly, i.e. applicants may not disclose their identity in Part B of their proposal. Further information is available in the Work Programme General Annexes (section F) that can be downloaded from the HRB website


What your NCP can do for you

The Horizon Europe Health NCP can provide advice and guidance for preparing Part B of your application. NCPs are experienced in reviewing proposals. They can advise you on how your proposal fits within the call, how to write the impact section, and the dissemination and communications sections. They can also guide you on general language and the presentation and layout of your proposal, and provide you with background information that will enhance your application.

Want to know more? Contact your HRB Health NCP.