Course: How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Horizon Europe

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This online course is designed to train researchers, research managers and research support services in writing professional and competitive proposals for Horizon Europe. The course analyses the relevance of  Horizon Europe to EU policies, the common problems in proposal writing and the success criteria for proposals. The course provides advice on how to collect information, select strategic partners and streamline proposal writing.



Dr. Seán McCarthy

Seán has been active in the Framework programmes since 1980. He has been involved in over 150 research proposals to the Framework programmes and has participated in over 60 Framework projects. In 16 of these projects Seán was the coordinator. Today, he does not participate in the Framework programmes but concentrates on designing and delivering training courses. Since 1995 over 80,000 participants have attended his courses in 29 countries. He has presented training courses on the Framework programmes in over 290 research centres throughout Europe ( ). In 2017 the European Commission published a list of the top 100 universities and research organisations participating in Horizon 2020. Dr. McCarthy has delivered training courses in 74 of these top 100 universities and research organisations. More information

Sylvia McCarthy

Sylvia is an EU Policy Analyst. Based in Brussels since 2008, Sylvia has worked in the European Parliament and various EU consultancies and representations. Sylvia has a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies (University College Cork,Ireland) and a Master’s degree in International Politics and Europe (University of Warwick, UK). → LinkedIn 



The course consists in three 45-minutes sessions:

  • Session 1 → 10:00h-10:45h
  • Session 2 → 11:00h-11:45h
  • Session 3 → 12:00h to 12:45h

And the content is organised in seven modules:

Module 1: From EU Policies to Horizon Europe Work Programmes
•     Background EU Policies to Horizon Europe
•     Bottom-Up versus Top-Down Programmes
•     Funding Landscape for Horizon Europe
Module 2: Profile of Successful Organisations in EU Programmes
•     Profile of Successful Organisations (and Individuals)
•     How to Judge a Winning Proposal
•     Sources of Ideas for Horizon Europe proposals
•     ‘Telling’ versus ‘Selling’ Proposal Ideas
•     Research Support Services in Successful Organisations
Module 3: How Pillar I Proposals are Evaluated
•     EU Policies defining Pillar I
•     How ERC Proposals are Evaluated
•     Proposal Clinics for ERC Proposals
•     How MSCA Proposals are Evaluated
•     Impact on Careers in MSCA Proposals
Module 4: How Pillar II Proposals are Evaluated
•     How to Analyse a Pillar II Work Programme
•     The Profile of the Remote Evaluators
•     Template for a Proposal Clinic for Pillar II Proposals
Module 5: How to Write the Impact of a Pillar II Proposal
•     Who Wrote the Topics in Pillar II?
•     Outputs, Outcomes and Impact on the EU Policy Making Process
•     How to Explain the Impact on EU Societal Challenges
•     How to Explain the Impact on EU Industrial Policies
Module 6: How Pillar III Proposals are Evaluated
•     How EIC Pathfinder Proposals are Evaluated
•     How EIC Transition Proposals are Evaluated
•     How EIC Accelerator Proposals are Evaluated
Module 7: Guideline for Writing Horizon Europe Proposals
•     Summary of Concepts presented in Modules 1 to 6
•     How Remote Evaluators Read Proposals
•     How to Judge a Winning Consortium Proposal
•     How to Screen Proposals (Proposal Clinic)
•     From the Call to the Deadline
•     The Role of Research Support Services


This course is open both to the members of the BIST Community and to researchers, research managers and research support services teams in universities and research centres from outside BIST. The course has a fee of 200€ for non-BIST members.


How to register

  • BIST Community members, please contact HR and Training team at your centre and they will inform you how to proceed.
  • Non-BIST members, please click the button below to proceed with the registration and payement.
Register for non-BIST members