Application part B – What to consider when preparing a Pillar II application.

The application consists of two parts: Part A, the administrative information of the consortium members, including their contact details, legal declarations, and program specific questions related to ethics and safety, and Part B. Part B contains the narrative and technical description of the project and consortium and will be uploaded as a PDF to the Funding and Tenders portal.

Formal details of one and two-stage calls

One Stage vs Two stage applications

One stage applications are submitted through the Funding and Tenders portal at one specific deadline. Two stage applications consist of a shorter pre-application and a full second-stage application upon invitation. Find information about the different type of Research Actions under Pillar II - General Information.

One-stage application Page limit: 

  • 45 pages for RIA and IA 
  • 30 pages for CSA
  • The proposal is structured into Excellence, Impact, and Implementation.

Two-stage page limit:

  • 10 page (full proposal 45 RIA/IA)
  • Pay attention to blind evaluation and check if your call belongs to that approach
  • Outline including Excellence and Impact section (no Implementation section at stage 1)
  • Full application by invitation only

Cross-cutting priorities

The Horizon Europe program has several cross-cutting issues that aim to improve the quality of research and innovation. A successful project considers and includes those cross-cutting topics. Both the Work program and the call text specify which of the cross-cutting priorities are of particular importance for your call of interest.

Gender equality and inclusiveness are research activities throughout the Horizon Europe program aimed at reducing, and eventually eliminating, gender and socio-economic inequality. The commission addresses gender equality at the following levels:

  • A Gender Equality Plan (GEP) is an eligibility criterion for certain partners, such as legal entities from EU countries and non-EU countries associated to Horizon Europe that are public bodies, research organizations or higher education entities, including private research organizations. Those entities are required to have a GEP.
  • Integration of Gender Dimensions in your research project is a requirement and integrated into the excellence evaluation criteria. If it is not stated otherwise in the call text, you need to describe how you have included sex and gender analysis as well as social and cultural aspects in your project. This is usually done in the method section. You need to justify if it is not relevant for your project. 
  • Increasing Gender Balance is an objective throughout the whole Horizon program. Practically you would want to aim as close to a 50:50 balance of women and men as possible within your research team, consortium, committees, and boards. Gender Balance is the third ranking criterion and used when proposals score tie in rank. 


Social Sciences and the Humanities (SSH) have already been an important cross-cutting issue under Horizon 2020 and most calls under Horizon Europe require the inclusion of SSH in the projects. SSH have a significant role in the consortium helping to contribute to the improvement and assessment of complex societal issues. SSH expertise that could be relevant for your project includes social and behavioral sciences, education science, journalism and information, business and administration, or law and humanities. Always refer to the call text!


Ethics and integrity are main pillars in research and a priority within the Horizon Europe Program. All proposals that are considered for funding are systematically screened to identify activities that might have complex or serious ethical issues. An “ethics self-assessment” is integrated in Part A of the proposal. Based on the outcome of the ethics self-assessment and ethics screening, you may be asked, during Grant Agreement preparation, to include additional action tasks or ethics checks and reviews. 


Open science practices and sharing knowledge, data, and tools are a policy priority for the Horizon Europe Program and at the application stage you need to describe how you will implement open science in your project. Although the European Commission understands limitations for researchers and their partners, Open Science in your project needs to follow the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”. Open Science policies include: Open access to publications, Open access to research data, and the FAIR-principles for data.  


A dedicated Dissemination and Exploitation (D&E) plan is required for proposals under Horizon Europe pillar II to maximize the impact of the project. Dissemination describes how you make the research results available to the relevant audience which could include the scientific community, policymakers, and civil society. Exploitation describes how your results could be used to develop new products, services, and policies. The dissemination and exploitation plan includes planned activities and target groups during the project life cycle and beyond. A first draft needs to be provided at a proposal stage. Six months into the project (after signature of the Grant Agreement), a detailed plan for dissemination and exploitation including communication activities needs to be provided and continuously updated throughout the project. 

The European Commission itself facilitates dissemination and exploitation of project results and activities, for example through: 

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are a set of technologies that are considered crucial for the development of new products and services in Europe. KETs include advanced materials and nanotechnology, photonics and micro- and nano-electronics, life science technologies, advanced manufacturing and processing, artificial intelligence and digital security and connectivity. If you develop and/or use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in your project, you need to “demonstrate their technical and/or socially robustness” and demonstrate their reliability and function (Example of a RIA template).


Social Innovation are innovations that try to answer and/or find solutions for so far unmet social and environmental problems and needs, build relationships, and aim at forming new collaborations. Social innovation is a requirement across all work programs, unless specified in the call text, and can enhance the impact and uptake of research innovation projects by involving users and stakeholders in the design, development, and implementation of solutions. 

EU Taxonomy is a classification system that defines criteria for economic activities that are considered as environmentally sustainable by contributing to the  European Green Deal.

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