How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Horizon Europe

July 21st, 2021 Dr Seán McCarthy and Sylvia McCarthy EU Policy Analyst

This online course is designed to train researchers, research managers and research support service teams 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.

The workshop consists of three sessions of 45 minutes consecutively developed and presented by Dr. Seán McCarthy and Sylvia McCarthy (EU Policy Analyst).


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


The session will be hosted through Zoom online conference application. You will receive the session link after registering.
If you are interested, please send an email to HR at

Course, July 21, 2021, 10:00-12:45. Online