3PROCESS DIAGRAM Deadline Call Project management Results Follow up 3 - Preparing the proposalStructure of the proposalWriting the proposalProject managementEvaluation processNegotiation phase1- From idea to project2 - Getting ready Do your reading4 - Submitting the proposalDeadlineResultsFollow upCall
41- From idea to project (1) Pre-proposal or outline proposal IDEASMany ideas, problems, research questions, opportunities,Pre-proposal or outline proposalRelevant, valuable, calculated risks, milestones, deliverables,FilterPROJECT
51- From idea to project (2) Looking for partners1 - CORDIS Partners Service2 - Thematic NCP NetworksCf. CORDIS – FP7 – Get Support
6You must convince expert-evaluators 2 - Getting started (1)Do your readingKnow:The funding body (Europe): read Green papers, White papers, Action plans, all relevant policy papers on European strategies;The Framework programme and the specific programmes: be aware of the priorities, of the participation rules, …Your subject: relevant documents, i.e. text of the call, work programme, instruments,Yourself: what do you want to do? what are your strengths and your weaknesses. Play to your strengths!The evaluation process :Know how your proposal will be evaluated before you write itYou must convince expert-evaluators
7Do your reading: Evaluation criteria 2 - Getting started (2)Do your reading: Evaluation criteriaCriteria adapted to each funding schemespecified in the work programmeDivided into three main criteria:S&T Quality (relevant to the topic of the call)Concept, objectives, work-planImplementationIndividual participants and consortium as a wholeAllocation of resourcesImpactContribution to expected impacts listed in work programmePlans for dissemination/exploitation
8Do your reading: Evaluation criteria From A. Cross – DG Research 2 - Getting started (3)Do your reading: Evaluation criteriaThe criteria: scoringCriteria generally marked out of 5individual threshold = 3overall threshold = 10Can vary from call-to-callNew for FP7From A. Cross – DG Research
92 - Getting started (4) Do your reading Know the Seventh Framework Programme from which you seek support: avoid to waste your time writing a proposal that has no chance of success.Read carefully all the documents: text of the call, work programme, participation rules, evaluation manual and pay attention to specific goals and specific requirements!Contact NCPs,Discuss your proposal with colleagues ;Contact a Scientific Officer.
10The information package - Key documents For each call, a set of documents is available:Text of the call (published in Official Journal of the EU)Call fiche (part of the 2007 Work Programme)Work programme (including General introduction & General annexes)Guide for applicants: one per call and funding schemeRules for submission of proposals, and the related evaluation, selection and award procedures Read carefully all the documents
11Calls for proposals All documents can be downloaded Announced in the Official Journal of the EUCall ‘fiches’ published on CORDISSet out details of:Call budget, opening and closing datesTopics and funding schemesEligibility and evaluation criteria (and any deviation from the norms)Indicative evaluation and contractual timetable All documents can be downloaded
12All documents can be downloaded from the Participant Portal
14FP7 Work Programme(s) The key reference document Annual document Provides further details of the topicsExpected impact statements at the level of the topic or research areaDetails of funding scheme(s) to be usedEtc.From Martin PENNY - DG Research February 2007
15Guide(s) for applicants First section completely genericGeneral principles, basic rules, how to applyWritten with newcomers in mindIncludes a glossaryAll call-specific information is found together in annexNo need to hunt around for important detailsIncludes the evaluation criteria and procedureFormerly ‘guidance notes for evaluators’From Alan CROSS - DG Research February 2007
17REMEMBER …Your main objective is to prepare and to write a proposal to get it through the evaluation process successfullyWork step by step to a winning proposal through collaboration and teamwork
183 - Preparing the proposal Six key points:Formulate (an) appropriate research objective(s);State your (research) objective(s) clearly in your proposal;Develop a realistic research plan;Frame your project around the work of others;Format, brevity, grammar and spelling are important;More common reasons for failure of proposals.
19Structure of a proposal Part A: In part A you will be asked for certain administrative details that will be used in the evaluation and further processing of your proposal. Part A forms an integral part of your proposal. Section A1 gives a snapshot of your proposal, section A2 concerns you and your organisation, while section A3 deals with money matters :Section A1: SummarySection A2: Participants (a form per participant)Section A3: BudgetPart B: Scientifc work and project managementSection 1: Scientific and/or technical quality, relevant to the topics addressed by the callSection 2: ImplementationSection 3: ImpactSection 4: Ethical Issues
20Formulate (an) appropriate research objective(s) S M A R T ObjectivesS SpecificM MeasurableA AchievableR Result-orientedT Time-relatedGood objectives are:“S M A R T”Developed co-operatively by partners,Under the control of the co-ordinator, the “core team”, WP leader,Expressed clearly in writing,Not too complicated …
21State your (research) objective(s) clearly in your proposal European policiesFramework programmeCall & work programmeProposal itselfWhat will be achieved …proposalStrategic objectivesOverall and specific objectivesAchievements The research objective(s) of this proposal is (are) ….
22Develop a realistic research plan A realistic research plan is a plan to accomplish your (research) objectives;it will determine the success of the project:Clear vision of the project structure, work packages, tasks, …Innovativeness and creativity brought in by participants;Work carried out by each participants (no overlapping);Management approach (how the project is organised, how responsibilities are assigned, etc.);Template for scheduling, budgeting, risk management, etc. Don’t hide potential difficulties, suggest alternative approaches to achieve objectives
23Producing a Gantt Chart A Gantt Chart helps organize a plan to implement a (research) project. It documents what is to be accomplished, who will be involved and when workpackages and tasks will take place and how they will interrelate. It shows at a quick glance the course of the project. Additionally it provides guidance for managing the project. A simple example looks like:123Months...4MilestonesLaunch phaseWorkpackagesFinal conferenceManagement
24From the NIAID-NIH web site Many writing labs are available on the webWrite a topic sentence for each main topic: then write a topic sentence for each sub topic in the outline;Make one point in each paragraph: this is key to creating text that's easy to read;Divide the document into sections and subsections. This organizes your text and, together with paragraph headers, creates white space;Include bullets and lists: they draw attention to key facts and create a visual break;Use short sentences with a basic structure: subject, verb, object;Include transitions: at the beginning of a new paragraph or concept;Keep related ideas and information together: e.g. put clauses and phrases as close as possible;Use strong, active verbs: write "We will develop a cell line," not "A cell line will be developed“;Use verb forms instead of abstract nouns: say 'creating the assay leads to...' rather than 'the creation of the assay leads to...If writing is not your forte, get help
25More common reasons for failure of proposals Missed deadline,Incomplete proposal (parts are missing),Does not fit objectives in call & work programme (relevance),Scientific content is not convincing: research is not innovative, not up-to-date with developments (scientific excellence),Alternative hypotheses are not considered,Too ambitious, problem more complex than proposers appear to realise,Proposal hastily put together and lacking coherence (project management),Likelihood of achieving success and value for money are not convincing.
264 - Submitting the proposal Proof read your proposal before it is sent:Too many proposals are submitted with stupid mistakes, omissions and errors of all sortsDon’t spend months writing a proposal just to kill it with stupid mistakes that are easily preventedSubmit your proposal in time:The co-ordinator is responsible to submit the proposal in due timePlan your work to submit one or two days before the deadlineElectronic Proposal Submission System (EPSS)
27From A. Cross – DG Research SubmissionProposal template given in Guide for applicantsClosely aligned to the evaluation criteriaPage limits setMust be through EPSS, the Electronic proposal submission systemProposals are normally submitted and evaluated in a single stageDeadlines are strictly enforcedNew for FP7From A. Cross – DG Research
28EPSS: Prepare and submit your proposal on-line An easy way to work with one’s partners and to submit proposals directly to the Commission
29MEMO 1 - Prepare a project outline: 2 - Check with the NCP: What is the problem?What are the goals?What is your innovative contribution?What is the (EU) added value?2 - Check with the NCP:Is the idea eligible?Do you wish to work with EU partners?Potential partnership?What about your role?What about your hierarchy?
30Conclusions (1) It is not easy to write a good proposal: it takes time and efforts; it can take several months …Keep in mind what evaluators are looking for in proposals:relevancescientific and technical excellencequality of project managementtechnical credibility of the proposaladded value of carrying out the research at a European levelstrategy for exploitation and dissemination of resultscosts and budget breakdowncompetence and effectiveness of the consortium
31Conclusions (2) What makes a good proposal? clear objectives / fits programmescientific excellence / innovationEuropean dimension / collaborationhigh quality project managementbalanced distribution of workloadclear timescale and workplansunderstandable, non-technical, scientific jargon-free languageindustrial relevancea well defined marketable project result / product (what are benefits to EU?) A good proposal is convincing from the outset. The essential facts must be readily extractable. A well written summary can often help hard-pressed evaluators to grasp the main points. Presentation is extremely important.
32Conclusions (3) For the Commission, quality of management is essential The proposal must clearly state:What each member of the consortium will do;How they will work together effectively;How the various work packages relate to each other;That each activity has been properly resourced;Expected deliverables and milestones : they must be clearly identified and charts must be drawn up. Keep the core team small and well balanced
33Conclusions (4) Right on target Convince expert-evaluators that you: Understand the problemCan solve the problemCan do the jobProvide value
34Conclusions (5) volunteer to be an expert-evaluator yourself ! This presentation was nothing more than common sense!Why not get a thorough understanding of the process andvolunteer to be an expert-evaluator yourself !EMM (Expert Management Module )It’s easy: https://cordis.europa.eu/emmfp7