How to get rid of the “fog”

For your proposal to be the best one, the rare one that gets that maximum score of 15 marks (or whatever the maximum score is for your particular funding programme), your proposal has got to be the one giving the best definition of

  • where you start from
  • where you will get to
  • how you will get there
  • evidence of progress
  • value for money (impact/cost)

In other words, your philosophy for success is to know how to get rid of the “fog” at the top of the blue bars in the figure on page 4 that indicate the beginning and end of your project, doing this for as little money as possible (impact/cost), so that your project will be both the best justified and the best value for money. If another proposal claims to do a project like yours with the same impact but for 20% less money, for example, then you won’t get the money.

[‘The value for money potential is very low, as there is no single statement … justifying what will be achieved with so much funding.’ ‘Therefore it is not possible to justify that the … project team, consisting of 14 research groups from 7 departments, will give value for money.]

So, in the figures below, you need to know how to convert the typical “fog” of failure on the left into the clarity and definition for success on the right. Here the vertical axis is presented as a measure of project Impact. The more impact you can build into your project proposal, the more likely your proposal is to succeed in getting the money – note that for Horizon 2020, more emphasis is placed on achieving impact for your projects than was the case for FP7. However, you will need to justify your claimed project impact (Impact/cost) by giving the evidence in the words you write in the proposal.

Remember that the quality of your science (Excellence), will also contribute to your project’s impact. The EU will not fund poor quality science. It is up to you to know where the current “state-of-the-art” is, worldwide, in your area of science, and to ensure that your project will make a clear and significant contribution to making progress in that area of science.