Synchronous Online Course & Workshop

Upcoming Courses

9-11 OCT. 2024
4-6 DEC. 2024

3 Days Training Course

Proposal Writing for Research & Innovation Projects

From the Fundamentals to Developing Winning Proposals

This course is aimed at equipping individuals in organisations of all types and sizes (Universities, NGOs, SMEs, Cities, etc) – who have the responsibility for developing project proposals – with the necessary skills and know-how in order to produce engaging, high quality, successful bids. While, the material taught is useful for any type of proposal irrespective of the funding stream, the course does have a special focus on R&D / innovation-style proposals for Horizon Europe and especially proposals for the following funding streams concentrating 67% of the funds under Horizon Europe:

  • Global Challenges & Industrial Competitiveness, and
  • Innovative Europe

The course offers a complete insight to writing and submitting competitive proposals in response to Horizon Europe calls with tips, guidelines and practice sessions. The combination of examples and hands-on online exercises will introduce you to all aspects that you need to know from identifying the right call for your project idea, to developing a convincing project concept, a carefully planned implementation and risk management plan, a powerful impact statement, and a well-constructed dissemination and exploitation plan: in essence, everything required to submit a competitive proposal, plus guidelines on how to evaluate and score your own proposal before submitting it.

The course is information-rich and – in order to avoid information overload – it is structured in 3 days so that participants have the time to absorb and process all new information before moving to a new topic. In order to enhance absorption, participants are encouraged to ask questions during lectures and also give their own views or discuss their experiences on subject matters of their interest, but we also offer the opportunity to close each day with a discussion session where participants are encouraged to discuss issues of concern or even request for additional information on specific subjects (not already included in the agenda). This allows for a better fit between the material included in the course and participant experience and interests.

For the same reason we have included a pre-training survey designed to collect information from the participants on their sectoral specialization (education, experience), prior experience with proposal writing, their preferred mode of learning and their expectations from the course, as it allows the instructor to make last minute additions/changes to the course material.

In order to customize this course even more and serve the participants’ interest better, beginning in 2024 we allow for specific requests of additional sessions on the condition that they are made at least one week before the scheduled course and that they do not completely change the agenda.

This is an “applied”/interactive course. Along with the customary lecture sessions, we also use short open questions and in-class exercises throughout the sessions plus a major workshop exercise that takes place on the afternoon of day 2 and day 3 and consist of fleshing-out all the important elements of an “imaginary project” proposal. The workshop allows participants.

  • to apply what has been taught, but also
  • experience how important interdisciplinarity is by collaborating with their course-mates (usually from a wide variety of disciplines), and
  • understand the large complexity of R&I proposals and the need for setting up early enough proposal-writing teams and applying a tight management structure during the proposal preparation process.

Participants of the 3-day training will learn:

  • Understand the breadth of EU resources available for the programming period 2021-2027 – within Horizon Europe but also elsewhere – and learn how to look for funding streams for Innovation Policy.
  • Learn how to differentiate between R&D and Innovation projects and how to place their project on the R&D-Innovation continuum (TRL). Understand what types of Horizon Europe Calls to look for depending on their project’s TRL.
  • Learn how to “decompose” the information included in Calls and associated reference documents (work programmes, etc) in order to ensure the best fit between their project and an available funding stream and increase their chances for success.
  • Understand how project evaluators work and which proposal features are essential for convincing them and receiving the possible highest scores.
  • Learn what an intervention logic is and why it is important for a high-quality, easy to implement project. Understand where the focus lies in each of the 3 sections of part B Horizon proposal, what questions need to be answered,
  • Learn how to develop an efficient workplan (work breakdown structure (WBS)) and an effective time-plan and how to identify and deal with project critical paths (successions of tasks that could endanger the timely completion of the project).
  • Understand how to work out a balanced, well-justified project budget.
  • Learn how to assess the risks of an R&I project (depending on the nature of the project and the TRL) and how to develop a proportionate and well-targeted risk management and monitoring plan.
  • Learn how to distinguish between project outputs, outcomes and impacts in order to identify impact pathways and their related indicators, and how to strengthen impact through a sound dissemination and exploitation plan.
  • Learn how to approach quantification and documentation issues and apply effective writing styles in order to strengthen the proposal.
    • 1 Overview of the Programming Period 2021-2027 funding opportunities (how the EU 2021-2027 budget is distributed to programmes)
    • 2 Innovation Policy 2021-2027 (Horizon Europe structure, total budget and budget distribution by pillar, detailed presentation of each and every programme included in the 3 pillars, the horizontal axis, and the Instruments for Maximizing impact: partnerships, missions. Analysis of the programming and implementation process of Horizon (strategic plan, work programmes, Calls), the types of funding available (grants, prizes, procurements) and available complementary funding sources (cohesion policy, interreg, etc).
    • 3 How to ensure the best fit between your project and an available funding stream/Call. (how to dissect Call information (scope, challenge, expected outcomes and impacts), what documents are critical to read, eligibility and admissibility criteria, other obligations (e.g. GEP), how to use the evaluation criteria to screen a proposal’s potential for success).
    • 4 Exploring the different notions of innovation (what differentiates R&D from innovation, the different types of innovation, the TRL scale, which TRL scores are required by specific programmes).
    • 5 Questions/answers and discussion.
    • 1 An overview of winning proposal essential features (what is a project proposal and the 6 essential questions it needs to answer, what a project concept consists of, what is an intervention logic, the 3 types of skills required for a successful proposal, the process of proposal writing, detailed presentation of the Horizon application part B).
    • 2 Developing the best project justification (how to write the most creative part of the proposal).
    • 3 Demonstrating impact (spheres of impact, the results chain (outputs, outcomes, impacts) and indicators, other considerations (immediacy, rate, durability), linking impact pathways to programming documents)
    • 4 Pulling together the right assets (partners, experience, tangible & intangible resources, what makes a good consortium and how to find partners, official partner roles in Horizon, the consortium agreement).
    • 5 Putting yourself in the role of the “evaluator” (learn how evaluators work, evaluation criteria by programme, applying the scores and paying attention to thresholds, checking for completeness).
    • 6 Workshop/exercise session (fist part of a short proposal on an “imaginary project”: participants work on project justification and impact pathways).
    • 1 A well thought-out “work plan” (WBS, time-planning, assigning resources, making adjustments, budgeting).
    • 2 Incorporating risk management (what is risk, where and how risk manifest in an R&I project, attitudes towards risk, risk management in 5 steps)
    • 3 Developing a sound dissemination and exploitation plan – data management (differences between communication, dissemination, exploitation, how to draft a dissemination strategy, how to draft an exploitation strategy, what is data management and its relation to Open Science).
    • 4 Workshop/exercise session (second part of a short proposal on “imaginary project”: participants will work on workplan, risk management, dissemination & exploitation plan).
  • Become familiar with the current EU funding opportunities and rules
  • Learn what makes a proposal successful
  • Avoid mistakes that can compromise your project
  • Benefit from practical workshops and exercises, insights and tips
  • Learn from examples
  • Receive tangible and actionable advice on your individual questions
  • Network and exchange experience with peers and possible partners from across EU

Participants should have some experience with project proposals.

Participation fee for the 3 days training:

Remote €1100 excl. VAT

Training package includes:

  • Admission to the course

  • Hard copies of training material

  • European Academy’s delegate’s bag with supporting training material & memorabilia 

  • Certification of “Proposal Writing for Research & Innovation Projects” training completion

  • Certificate of attendance

This course includes everything a good project planner and manager should know in order to design successful and meaningful projects and present them in a way that is both understandable to evaluators and convincing. Preparation and doing the work is the most important tool for a winning project proposal. It takes more than a few tips on writing skills and proposal structure in order to produce good project proposals. It requires a clear project vision and intervention logic, a good consortium, and effective project management and control structures. It also requires critical skills that will help you review, evaluate and improve your proposal before submitting it.

This course covers all these skills but does a lot more: it fosters application through a workshop exercise, plus you can customize it to an extend if you submit a request for an additional session or specific subjects to be covered early enough (at a week before).


The course is led by Chrisa Petritsi, professional development planner and evaluator with 35 years of experience in development planning at local, national and international level (providing management advisory services and operational/project support focusing on resource management and efficiency; in designing and evaluating regional and socio-economic development policy, in drafting technical reports, in working with businesses and other beneficiaries.

Working experience with programme beneficiaries, Managing Authorities/Intermediaries, Local/Regional Development Agencies, IFS, etc.; services to programme beneficiaries included: Financial and technical feasibility studies, Preparation of business-plans, Preparation and management of business clusters, Applications for EU-funding and TA during project/grant implementation. 

Chrisa has worked for the University of Illinois from 1985 to 1989 where she taught to Master’s level students project planning and various other subjects around it such as project evaluation.

From 1989 to 1997, Ms. Petritsi worked for various levels of Government in the USA (Village of Rantoul, State of Wisconsin, City of Savannah), where she participated in the design of projects and taught problem-solving tools and methods and Total Quality principles.

From 1997 to 1999, she worked for an international mining company where she taught management-related courses such as team building, and performance management.

From 1999 and onwards, Chrisa has been working as a consultant for EU-related programmes (public and private investments) either in programme/project development or in programme/project evaluation. 

Her EU-related thematic experience includes infrastructure projects (mostly transport, public buildings, urban utilities and waste management), environmental projects, entrepreneurship projects (mostly private investments and entrepreneurship services), and various others (civil society, employment, etc). She has worked in Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia – Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Serbia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, USA. 

Chrisa’s experience in training includes: «Training on Monitoring and Evaluation», «Developing EU Structural Fund Programme Complements», «Programme Indicators: Development & Quantification», «The Structural Funds & the EU Planning Process», “Statistics & Regional Development”, “Regional & Local Support to SMEs”, “Problem Solving for Local Governments” «Economic Analysis of Public Plans & Policies», «Analytic Methods in Urban Planning» 

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9-11 OCT. 2024
4-6 DEC. 2024

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