How to score 15 out of 15 in an EU proposal
2020 Horizon is a very risky game since you compete against the best of the best at European level and you will be evaluated by high skilled and demanding people. The evaluators don’t expect winner proposals. Their mindset is rather prepared to reject loosers, than to choose winners. This is because, typically, only 1 out of 5 proposals above the minimum threshold, achieve funding. The rest will not be funded although they have reached the threshold.
The maximum score you can get is 15 points, being the minimum threshold 10-12 points depending on the topic. A minimum of three external evaluators will evaluate your proposal and a consensus meeting among them will result in a joint evaluation and a total score for your proposal that will take in account the score and comments of all the evaluators.
In such a context: Can anyone get the maximum score? Can anyone get 15 points as result of a consensus decision among a minimum of three experts? Yes! Of course! It is not easy, not common, but you can! Inddeed, we at FundingBox, have done it 2 times in the last 2 years, so we know that it is possible 😉 You can always be the 1st in the ranking list without obtaining the maximum score, we also did this several times, but when you get 15 you definitively rock! If you get 15 you can bet that you will be funded but, if you get 14,5 or less maybe you don’t; it will depend on the competition.
Achieving the maximum score is a matter of F.A.I.T.H. Yes, this is the word that better summarizes what you need to be the best of the best. You must have complete confidence that you can. Of course, you need the R.E.C.I.P.E. for success and you need to pay the F.A.R.E. for success too. However, the R.E.C.I.P.E and the F.A.R.E. will just put you in the position of being top 3 or top 5: what will make the diffence to be the best is F.A.I.T.H.
“F.A.I.T.H to reach the maximum score: fill the gaps, architecture of your project, impact, topic understanding and holistic approach”
This means that your proposal clearly Fills the existing gaps that the funding opportunity is addressing. Your story telling should be convincing both in the description of the problems you want to solve and in the solutions you want to get. This should be presented under the framework of a seamless Architecture of the project: the workpackages and tasks you plan should match among them as the pieces of a puzzle that, once organized in the right order, you won’t know if this is a puzzle or a painting. Indeed, you should be able to show it both in a visual and descriptive manner that the evaluators will love.
These should be reinforced with a measurable and credible prediction of Impact you will get versus the previous statu quo because, with the implementation of the project, you must demonstrate all the time an optimal Topic understanding. You have to convince, at least, three evaluators that you have perfectly understood the topic as per the way you present the relevant dots and the combination among them.
Last, but not least, you should follow a Holistic approach in all of the above. You should convince others that you have considered all the possible perspectives and show to the evaluators that you are able to provide the middle point among all. Some times this means to have on board a convincing representation of all stakeholders, other times it means to be able to avoid biased behaviours in your approach.
Have you followed our R.E.C.I.P.E., paid the F.A.R.E. and grown your F.A.I.T.H.? If the answer is Yes, then you will rock!