How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Pillar II

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How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Pillar II  (Horizon Europe)

(Newcomers to Pillar II)

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Overview of the Course

This course explains why some researchers (and research organisations) have high success rates in Pillar II. This course shows researchers how to screen proposal ideas, screen partners and prepare the proposal in an efficient way. The course is based on 30 years involvement in over 150 proposals. The course is also based on the evaluation of over 200 Pillar II type proposals.

(The workshop does not cover Financial Rules, Legal Rules, Ethics, Data Management etc.)


Delivery of Course: On-line (Zoom), On-site or eLearning (Recorded)

Target Audience: Researchers planning to participate in a Pillar II Proposal.

                            The course is NOT open to Private Consultants

Course Presenters: Dr. SeŠn McCarthy  and Sylvia McCarthy (EU Policy Analyst)

Duration: 90 Minutes (Delivered as two 45-minute sessions with a 15 minute break)

Bookings and Enquiries: Send an email to

Contents of Course

Module 1: How to Analyse a Pillar II Work Programme

Module 3: The Impact of Research on the EU Policy making process

Module 4: Pillar II Proposal Questions and Evaluation Criteria

Module 5: How Pillar II Proposals are Evaluated

Module 6: Guideline for Writing Pillar II Proposals

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Programme Designers and Presenters

Dr. SeŠn McCarthy

In 2021 the European Commission published a list of the top 100 universities and research organisations participating in Horizon 2020. Dr. McCarthy has delivered training courses in 78 of these top 100 universities and research organisations in Horizon 2020.SeŠn has been active in the Framework programmes since 1980. He has been involved in over 150 research proposals to the Framework programmes and has participated in over 60 Framework projects. In 16 of these projects SeŠn was the coordinator.  Today, he does not participate in the Framework programmes but concentrates on designing and delivering training courses. Since 1995 over 130,000 participants have attended his courses in 29 countries. He has presented training courses on the Framework programmes in over 290 research centres throughout Europe (


Sylvia McCarthy

Sylvia is an EU Policy Analyst. Based in Brussels since 2008, Sylvia has worked in the European Parliament and various EU consultancies and representations.
Sylvia has a Bachelorís degree in European Studies (University College Cork,Ireland) and a Masterís degree in International Politics and Europe (University of Warwick, UK).

Limitation of Liability

This webpage has been designed to help researchers prepare proposals for Horizon Europe. Every effort has been made to ensure complete and accurate information concerning the material presented in this webpage. However, Hyperion Ltd cannot be held legally responsible for any mistakes in printing or faulty instructions contained within the templates. The authors appreciate receiving notice of any errors or misprints.There are no warranties, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, made with respect to the materials or any information provided to the user herein. Neither the author nor publisher shall be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use the contents of this webpage.