Are you ready to be a Horizon 2020 main applicant?

Every scientist dreams of leading and winning a big H2020 project one day. Besides receiving a  great amount of money to do research, it’s a prestigious affair and it can give your career a big boost. But how do you know if (and when) you are ready to be a H2020 main applicant? Our experts share some insights based on their years of experience in building and managing H2020 consortia and elaborate 3 distinct types of scientists that qualify to be H2020 main applicant.

H2020 main applicants

The key opinion leader

The traditional main applicant is an influential researcher, also known as a key opinion leader (KOL), who is held in high esteem by fellow scientists in the field. A KOL as main applicant brings along many advantages, including the key experience and a great network. Also, H2020 reviewers that will evaluate the project application automatically have more confidence in the project if a KOL is in charge.

So how do know if you qualify as a KOL? Ask yourself the following questions: 1) do you speak often at international conferences? 2) did you publish in major journals in the past 2 years? 3) did you help establish protocols for patient care? 4) are you an early adopters or new treatments or techniques? 5) are you regularly contacted by your colleagues for opinion or advice? If you honestly can say ”yes’’ to >3 questions, you’re probably a KOL and therefore ready to be a H2020 main applicant.

The data collector

Today, opportunities for innovation in life sciences often lie in the analysis of big data beyond its primary use. Big data has potential applications across the whole value chain, from drug discovery to the provision of front-line healthcare. Key to this new and fast scientific field is the data and of course its data collector behind it. This data collector is often a very patient and structured scientist that has spent an entire career on collecting data and networking with other collectors to get even more data. As the data is a gold mine, the data collector can be a good H2020 main applicant.

So do you have thousands of samples, preferably from a rare or difficult-to-obtain disease, and do you have many scientific friends that also have thousands of similar samples? Are these samples neatly stored, characterized and analyzed? If yes,  you’re probably a a dedicated data collector that can take on the challenges to be a H2020 main applicant.

The multidisciplinary networker

As the European Commission (EC) highly values a multidisciplinary approach to tackle societal challenges, there is another kind of H2020 main applicant: the multidisciplinary networker. These scientist are often social, creative and think outside-the-box. They know people beyond their field of expertise and are not afraid to combine immunology with robotics or neurology with social science. They just pick up the phone to talk to patient organizations and lobby groups, and correspond with scientists all over Europe, from Finland to Cyprus.

So do you have a broad scientific interests? Do you have a wide multidisciplinary network? Do you easily connect with people? If yes, you might be the ideal main applicant to build this multidisciplinary consortium that the EC is looking forward to fund.

Don’t recognize yourself?

If you do not recognize yourself in any of the 3 H2020 main applicant sub-type, do not worry. You can always contact the KOL, the data collector or the multidisciplinary networker and convince them to let you join the consortium. While it might be less glamorous to be just a project partner, there is also less hassle, hence more time to spend on your research.

Catalyze has extensive experience finding partners for research projects. Our extensive network and experienced experts in the life science, biomedical and healthcare areas will help you create a strong project with innovative partners. We can manage your funding applications from start to end or review your proposal to maximise its chances. Contact us to find out what we can do for you.


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