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You are reaching the concept and methodology section of your Horizon Europe proposal? Check with us if you have understood properly what is expected in this section.

Concept and methodology are two different things

Although both the concept and the methodology answer the question of how you are going to reach your project’s objectives, they are two different yet complementary things. The methodology derives from the concept, so you have to start with the concept description first.

The concept is more abstract than the methodology. It is the general approach to how you will solve the challenge addressed by your project. The concept includes the hypotheses that will be tested in your project and the assumptions about its expected results. They have to be based on a state of the art so show here that your concept is based on existing knowledge. However, this is also where you must prove the innovativeness of your approach.

The methodology is a more practical and precise description of your experiments
or activities of your project, how they are organised, and what the subjects and conditions of your experiments are.

Use the technology readiness levels (TRLs)

When describing your project’s concept, it is important to position it within the research to innovation funnel. For that, use the TRLs. Choose which TRL your project starts and at which TRL it will lead to. For a description of each TRL, check the Commission’s webpage dedicated to it.

Links with national and international research and innovation activities

This subsection of the concept and methodology is where you position your project among other relevant projects. Do not use this subsection to list randomly the projects your consortium has carried out in the past. Instead, clearly identify the project for which the outputs will lead to your project, as well as the other ongoing projects that might benefit from yours. To do so, conduct a project review on Cordis.

Conduct a sex and gender analysis

The sex and gender analysis is part of the concept and methodology section for a right reason: this is where you must review how your project relates to sex and gender. Have a look at our dedicated article to know more about how to conduct such an analysis.

Keep it short

It is tempting to write a very thorough state of the art and then a very detailed description of your methodology. Yet, the reviewers prefer straight-to-the point concept and methodology sections. The things you must achieve with this section are on the one hand, prove that you have an innovative yet feasible approach, and on the other hand that you know very well where your project is positioned, both in terms of TRL than in relation to other projects. You are not required to develop this section as much as in an academic paper, all the more that you have the section 3 “Implementation” to describe more precisely what will be done in the project.

To conclude, the concept and methodology section is a very critical section of a Horizon Europe proposal. This is where you define how you will address the project’s objectives. You must convince that your project is well positioned within the state of the art while being innovative enough to justify its funding.