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Mastering the Impact Section of a HE Grant Proposal: A Guide to Writing Compelling Impact Paragraphs

Do you want to secure funding for your innovative project? If so, you need to craft a compelling Horizon Europe grant proposal that clearly outlines the expected outcomes of your project and its potential impact on society, the economy, and the environment. One of the key sections of the Horizon Europe grant proposal is the impact section, which provides an opportunity to demonstrate the importance and relevance of your project and how it aligns with the program objectives. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of writing powerful impact paragraphs for your Horizon Europe grant proposal. From introducing the expected impacts of your project and demonstrating their relevance to the European policies and priorities, to addressing potential barriers and showcasing the wider impacts of your project, we will provide you with tips and strategies for crafting a strong and effective impact section. Whether you are a small and medium-sized enterprise, a research and technology organization, or a large corporation, this blog will help you master the impact section of your Horizon Europe grant proposal and increase your chances of success in securing funding for your innovative project.


The impact section of a Horizon Europe grant proposal is a crucial part of the document. It outlines the expected outcomes of the project and its potential impact on society, the economy, and the environment. It is an opportunity for you applicants to demonstrate the importance and relevance of your project and how it aligns with the program objectives.

The impact section should clearly identify the expected impacts of the project, both short-term and long-term. These impacts can be scientific, economic, societal, or environmental. It is essential to ensure that the impacts are measurable, realistic, and relevant to the project's objectives.

When writing the impact section, it is also important to consider the target audience. The proposal reviewers will assess the potential impact of the project based on the information provided in the impact section. Therefore, it is crucial to use clear and concise language that is accessible to a broad audience. To make the impact section more compelling, it is recommended to use visual aids such as graphs, tables, and infographics to illustrate the expected impacts. These visual aids can help convey complex information in an accessible and understandable manner, making it easier for the reviewers to understand the project's potential. In this blog, we will show you how to write the sub-paragraphs of Section 2.1 of your impact section (Project’s pathways towards impact) including scientific and technological impacts, economic impacts, societal impacts, environmental impacts, impact evaluation, and dissemination and exploitation. By following these tips, you can create a strong and compelling impact section that will increase your chances of success in the Horizon Europe grant application process.

Outline:


Introduction

Start by briefly introducing the expected impacts of you project and their relation to the European policies addressed in the topic description. Your aim is to demonstrate, since the beginning of your impact section, how your project aligns with the program objectives and priorities and how it can contribute to the broader European research and innovation agenda.

For example, if your project aims to develop new technologies for energy-efficient buildings, you can highlight how it will contribute to the European Union's climate and energy targets and support the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy. By clearly demonstrating the relevance and importance of your project in relation to the European policies and priorities, you can create a strong and compelling impact section that will increase your chances of success in the Horizon Europe grant application process.


Project’s pathways towards impact

Once your introduction completed, you should start by addressing your project’s impact and their relation to the work program. You can do this by addressing 4 main paragraphs:

  1. The expected outcomes under the selected topic.

  2. The expected outcomes in relation to the topics’ destination.

  3. The wider impact.

  4. The potential barriers and how to overcome them.


Impact section 2.1


Showing the significance of your project in relation to the topic's expected impacts

When writing the impact section of your Horizon Europe grant proposal, it is important to start by introducing the expected impacts of your project and their relation to the impacts expected under the topic. This will help demonstrate how your project aligns with the specific objectives and priorities outlined in the call and how it can contribute to addressing the challenges and opportunities identified in the topic description. By clearly demonstrating the relevance and importance of your project in relation to the expected impacts under the topic, you can create a strong and compelling impact section that will increase your chances of success in the Horizon Europe grant application process. You can access the expected outcomes under the “Topic Description” of your selected topic. You can find more information on the Funding and Tenders European portal1.

Showing the significance of your project in relation to the topic's destination

In Horizon Europe, "destinations" refer to the long-term societal challenges identified in the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan2, which aim to address the major issues facing Europe and the world. The Horizon Europe Strategic Plan sets out five interrelated and interconnected categories of impacts, which are intended to guide the overall direction of the program and funding opportunities:

  1. A Climate-neutral, Green, and Circular Europe.

  2. A Europe fit for the Digital Age.

  3. An Economy that Works for People.

  4. A Europe Ready for Health Emergencies.

  5. A More Resilient, Inclusive, and Democratic Europe.

These destinations reflect the broader societal challenges that Horizon Europe aims to address, and they provide a strategic framework for the program's funding opportunities. When writing the impact section of your Horizon Europe grant proposal, it is important to demonstrate how your project aligns with the relevant impact category and how it can contribute to addressing the key challenges and opportunities identified under the corresponding destination. You can find this category of expected outcome under the “Destination” part of your topic description. You can find more information on the Funding and Tenders European portal1.


Addressing the wider impact

The wider impact paragraph is a critical part of the impact section as it provides an overview of the expected scientific, environmental, societal, and economic impacts of the project. To write a compelling wider impact paragraph, you should clearly identify the expected impacts of your project and how they align with the relevant destination and the program objectives.

One way to structure the wider impact paragraph is to address the different types of impacts separately, such as scientific, environmental, societal, and economic impacts.

Scientific impacts:

You can describe how your project will contribute to advancing the state of the art in the relevant scientific and technological fields, creating new knowledge, and enabling breakthroughs. You can also describe how your project will address key research challenges and gaps, and how it will contribute to the development of new technologies and approaches.

impact section

Environmental impacts:

You can describe how your project will contribute to achieving the sustainability objectives of the relevant destination, if possible, in relation to the Green Deal3. You can, thus, address reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting resource efficiency, or protecting biodiversity. You can also describe how your project will address key environmental challenges and opportunities, and how it will contribute to the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy.

Societal impacts:

You can describe how your project will contribute to addressing key social challenges and opportunities, such as improving public health, enhancing social inclusion, or promoting cultural diversity. You can also describe how your project will contribute to improving the quality of life for individuals and communities, and how it will create new opportunities and benefits for society. You can also address educational impacts and new job creation under this subsection.

Economic impacts:

You can describe how your project will contribute to creating new markets and industries, boosting economic growth, creating jobs, and improving competitiveness. You can also describe how your project will contribute to enhancing the innovation capacity of the relevant sector or industry, and how it will support the development of new products and services.

Addressing Barriers to Achieving Your Project's Expected Outcomes in a Horizon Europe Grant Proposal

In the impact section of your Horizon Europe grant proposal, it is important to not only describe the expected impacts of your project but also to address any potential barriers that may prevent the project from achieving its intended outcomes. Your aim is to demonstrate that you have carefully considered the potential challenges and risks associated with the project and have a clear plan to overcome them.


barrier_Impact

To address potential barriers and requirements to overcome them, you can start by identifying the main challenges associated with the project and how they may impact the expected outcomes. Then, you can describe the strategies and measures that you will put in place to overcome these challenges and ensure that the project achieves its intended outcomes. The barriers are mainly related to the key external factors that might affect your projects. These factors can be political, economic, sociological, technological, legal, or environmental.

For example, if your project involves developing new technologies for sustainable agriculture, you may face challenges such as regulatory barriers, technical limitations, or resistance from stakeholders. To address these challenges, you can describe the measures that you will put in place to overcome them, such as engaging with regulators and stakeholders to address their concerns, investing in research and development to overcome technical limitations, or developing a clear communication strategy to raise awareness about the benefits of your technology.

It is also important to describe any specific requirements that need to be met to overcome these barriers, such as additional funding, expertise, or partnerships.


To conclude

In the end, it's important to make sure that your impact section is as strong as possible if you want to have a good shot at getting funding for your Horizon Europe grant proposal. You've got to be able to clearly explain what your project is all about and why it's so important. You need to make sure that your expected impacts are well thought out and measurable.

It's also crucial to think about who you're writing for and make sure that your language is clear and easy to understand. If you're able to add some visual aids to help illustrate your points, that can be helpful too. Of course, you also want to be sure to address any potential barriers that might come up during the project and explain how you plan to overcome them. And finally, you should do your best to show the reviewers the bigger picture of what your project could mean for society, the economy, and the environment.

Overall, writing a strong impact section is a important part of the Horizon Europe grant proposal process. By following the tips and strategies we've shared in this blog, you can improve your chances of getting the funding you need to turn your innovative project into a reality. So, don't be afraid to dive in and start working on your impact section today!

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