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Project groups: Design of European Research



In this course you will apply your knowledge and skills acquired in the Big Issues New Answers course in writing and defending a full research proposal, formulated according to the guidelines of the Horizon 2020 Program of the European Union. Many of the topics in EU/H2020 relate to the interdisciplinary problems surrounding sustainability. Applications for an EU/H2020 project follow a specific process, with its own terminology. It involves finding partners from other countries, presenting an extensive state-of-the-art report and submitting a detailed schedule (GANTT). You will learn about this in a project group, by imitating the submission procedure as closely as possible, including a presentation and writing a rebuttal to the evaluation of your proposal. A visit to the European Parliament in Brussels will be part of the programme.

Course objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:
1. work in an interdisciplinary team to address a complex sustainability problem;
2. understand the EU/H2020 procedure and use this understanding to write your own project proposal;
3. use the vocabulary of project management, including terms like deliverables, milestones, GANTT chart, impacts, etc., and design and implement a schedule;
4. write and present a realistic project proposal, including finding partners in other countries;
5. defend your project proposal in a rebuttal to the evaluation by a committee.

Teaching methods and exams

After a few introductory lectures to introduce you to EU-level project management, you will join a tutorial group with the assignment to write a project proposal. The draft version will be evaluated by a course lecturer (acting as the EU’s evaluation committee) as well as by your fellow students. You will be asked to write a rebuttal in response to this evaluation and to present your final proposal. The final mark for this course will be an average of the marks awarded to the project proposal, evaluation and rebuttal, rounded off on the basis of the final presentation and your active contributions to the group.

Timetable and examination dates

The course is from 11 November – 18 December 2015. The final presentation of the proposal is 18 December. Students have to submit their final proposal on 14 December.


Students have to enroll in Blackboard. All the lecture notes, announcements, the schedule, assignments, etc. can be found there.

Admission requirements

To take part in the course Project groups: Design of European Research students must have followed the previous course Big Issues New Answers.