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Eurostars process - Evaluating your application

After the submission deadline, all applications are evaluated in a centralised process managed by the Eureka Secretariat. The evaluation process (from submission deadline to finalisation of the funding contract) is completed within four to seven months.

Evaluation timeframe

  • Approximately four weeks after the submission deadline, you will be informed on the eligibility of your application.
  • Approximately 14 weeks after the submission deadline, a ranking list is endorsed by the Eurostars High Level Group (HLG). You will be informed by email whether your application is above or below the quality threshold to be considered for funding.
  • Approximately 19 weeks after the submission deadline, an official letter confirms that your project has been earmarked for funding by your national funding body.
  • If your project is approved for funding, the main participant must provide a copy of the final Consortium Agreement to the Eureka Secretariat within 12 weeks.

These are all the stages of our evaluation period:

1. Completeness check 

After the submission deadline, each project participant will receive an invitation to create a account where they will find a commitment and signature form to be downloaded, completed and uploaded electronically within seven days of submitting your proposal. It must be signed by a legally authorised representative of your organisation.

If you are an SME, you must also complete and return the European Commission (EC) SME declaration at the same time as your commitment and signature form through

The failure of one or more participating organisation to supply all the required documents before the specified deadline will result in the rejection of the entire application. An email will be sent to all participating partners to inform you that your application was declared incomplete.

2. Eligibility check

Eurostars applications are then checked against the 13 eligibility criteria. If any criterion cannot be met, your application will be deemed ineligible.

If your application is ineligible, an email will be sent to all participating partners.

Eligibility guidelines

3. Expert evaluation

Each application is then examined remotely by three independent experts who are commissioned by the Eureka Secretariat. The experts create a report based on criteria with scores, justifications and commentary.

Who are the experts?

Eureka’s selected experts must:

  • Hold a higher education diploma (Master’s degree or higher);
  • Possess a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in their field(s);
  • Come from a country participating in the Eurostars programme;
  • Be fluent in English.

From our pool of experts, project officers (who have a technical scientific or engineering background) match the three most suitable experts to your project application. For insurance, the project officer will identify two experts who will be kept in reserve. Experts from countries represented in your project consortia cannot evaluate your application.

In your commitment and signature form, you may request that certain organisations or individuals are excluded from evaluating your application.

Evaluation criteria

The project application is measured against the following criteria and sub-criteria:

1. Quality and efficiency of the implementation

  • Quality of the consortium
  • Added value through cooperation
  • Realistic and clearly-defined project management and planning
  • Reasonable cost structure

2. Excellence of innovation and R&D

  • Degree of innovation
  • New applied knowledge
  • Level of technical challenge
  • Technical achievability and risk

3. Impact (market and commercialisation)

  • Market size
  • Market access and risk
  • Competitive advantage
  • Clear and realistic commercialisation plans

Guide for evaluating applications

Scoring system

Your project proposal will be scored out of 6 points (with 1 being poor and 6 being excellent) according to three main criteria and 12 sub-criteria. Experts perform their evaluations independently and give unique justifications and commentary.

  • Each sub-criterion is scored out of six
  • An average is taken to establish the score for each criterion, and a total average is calculated for the three main criteria
  • The total scores of the three experts are compared to form an overall average

If the overall average for the three experts is 4.3 or higher for two or more criteria, your project will progress in the evaluation process.

If there is an outlying score given by one of the experts (a score that does not fall on the same side of the mid-point as the other two), it will be disregarded when calculating the overall average.


4. Financial viability check

The relevant national funding bodies assess the financial viability of project participants to finance the activities declared in your application. Financial viability of all the participating organisations suggests that public funding will likely be well invested.

The financial viability check is an important indication of whether there is a high risk of a project not making it to completion.

Your project won’t be automatically excluded if one or more of the participating organisations are not financially viable. However, it may be a determining factor in the next stage of the evaluation.

Financial Viability Check


5. Panel evaluation and ranking

The next phase consists of an evaluation and ranking conducted by an Independent Evaluation Panel (IEP). The IEP meet at the Eureka Secretariat in Brussels to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your application against set criteria and the other applications.

The IEP is formed of a chairperson and internationally-recognised experts in their field.

Each project application is given a score out of 200 for the three main criteria, giving a maximum total score of 600. If an application scores less than 120 points in one criterion or less than 402 points overall, it will be rejected. If your application is successful in this stage, it will be placed on the ranking list.


6. Ethics appraisal process 

The Eurostars ethics appraisal process is based on the H2020 ethics appraisal scheme, which considers any ethics issues you may have identified in your Eurostars application form.

All the shortlisted project proposals will undergo an ethics review (carried out by independent ethics experts), and there may be further checks and audits both throughout the project implementation phase and after completion.

H2020 Programme – Guide to completing your ethics self-assessment

Ethics guidelines


7. Funding synchronisation and approval

Funding is allocated to projects according to their rank on the IEP’s shortlist and each national funding body’s regulations. Projects can obtain final approval for funding in two ways.

Synchronised funding

The national funding body guarantees funding on the condition that national funding bodies in all participating countries have also agreed to fund the project. Once a guarantee of funding is given by national funding bodies in all participating countries, your project is approved.

Cascading funding

Where synchronised funding isn’t achieved, the next projects on the IEP’s shortlist are approved for funding by the national funding bodies that still have some of their budget remaining.

Receiving funding

On receiving your approval letter, each project participant must contact their National Project Coordinator (NPC) to secure their funding and fulfil any other national requirements. If you were unsuccessful in your application for funding, you can still participate in your proposed project by securing other means of funding or self-funding your project costs.  

Final Consortium Agreement

If your project is approved for funding, all project participants must sign and submit the Consortium Agreement (CA) within 12 weeks of receiving your letter of approval. We recommend that you contact a legal advisor to help with this process.

Follow the guidelines in the Consortium Agreement template, and the Horizon 2020 regulations (articles 41-49). For external support contact the European IPR Helpdesk.  

Download our template for a Consortium Agreement.

To note: The Eurostars team at the Eureka Secretariat are responsible for communicating information about the centralised evaluation process. The Eurostars team cannot communicate on national processes. We recommend that you discuss your application with your NPC if you have questions about the application and evaluation stages.