LIFE Programme: simplified process and 2018 deadlines

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One week ago, the European Commission announced a simplification to the LIFE Environment programme applications. The first of a two-stage application is to submit a concise concept note, with approximately 10 pages long. Applicants that make it through to the second stage of LIFE’s Environment sub-programme will then submit their full proposal based on feedback from the LIFE programme.

However, for the LIFE Climate Action sub-programme, the submission procedure remains unchanged. Applicants will submit full proposals from the start.14 February 2018.

Two-stage application for LIFE Environment sub-programme

for more information visit the EU Commission website

Stage 1: Concept Note

Applicants will be requested to submit a concept note in English that is approximately 10 pages long. The information that will be requested will notably include:

  • Basic information about the coordinating beneficiary
  • The environmental problem targeted (for environment and information & governance strands) / description of species, habitats, biodiversity issues targeted by the project (for nature and biodiversity strands)
  • Project objectives
  • The project partners (information on the coordinating and associated beneficiaries, and co-financers of the project)
  • Actions and means
  • Expected results and impacts of the project
  • The sustainability of project results
  • Project risks and constraints
  • The EU added value of the project (understood at this stage as the contribution to LIFE priorities and objectives)
  • The pilot or demonstration character of the project (and/or best practice for nature and biodiversity strand)
  • An indicative budget for the project

All concept notes will be evaluated against two criteria:

  • Overall quality of the proposal
  • Overall EU added value

They will then be ranked by merit. Applicants with the best ranked concept notes will be invited to stage 2: submission of their full proposal.
For more information on the evaluation criteria please refer to the Multiannual Work Programme. Please note that the evaluation and application guides will be published on the day the call opens.

Stage 2:  Full proposal

While there will be small adjustments to the full proposal forms, the information requested will not differ substantially from what has been requested in past calls for LIFE funding. You may wish to consult previous call documents for further guidance on the kind of information to provide. However, please bear in mind that only information published in the Guidelines for Applicants 2018 will be binding. As in past years, it will be possible to submit a full (stage 2) proposal in any official EU language, except Irish or Maltese. We nonetheless encourage applicants to submit their proposal in English.

Advantages for applicants

  • The submission of a concept note that is approximately 10 pages long requires less time and fewer resources than a full proposal (in case of the application is unsuccessful)
  • Applicants will receive feedback sooner on whether their proposal has a chance to be financed (has been admitted to stage 2)
  • Applicants invited to participate in stage 2 will have a higher chance of seeing their projects financed, as the competition will be open only to high ranking concept notes

Indicative timetable

Indicative timetable
Date or period Activity
mid-April 2018 Call publication
12 June 2018 (tbc) Deadline for applicants to submit concept notes to the Contracting Authority
October 2018 (tbc) Applicant notification, invitation of shortlisted applicants to submit their full proposal
January 2019 (tbc) Deadline to submit full proposals
January 2018 to June 2019 (tbc) Evaluation and revision of proposals
July 2019 (tbc) Signature of individual grant agreements
1 July 2019 (tbc) Earliest possible starting date