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Using the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) to Improve Grant Proposal Writing (EIC Accelerator)

Every great grant application starts with a great project. It must be able to check all the necessary boxes from the innovation, the team, the commercialisation strategy over to the market impact but it is very common to forget how most of these factors are not directly evaluated by the reviewers.


Each of the four reviewers has to grade the proposal according to a variety of pre-defined micro-criteria. The four individual gradings of these criteria will be averaged (while removing the highest and lowest scores) and the final score will be calculated based on how the proposal performed in these distinct sections.


It is also very important to realise that the evaluation of the project is based on the proposal and not the project itself. The difference between a low score and a high score is often a week of extra writing work but entirely independent of how the project has changed during that same time. 

The official proposal template does not comment on the evaluation criteria so every writer must follow these criteria alongside the proposal template as to not miss critical information or angles which need to be addressed.


This following PDF document lists all of the evaluation criteria as they are presented in the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) which is obtained after proposal submission:



These tips are not only useful for European startups, professional writers, consultants and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) but are generally recommended when writing a business plan or investor documents.

Deadlines: Post-Horizon 2020, the EIC Accelerator accepts Step 1 submissions now while the deadlines for the full applications (Step 2) will be on June 16th 2021 and October 6th 2021 under Horizon Europe. The Step 1 applications must be submitted weeks in advance of Step 2. The next EIC Accelerator cut-off for Step 2 (full proposal) can be found here. After Brexit, UK companies can still apply to the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe albeit with non-dilutive grant applications only - thereby excluding equity-financing.

Contact: You can reach out to us via this contact form to work with a professional consultant. 

EU, UK & US Startups: Alternative financing options for EU, UK and US innovation startups are the EIC Pathfinder (combining Future and Emerging Technologies - FET Open & FET Proactive) with €4M per project, Thematic Priorities, European Innovation Partnerships (EIP), Innovate UK with £3M (for UK-companies only) as well as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants with $1M (for US-companies only). 

Any more questions? View the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

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by Stephan Segler, PhD
Professional Grant Consultant at Segler Consulting

General information on the EIC Accelerator template, professional grant writing and how to prepare a successful application can be found in the following articles: