CALL: Design your own EU project contest
Dreaming about a world with no discrimination, racism and gender inequality? Make it happen!
We believe that university students have unique, passionate ideas on how to fight discrimination, racism and gender inequality.
How about this time you tried to tame your ideas into something tangible? A bit of structure never killed somebody. Design your real project and win a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg!
The contest is organized with support of Mrs Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.
People worry that discrimination is increasing. Based on the EU Barometer survey, discrimination on various grounds was seen as more widespread in the EU in the year 2015 than was the case in 2012.[i]
- In May 2016, women accounted for 29% of members of parliaments in the EU countries.[ii]
- One in three women in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15.[iii]
Do you feel that this is not the world you wish to live in? What would you do to change it?
II. WHY, WHAT AND HOW?
Policy makers, national governments and international organisations, including the European Union, also dream about a world with no discrimination, racism, gender inequality and no violence against children, young people and women. Therefore, they adopt and implement policies to strengthen gender equality, combat all forms of discrimination, and fight racism. The European Commission’s latest objectives and planned efforts in this field are summarized in its Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020.
However, the best is achieved in cooperation. Therefore, the European Commission has earmarked a budget which it wants to share with those that have the best ideas on how to make its objectives happen in practice.
Usually, there are many good projects competing for a limited budget. To get the best for the public money, the Commission is launching calls for proposals. To select the best proposals, there are strict rules that ensure equal treatment of all participants. Therefore, all applicants must submit their project proposal in a unified structure, listing all necessary details about their action and clarifying the budget they will need.
The best selected projects are awarded a grant in order to turn their ideas into reality. Therefore, that is only the beginning of an adventure!
Would you be interested in learning more? Our contest is designed to allow university students to get a hands-on experience in the field. We’d like to encourage you to design your own project! 
III. PRIORITIES OF THE CALL
Have you got already any good ideas in your mind? Let’s get to work. Design your own project!
To help the Commission to achieve its goals, your proposal must address one of the following objectives:
- To prevent and combat racism, xenophobia, homophobia and other forms of intolerance;
- To promote equality between women and men;
- To prevent and combat all forms of violence against children, young people and women.
IV. TYPES OF ACTION
The step number One is to choose a type of action. The action is basically the content of your project. What exactly do you plan to do? Maybe you’d like to organize a meeting, conduct an interview and write a report, maybe you’d prefer to design an interactive and educative computer game or anything totally different?
As an applicant, you must propose a project covering at least one of the following types of actions:
- analytical activities, such as studies, analyses and surveys; publication of guides, reports and educational material;
- training activities, such as workshops, seminars, conferences, and the development of online training tools;
- cooperation, awareness-raising and dissemination activities, such as the identification of good practices;
- the organisation of media campaigns, including in the online media;
- any other action that you believe will contribute to one of the objectives of the call.
You should try to involve relevant target groups (such as women, children, young people or minorities) in your activities.
The projects should last for a maximum of 24 months.
V. PROJECT APPLICATION FORM
Here comes a bit of paperwork. Your ideas have to be transposed into the structure following the attached general template:
- Section 1: General information
In the General information Section, please describe your project. Don’t forget to include its title, including a short abbreviation, the duration of your project and an abstract explaining the objectives of the proposal and their relevance to one of the priorities.
- Section 2: Project description and implementation
Section 2 is a crucial – and should be the longest – part of your proposal. In the Project description and implementation, please describe what and how you want to implement your idea. Our independent jury will read your project and award their scoring.
Bear in mind that the jury will look specifically for the qualities described in the Award criteria (see Section on the Evaluation process).
To set equal rules, there’s a page limit of the maximum of 5 pages of your proposal (covering both Section 1 and 2; standard A4; Formatting: Calibri, Size 11, Spacing 1.5). All information going beyond this limit will be disregarded during the evaluation.
- Section 3: Budget for the proposal
To turn your ideas into reality, you will need energy, determination, some expert advice and also – money. The goal of this contest is to get ready for the real world. Therefore, the estimation of your financial needs must be specific and precise.
How many people there will be working on your project? What else needs to be put in place – maybe a venue for a seminar, print-outs of your final project report or fees for your new interactive educative web page?
For this section, please use the attached excel table to summarize your budget. Attention: Check the short explanation about the eligibility of costs first. And don’t forget the principle of cost-effectiveness: The grants will be awarded to those that can offer the best quality for the requested money.
VI. EVALUATION PROCESS – AWARD CRITERIA
Your proposals will be assessed by an independent jury against the following award criteria. In other words, this is what we look for in your proposal, so make sure you address and explain these aspects clearly:
- Relevance to the priorities of the call: 10
- Quality of the proposed action: 40
- European added value of the project: 10
- Expected results and long-term impact: 30
- Cost-effectiveness: 10
Eligibility of costs
When drafting your budget, have a look first at the attached excel table. What type of expenditures do you need to cover?
In addition, keep in mind the following important principles:
- No-profit rule – The grants are not meant to generate profit. Your income should match your expenditures which need to be spent in order to turn your project into reality.
- Principle of co-financing – The European Commission usually does not finance the entire project. The grant cannot constitute more than 80 percent of the overall eligible project costs. You’re expected to calculate for a part of the project from other sources, e.g. own resources, income generated by the project or financial contributions from third parties other than the EC.
The following costs are eligible, meaning that they can be paid from the budget of the grant:
- Personnel costs
How many people would you need to turn your project into reality? How much time do they need to work on the project? In real projects, there are different ways how to calculate their salaries. In our case, calculate all personnel costs as costs per hour per person. How much is that? That’s up to you to figure out!
2. Travel costs
Would you need to travel to a seminar you plan to organize? Claim your costs accordingly. Calculate an estimation of travel costs, hotel accommodation and daily allowances.
3. Purchase of goods and services
Would you like the public to read the conclusions of your project? Do you need to publish your final report? Do you plan to organize an event as a part of your project? How much would you need to rent a venue or prepare catering?
Usually, extraordinary types of costs are ineligible and therefore cannot be paid under the grant. In our case, we want to be flexible. If you have a great project idea that does not fit the usual boxes, claim your costs as ‘Other’. Don’t forget to explain the details in the second part of the budget excel sheet.
VII. SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Is your project ready?
Please submit your proposal (in the attached template, including the budget excel sheet) via e-mail with a subject title “Design your own EU Project Contest” to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 21 May 2017 23.59 CET.
This is important! Any proposal submitted late cannot be considered.
Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Award criteria … serve as guidance for evaluators to ensure equal treatment. In other words, award criteria describe the important requirements which should be met by the proposal.
Beneficiary is … the successful applicant who receives the funding for their project.
Eligible costs … types of expenditures used for your project that can be claimed and paid for under a grant.
Equal treatment … means that every project is evaluated based on its merits and there is no discrimination or preferential treatment. The best ones win!
Grant is … money received for realisation of your idea, your project.
Proposal is … your project put into the structured way which can be submitted as a request for a grant.
X. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Applicants are invited to consult the following legal documents:
- REGULATION (EU) No 1381/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 December 2013 establishing a Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme for the period 2014 to 2020;
- Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) no 1605/2002, (the Financial Regulation), as amended;
- Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1268/2012 of 29 October 2012 on the rules of application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, (the Rules of Application of the Financial Regulation), as amended.
Would you appreciate further readings? Let us know!
 The European Commission believes in cooperation going beyond national borders. Therefore, if your project expands further beyond the Czech Republic (e.g. sharing best practices across borders, project implemented in more countries, etc.), while still addressing the problem in the Czech Republic, you might get up to 10 extra points for the ‘European added value of the project’.
 To learn more about the procedure of the selection of the best projects, you may wish to check the Financial Regulation and the Rules for Participation (references below).
 This contest is designed for educative purposes only, therefore, no financial contribution will be awarded to the selected proposals.
[i] Special Eurobarometer 437: Discrimination in the EU in 2015: Summary. Published in October 2015. Available online at DG JUST [online]; [cit. 2017-02-16].
[ii] DG JUST [online]; [cit. 2017-02-16].
[iii] EC: DG JUST [online]; [cit. 2017-02-12].