Tips for applicants
There are a lot of things you can do to increase your chances of submitting a successful proposal. The following tips are based on feedback from applicants and IMI staff observations when going through proposals.
Start working early
Putting together a consortium and preparing a short proposal takes a lot of time. We usually publish indicative information on forthcoming Calls for proposals several weeks before Calls for proposals are formally launched. To stay up to date on news of forthcoming Call topics:
- Visit the Future Topics page of the IMI website regularly
- Follow us on Twitter
- Join our LinkedIn group
- Sign up to our monthly newsletter
It is a good idea to start working as soon as basic information on a topic is available. Note however that information on forthcoming Call topics is indicative and subject to the final approval of the IMI Governing Board. If and when a topic is launched as part of an IMI Call for proposals, read the final version of the topic text carefully as things may have changed compared to earlier versions of the text.
Webinars and info days are an excellent way to ensure you understand the Call topics as well as IMI’s rules and procedures. They also represent a good opportunity to network and find potential partners. We advertise our events via the website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the newsletter. Other organisations (e.g. IMI States Representatives Group members, National Contact Points, and national pharmaceutical associations) also organise events locally. For the latest information on these events and details of how to register, contact your local representative. We also publish information on local events on the Events page of the website.
Individual researchers are not eligible to receive funding through IMI Calls for proposals – you will need to join or form a consortium. Advice on how to find project partners can be found on our Finding Partner page. When building a consortium, you should consider including a diverse range of partners, such as patients and small and medium-sized enterprises, as these groups can bring unique insights, knowledge and resources to a project. You should also think about how best to engage with regulatory authorities - even if they are not full project partners, if your project has regulatory impacts, you will need to interact with them from the beginning of the project. Guidance on interactions with regulatory authorities can be found in the 'Documents for projects' section of this page.
Read and understand the Call documents
Read all the Call documents carefully and make sure you understand what is required of you. This may take some time, but this should be considered as an investment.
If something in the Call documents is unclear, or if you have any questions about the Call topics or the rules and procedures, contact us – it’s our job to help you. If certain questions crop up frequently, or pick up on a point that is not clear in the Call documents, a Questions & Answers document may be published on the Call page.
Make sure you address the requirements of the topic
The topic texts set out, in some detail, the objectives of the project, what the EFPIA and Associated Partners will contribute to the project, and what is expected of the applicant consortium. When preparing your proposal, you should ensure that you address all these points and that your consortium includes all the expertise needed to carry out the tasks expected of it. Proposals that are off topic, or that don’t have the expertise required, will not be successful.
Don’t forget to address any ethical issues
This speaks for itself!
Don’t forget the basics
While much of your focus will understandably be on the scientific details of your application, make sure you don’t neglect the basic requirements for the Call and respect the basic eligibility criteria: make sure your consortium has the right number and type of partners, for example.
Application format: The Call documents explain how you should submit your proposal and these rules must be respected. IMI does not accept proposals submitted by e-mail, for example.
The deadline: The deadline is always set out in the Call documents. Proposals submitted after the deadline will be rejected. The online submission tool usually opens at the same time as the Call. As it takes some time to enter all the information, applicants are advised to start working on this as soon as possible. It is possible to save an application and come back to it. When you are ready to formally submit the proposal, remember that there may be a delay of a few seconds after you have pressed the last button before the proposal submission is registered. We therefore advise you not to wait until the very last minute to submit your application. If you experience technical difficulties with the submission tool (especially on the day of the deadline), take screenshots of the problem and contact the IMI programme office immediately.
The evaluators aren’t psychic
Your proposal will be evaluated by a panel of independent experts, and although they are extremely smart and know their subject area inside out, they do not have psychic powers. You should therefore ensure your proposal is well written and includes all the information the reviewers will need to assess it. The evaluation form is online and tells you what the evaluators are looking for.