3rd EU Health Programme


The EU Health Programme is a financing instrument to strengthen cooperation between EU countries and support EU activities in the health sector. The 3rd EU Health Programme (2014-2020) is a seven-year programme awarding a total of € 449.4 million to projects promoting health by encouraging innovation in health and increasing the sustainability of health systems in order to protect citizens from cross-border health threats. This is done by complementing, supporting, and adding value to health policies to improve the health of EU citizens and reduce health inequalities. The programme has four main objectives:

  • Promote health, prevent disease, and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles. The focus lies on key risk factors and EU added value.
  • Protect citizens against cross-border threats to public health. The focus is on developing approaches that can be integrated in healthcare preparedness plans.
  • Contribute to innovative, efficient, and sustainable healthcare systems, focused on the development of innovative tools and mechanisms in health and health prevention.
  • Facilitate and increase access to high-quality and safe health care for EU citizens.

Each year, an annual work programme (AWP) is presented by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA), which also administers and evaluates the grant applications. In the AWP, the budget is divided into different funding instruments.  

AWP 2020 has a total budget of EUR 65,361,158, which is divided as follows:

  • Operating grants € 5,000,000*
  • Action grants € 32,155,000
  • Prizes € 400,000**
  • Procurement € 15,565,158
  • Other actions € 12,241,000**

* There are no calls for operating grants available for 2020.

** It is not possible to apply for either prizes or other actions.

The two funding mechanisms to which you can apply are grants and tenders. Whilst each comprises its own specific evaluation criteria and application guidelines, the basic guidelines are listed below.

General Criteria

  • Whilst criteria vary per call, on average, projects applying for these schemes comprise large, international consortia with both academic and non-academic partners.
  • Co-financing: Addition financial resources (by third parties or the own institution) must be available.
  • Non-profit: The grant may not have the purpose or effect of generating profit.
  • Non-retroactivity: Co-funding can only be received for costs incurred after the starting date as noted in the grant agreement.
  • Non-cumulative: Each action may give rise to the award of only one grant to any one beneficiary. 
  • The project should provide high added value at EU level.
  • The project is relevant to the objectives and priorities defined in the current AWP.
  • The project is innovative.
  • Duration is 3 years.

Who Can Apply?

  • Legally established public, non-governmental, or private bodies, including public authorities, public sector bodies, in particular research and health institutions, universities and higher education establishments, can serve as coordinators or other beneficiaries in proposals.
  • Beneficiaries have to be located in an EU member state, or in Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Moldova.

Eligible Costs

  • 60-80% of eligible costs.
  • Indirect costs are not eligible for applicants who receive an operating grant from the Union. 

Review Criteria

  • Policy and contextual relevance, specifically adding value to EU public health and a consideration of social, cultural, and political context.
  • Geographical coverage: proposed actions must be carried out in at least 3 eligible countries, in areas that have been affected by high influx of refugees.
  • Technical quality, including sound problem analysis and methodology.
  • Management quality, including quality of partnerships if applicable.
  • Overall and detailed budget, including dissemination and evaluation of the project’s results.

Evers + Manders Grant Consultants

Do you need help deciding which funding instrument is most suited to your specific research project? We are happy to assist you in finding the instrument that is most appropriate for your specific research project, and provide honest and informed insights. Contact us today to inquire about the possibilities.


This fact sheet aims to provide a quick overview of the objectives, structure, and conditions of this subsidy scheme. No conclusions can be drawn from this information. Moreover, this document has no legal status.

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