Joint Calls | JPI OCEANS

Joint Calls

Joint calls are competitive procedures whereby bottom-up proposed projects are selected and cooperatively funded by partners within JPI Oceans. Joint calls, though not the primary aim of JPI Oceans, will form one of the standard instruments for implementing aspects of the strategic research agenda of JPI Oceans.

Design and management

JPI Oceans covers an extraordinarily broad field in terms of candidate topics for joint calls, possible participants and types of actions. Consequently, no single set of rules will fulfil the diverse needs required by joint funding actions within JPI Oceans. Most actions will be planned and prepared on a case-by-case basis, allowing for variable geometry and procedural flexibility.

Collaboration and governance

Joint calls require the participation of a minimum of two countries represented in JPI Oceans. They agree to jointly fund a call for proposals and act as funding partners. There is no upper limit to the number of countries who can act as funding partners of a joint call.

Call procedures

Before publishing the joint call, the funding partners should develop a joint vision on the topic(s) for the call and define the structure of eligible projects. The management committee may install a call preparation committee, consisting of experts in the broader field of the joint call, which advises on the content of the call.

Project monitoring and evaluation

Funded projects are administrated by national organizations (usually funding agencies) of the funding partners. Applicants are supposed to report yearly to their national agencies which forward the reports to the lead agency. The call procedure as well as the research projects will be evaluated. The management committee is responsible for these evaluation and can nominate an evaluation committee. The management committee may organize symposia to bring together representatives and researchers from funded projects. The funding partners jointly cover the costs of such meetings.

Funding models for the implementation of joint calls

Different funding models can be adopted for the implementation of joint calls. The ERA-LEARN toolbox and the JOREP report offer an overview and description of different possibilities. When barriers to cross-border funding are high, participants tend to opt for different virtual common pot models. In the absence of barriers for transnational funding, true common pot models are to be preferred above alternative models. EC rules will have to be followed if the joint call makes use of EC funding instruments.

When dealing with trans-national calls and virtual common pots, the proposals have to be designed taking into account also the availability of funds for the activities developed by partners from different countries. This requires a sort of risk-assessment for accessing the national funds and therefore in selecting partners and activities, independently from their quality and necessity to be involved (ERA-NET Cofund guide to consortia). 

In-kind and cofund contribution and top-up distribution in the eranet scheme/art. 185

The EC funding towards joint research actions from Member States was usually channelled through the ERANET, ERANET Plus and art. 185 with the aim to create leverage effect on the national funds to be coordinated. Horizon 2020 will have a more comprehensive and flexible instrument for coordinating national programmes which will merge the ERANET, ERANET Plus in the so called “ERA-NET cofund”. The national contribution requested to access the EC contribution (the so called top-up) has been mostly committed in terms of fresh money, but there are some exceptions.


  • JPI Oceans call for proposals may or may not use EC funding instruments. EC funding rules will apply in the latter case.
  • JPI Oceans calls for proposals should make use of a lead agency procedure in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and increase efficiency.
  • Funding partners of JPI Oceans calls for proposals should sign a MoU before embarking on joint calls. The MoU defines the joint call and the tasks and responsibilities of the funding partners and all call implementation bodies.
  • Depending on call complexity and the envisaged time frame, JPI Oceans calls for proposals can be implemented as one-step (only full proposals) or two-step (pre- and full proposals) procedures.
  • JPI Oceans calls for proposals should allow for the use of in-kind contributions, either within individual projects or as overall contribution to a call.
  • JPI Oceans calls for proposals (without EC participation) are most likely to use a virtual common pot model for funding. Mixed common pot models can be used if EC-instruments such as EraNet+ are used.
  • JPI Oceans calls for proposals should make use of a balancing pot of pre-defined size to avoid funding imbalances which can result from mismatches between national funding possibilities and national representation in highly-ranked proposals.



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