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Call for expressions of interest from HEIs/universities - Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme (2020)

The Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme (CDP) is an initiative of the JRC to establish strategic collaborations with higher education institutions (HEIs/universities).

25 universities selected

The CDP received 146 eligible proposals from 80 European Universities.

All proposals were evaluated and 25 were selected to start the negotiations for the collaboration agreement.

The remaining proposals were put on the list for possible future engagement.



The application process is closed.


  • HEIs/universities must originate from an EU Member State or country associated to the EU Research Programme Horizon 2020.
  • HEIs/universities must be entitled to award doctoral degrees directly and have administrative autonomy including signing agreements with external partners.

HEIs/universities must fulfil the eligibility criteria (as above) at the closing date of the call and for the duration of the collaboration agreement with the JRC (at least 5 years from the time of signature).

Institutions (such as scientific laboratories or other scientific bodies) having agreements with an HEI/university, whereby the HEI/university satisfies the second eligibility criterion and issues PhD degrees to the PhD students of those institutions, may also submit applications. In such case, these institutions and the HEI/university shall satisfy the first eligibility criterion.

In case their application is successful, the JRC will sign the CDP collaboration agreement with the HEI that delivers the PhD degree.

All applications will be checked for eligibility. Applicants with non-eligible applications will be informed after closure of the call.

Application process

HEIs/universities completed and submitted the application form (EU Survey).

A HEI/university can apply to one or more thematic fields with several proposals.

For each thematic field and proposal, a separate application shall be submitted through the application form (EU Survey) [anchor link].

The information provided in the application form is based on the respective department/institute/laboratory for the thematic field. In the application form, the HEI/university confirms that they will issue the PhD diploma.

In case of questions on the scheme or issues with EU Survey, applicants are welcome to contact the JRC at JRC-CDP@ec.europa.euwhen

Evaluation Procedure

Incomplete proposals not complying with the instructions in EU Survey are considered not eligible and will not be considered for evaluation.

The remaining eligible proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Research Reputation – 25%
  • Research Profile – 40%
  • PhD Programme – 20%
  • European/International collaborations of the Department/Institute – 15%

All applicants will be informed about the outcome of the evaluation.


All eligible applications are informed if

  • Negotiations are planned to start in the near future.
  • Applicaitons are put on a reserve list for later negotiations.

The reserve list is reviewed on an annual basis.

Following successful negotiation and signature of a CDP collaboration agreement with the HEI, topics for PhD students are agreed and calls for PhD positions published.