The new two stage application process for LIFE Environment projects


The LIFE programme has introduced a new two stage approach for the Environment sub-programme. The first stage is a concept note, approximately 10 pages long. Applicants that make it through to the second stage of LIFE's Environment sub-programme will then submit their full proposal based on feedback from the LIFE programme.

For the LIFE Climate Action sub-programme, the submission procedure remains unchanged, i.e. applicants will only submit a full proposal.


Stage 1: Concept Note

Applicants will be requested to submit a concept note in English that is ~10 pages long. The information that will be requested will notably include:

  • Basic information about the Coordinating Beneficiary
  • The environmental problem targeted (for Environment & Resource Efficiency and Environmental Governance & Information priority areas); description of species, habitats, biodiversity issues targeted by the project (for Nature & Biodiversity priority areas)
  • Project objectives
  • The project partners (information on the Coordinating and Associated Beneficiaries, and Co-financers of the project)
  • Actions and means
  • Expected results and impacts of the project
  • The sustainability of project results
  • Project risks and constraints
  • The EU added value of the project (understood at this stage as the contribution to LIFE priorities and objectives)
  • The pilot or demonstration character of the project (and/or best practice for Nature & Biodiversity priority areas)
  • An indicative budget for the project


All concept notes will be evaluated against two criteria:

  • Overall quality of the proposal
  • Overall EU added value


Concept notes will then be ranked by merit. Applicants with the best ranked concept notes will be invited to the second stage: submission of their full proposal. The evaluation and application guides will be published once the 2018 Call opens, which we expect to be in April 2018.


Stage 2:  Full proposal

While there will be small adjustments to the full proposal forms, the information requested will not differ substantially from what has been requested in past calls for LIFE funding. We expect the 2018 Call to be launched in April alongside the 2018 Guidelines for Applicants.


Indicative timetable for 2018 Call

The indicative* timeline for the Environment sub-programme for the 2018 Call is as follows:

Date or period


mid-April 2018

Call publication

12 June 2018 (tbc)

Deadline for applicants to submit concept notes to the Contracting Authority

October 2018 (tbc)

Applicant notification, invitation of shortlisted applicants to submit their full proposal

January 2019 (tbc )

Deadline to submit full proposals

January 2018 to June 2019 (tbc)        

Evaluation and revision of proposals

July 2019 (tbc)

Signature of individual grant agreements

1 July 2019 (tbc)

Earliest possible starting date for 2018 projects


The Climate sub-programme is expected to have a similar timings to the 2017 Call, i.e. a deadline for full submissions is expected in September 2018 with successful projects commencing in July 2019.


*Dates will be confirmed once the 2018 Call has been launched in April.