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Improving the evidence base regarding the impact of sustainability and climate change education and related learning outcomes
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The dimension of “sustainability and greening of education and training systems” is still relatively new in the EU context. Through the Commission’s proposal on learning for environmental sustainability as well as European sustainability competence framework – both published in 2022 – EU Member States/Associated countries have received new impetus to implement education and training related to the environment and sustainability. For effective policy-making, including development and revision of curricula and study programmes, it is necessary to assess and monitor the impact that sustainability-related education has. The objective of this project is therefore to better understand and to provide recommendations on how to measure what learners actually learn and how this influences mind-set and actions on sustainability at the individual and collective level.
Projects should therefore:
- Address both inputs to and outcomes of learning and the processes that link them: Methods that address impact assessment of learning outcomes require taking into account commitment (e.g. legislation, policy measures, top-level strategies and action plans), context (governance, structure of education system) implementation (e.g. funding, governance, curricula, teacher training, sustainable infrastructure and resource management) and results (e.g. learning outcomes in terms of skills and competences).
- Capture the lifelong learning scope and ambition of learning for sustainability: to do so, it will be important to widen the current focus of monitoring pupils and students (mainly at secondary level) to both younger and older generations. Moving beyond formal learning and even beyond education to measuring impact in the wider economy and society requires taking into account contextual factors - both education-related and non-educational - that might influence learning outcomes.
- Address novel concepts and competences put forward in sustainability and climate change education, such as participatory and challenge-based education, living labs, exploratory and futures thinking. Such approaches encourage learners to imagine and create what does not yet exist, yet they are difficult to capture with pre-defined targets and indicators. Research should therefore go beyond test-based student assessment, which often serves to monitor and measure impact and progress in the area and include aspects such as links with the local community or interdisciplinary, hands-on and socio-emotional approaches, which are crucial for effective learning for sustainability.
Actions should envisage clustering activities with relevant projects and initiatives, such as the two Horizon 2020 projects ECF4CLIM and GreenSCENT, the GreenComp (the European sustainability competence framework developed by the JRC) for cross-projects cooperation, consultations and joint activities on crosscutting issues, to share their results, as well as to participate in joint meetings and communication events. To this end, proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.
Projects are requested to develop the following outputs:
- A set of indicators to monitor progress in implementing such education measures.
- A mapping of policy evaluation methods, monitoring frames and indicators and their relation with approaches and programs in the area of sustainability and climate change education, in EU Member States/Associated countries and internationally, with the objective to identify best practices and reproducible solutions. This should build on work developed during the UN Decade in Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) and the Global Action Programme for Sustainable Development (GAP), which include a “Global Monitoring and Evaluation Framework” as well as evaluation and assessment of impacts through large-scale testing (including international assessments, such as PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS), project-based monitoring/assessment, surveys, etc.
- Definition of suitable areas for assessment of the impact of education policies/interventions (e.g. measurement of skills/competence of learners, educators; investment in green education; link between education and engagement in sustainability and climate action; effective communication strategies; training of professionals).
- A comprehensive assessment model on the basis of a wide range of indicators (e.g. capturing commitments, implementation and results).
- A methodology tailored for conducting impact assessments and evaluations of policies on learning for sustainability (taking into account inputs, processes, context, outcomes), addressed to and adaptable to different education and training approaches and levels in a life-long learning context (i.e. early childhood education and care, school, vocational education and training (VET) and higher education, citizen science, non-formal learning).
- Running of minimum 2 case studies using the developed methodology.
This topic also requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
Project(s) are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- A better understanding of which interventions and measures are effective to produce intended but also novel learning outcomes needed for the green transition of our society and economy.
- Improved methods for measuring impact and implementation of sustainability and climate-related education.
- Better feedback-loops between improved output-oriented monitoring of sustainability and climate-related education and education policy-related decision-making, including planning and reorienting curricula and programmes, to ensure that policy and programmes remain relevant and effective.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible
other eligibility criteria
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.