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Resilience and mental wellbeing of the health and care workforce
|Funding Program||Horizon Europe - Cluster 1 - Destination 4: Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care|
|Call budget||€ 20,000,000.00|
|Estimated EU contribution per project||between € 4,000,000.00 and € 6,000,000.00|
|Link to the call||ec.europa.eu|
|Link to the submission||ec.europa.eu|
A resilient workforce in the health and care sectors is essential for the sustainability and prosperity of our societies. However, careers in the health and care sector can be physically and mentally taxing by submitting health professionals and carers to psychosocial risks (for example heavy workload, stressful working conditions, risk of exposure to infectious agents, precariousness, ethical stress etc.). Many health professionals and carers also commute to work or have migrated to work in a new country. This adds to the struggle of health and care systems to attract new people to their workforce, but also to maintain the ones already working. A combination of factors such as changes in work organisation, budgetary and administrative pressures faced by health and care systems, systemic shortages of health professionals, precarious working conditions, structural inequalities and leaps in technological innovation may leave health and care workers with feelings of helplessness, physical or mental vulnerability or moral injury.
Technological innovations (including digitisation, big data and artificial intelligence applications) provide opportunities for a more efficient provision of health and care services, and for lightening the workload of health and care workers. However, they also create new risks, potentially affecting the mental wellbeing of the workforce. For example, new skills, requirements, new organisational models, performance monitoring by algorithms, lack of control or accountability in workplace decisions, ethical questions, are elements that can increase stress and hamper the ability of health and care workers to function in their jobs on a daily basis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on health and care workers’ resilience and exacerbated mental health issues that were already a problem pre-pandemic, ranging from anxiety due to increased workload to burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder. Informal carers suffer from similar stress, potentially caused by different factors, such as the need to provide care which keeps them away from employment and puts them at an increased risk of poverty. Lack of acknowledgement that one’s mental health is deteriorating, barriers to seeking help or the stigma that still surrounds mental illness may impede people from addressing such problems early enough. Different socio-economic groups are affected to different extents: in emerging virus outbreaks prior to the COVID-19 pandemic lower educational level among other things was associated with higher risk for adverse psychological outcomes among health workers.
Successful proposals should address several of the following activities:
Proposals can identify one or more worker groups or informal carers as target of R&I activities, based on credible scientific criteria.
This topic requires the effective contribution of social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, health and care professionals associations and (informal) carers associations, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
All projects funded under this topic are strongly encouraged to participate in networking and joint activities, as appropriate. Therefore, proposals should include a budget for the attendance to regular joint meetings and may consider covering the costs of any other potential joint activities without the prerequisite to detail concrete joint activities at this stage. The details of these joint activities will be defined during the grant agreement preparation phase.
With women making up over 70% of EU health care professionals and employees in the care sector and a great part of informal carers, an appropriate gender approach is essential in research and policy interventions, to prevent or mitigate workplace inequalities and imbalances. Researchers and policymakers should also take into account the inclusion dimension, as a significant share of health professionals or care workers typically come from minority groups, whether through declared or undeclared work.
Proposals should consider potential synergies and avoid overlaps with ongoing calls or actions funded under EU or national programmes for example the future cofunded partnership on Transforming Health and Care Systems (THCS).
Proposals are encouraged to take into account, when relevant, the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work (2021-2027), the report on mental health and most importantly, the recommendations and analysis presented in the Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health (EXPH) opinion on supporting the mental health of the health workforce and of other essential workers.
Applicants envisaging to include clinical studies should provide details of their clinical studies in the dedicated annex using the template provided in the submission system. See definition of clinical studies in the introduction to this work programme part.
|Expected effects and impacts|
|Regions / countries for funding||EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)|
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
|eligible entities||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:
Applications may be submitted by one or more legal entities, which may be established in a Member State, Associated Country or, in exceptional cases and if provided for in the specific call conditions, in another third country.
In recognition of the opening of the US National Institutes of Health’s programmes to European researchers, any legal entity established in the United States of America is eligible to receive Union funding.
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.
Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation,
Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship,
Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT,
Health, Social Services, Sports
|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:
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.
The award criteria are described in General Annex D. The following exceptions apply: The thresholds for each criterion will be 4 (Excellence), 4 (Impact) and 3 (Implementation). The cumulative threshold will be 12.
|Call documents|| HE-Work Programme 2023-2024, Cluster 1, Destination 4 (379kB)
|Contact||National Contact Points for Horizon Europe |
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