Frequently Asked Questions

2. How to prepare the organisation to work internationally?

The organisation development strategy:

  • Increases the chance of success - by clearly naming the organization's priorities and goals for development.
  • Influences the organization's image - showing that the organization knows where it is going and why.
  • Increases the level of the organization preparedness for the implementation of key tasks – since it is clear to everyone what is currently important.
  • Increases the level of team involvement – centered around achieving common goals.
  • Affects Stakeholders and potential partners - allowing the organization to be presented as a professional organization with a vision of development.
  • Helps while applying for external funds - a well-assessed project are the ones where the activities proposed are a part of the organization's development strategy.
  • It is an effective tool in building relations with the business sector entities - allowing you to clearly and coherently present your organization and its goals.
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3. How to start the international work?

The answer to this question may be different for different grant programmes, so it is recommended to check the chosen programme guidelines each time.

In general, the minimum number of partners is:
- A minimum of two partners, from two different countries covered by the programme, in the case of bilateral cooperation projects (e.g. cross-border cooperation programs, such as Poland - Lithuania or Poland - Germany).
- A minimum of three partners, from three different countries covered by the programme, for partnership cooperation projects.

It is worth considering an invitation to cooperation at least one partner more than the applicable minimum.

Then, if one of the partners withdraws from the project implementation (which happens very rarely, but it happens), it will be still possible to continue the project.

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The most common transnational cooperation models are:

  • Exchange of information and good practices;
  • Parallel development of solutions;
  • Import/export/adaptation of new solutions;
  • Common organisation of events/developing common “products” (such as, for ex. a training programme, a publication, an exhibition, a theatre show etc.);
  • Educational mobilities of the key staff of the organization in order to: participate in a course/ training; job shadowing; conducting classes abroad.

Several different cooperation models can coexist in one project.

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Possible project partners should meet three criteria:

  • Thematic and content-related affinity (but not necessarily from the same field of work, since complementary approaches can generate added value, for example)
  • At best, experience in the field (depending on project requirements)
  • Good communication channels

Three ways of finding a partner are recommended:

  • Request already known organizations
  • Partner search via project search
  • Partner search via partner platforms

If you do not yet have contacts to organisations in Europe, it is recommended above all to find organisations through EU projects that have already been carried out, because these organisations already have experience in international cooperation and can usually be regarded as serious. More information about 2) and 3) can be found here.

The size of the organisations can vary greatly within a project. You can/should also contact larger organisations for partner acquisition. These can possibly add value to the project due to their resources.

It is also helpful to create a profile on platforms such as EPALE and fill it with information about your own organisation in order to attract the attention of other organisations. More information on platforms can be found here.

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4. What are the funding possibilities?

Each funding programme is different in terms of geographical location, thematic focus and type of funding. It should also be noted that each funding programme has specific thematic priorities for the individual funding period and in some cases the National Agencies set their own national/regional funding priorities. In order to increase the chances of success, these should be taken into account especially in the conception and application process. In addition, it is advisable to keep yourself informed about the individual calls of the appropriate funding channels in order to be able to react to a suitable call.

The suitable funding programme can be determined on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Local location of the project and the project partners and geographical focus of the funding programme
  • Thematic embedding in the funding programme
  • Type of financing (full or partial financing)
  • Thematic priorities of the funding period
  • Project durations of the funding programmes

Further information on the funding programmes can be found here and the funding programme search here.

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It is highly recommended to conduct information and counselling interviews before submitting the application in order to be able to adapt the project idea according to the formal and content-related criteria of the funding institution and minimise weaknesses. Depending on the funding programme, other institutions are responsible for this. It is important to decide which funding programme the project should be submitted to and to find out about the respective funding body/national agency afterwards. Contact details can be often found on the websites of the funding bodies/national agencies. An overview of individual funding programmes can be found here.

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5. How to make a good mobility project application (for upgrading competences abroad)?

Funding applications are different for each funding programme and for each call. As soon as a project is to be submitted, it is necessary to carefully study the funding guidelines and funding criteria. Likewise, the funding requirements and required materials should be researched in advance in order to be able to submit the funding documents collectively.

Funding applications are usually submitted via an online form with a predefined number of characters. Please note that especially the more detailed project description and shorter project summary (with the project objectives) are very well prepared. A time schedule, a budget plan and a partner description are also necessary. Time can be saved here if these details have been worked out in advance and obtained from the partner organisations. A precise style of expression is highly recommended. If possible, the given characters should be used in an application in order to present the project as accurately as possible to the funding bodies. Empty phrases and multiple repetitions are not advisable.

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If you want to submit your own project, the following should be checked:

  • Are you developing an innovative (newly designed) or a best practice project (based on projects that have already been successfully completed)? Both is possible!
  • Are there clearly defined project goals with international relevance?
  • Where shall/can the project be implemented? (Consider the general conditions of the respective project partner countries)
  • Is it compatible with the objectives, guidelines and time frames of the funding programme?
  • Are there suitable partner organisations for my idea?
  • Do I need full funding from a funding programme or are there other (national) funding / sponsoring possibilities?
  • When are the deadlines for submission? (Different for all funding programmes)
  • Does my financial calculation really correspond to the resources I have used?
on Tuesday May 26 by aga

6. How to make a good cooperation project application (for partnership, international cooperation in our field of interest)?

Funding applications are different for each funding programme and for each call. As soon as a project is to be submitted, it is necessary to carefully study the funding guidelines and funding criteria. Likewise, the funding requirements and required materials should be researched in advance in order to be able to submit the funding documents collectively.

Funding applications are usually submitted via an online form with a predefined number of characters. Please note that especially the more detailed project description and shorter project summary (with the project objectives) are very well prepared. A time schedule, a budget plan and a partner description are also necessary. Time can be saved here if these details have been worked out in advance and obtained from the partner organisations. A precise style of expression is highly recommended. If possible, the given characters should be used in an application in order to present the project as accurately as possible to the funding bodies. Empty phrases and multiple repetitions are not advisable.

on Tuesday May 26 by aga

If you want to submit your own project, the following should be checked:

  • Are you developing an innovative (newly designed) or a best practice project (based on projects that have already been successfully completed)? Both is possible!
  • Are there clearly defined project goals with international relevance?
  • Where shall/can the project be implemented? (Consider the general conditions of the respective project partner countries)
  • Is it compatible with the objectives, guidelines and time frames of the funding programme?
  • Are there suitable partner organisations for my idea?
  • Do I need full funding from a funding programme or are there other (national) funding / sponsoring possibilities?
  • When are the deadlines for submission? (Different for all funding programmes)
  • Does my financial calculation really correspond to the resources I have used?
on Tuesday May 26 by aga

10. What challenges (problems/difficulties) are most common for international cooperation and how to solve them?

Communication and dissemination of the project are fundamental for the sustainable success of a project. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a communication and dissemination plan is already drafted in the project conception, which is reflected in a work package with individual work tasks for the project partners. This will ensure that the project objectives and contents can be continuously communicated to the stakeholders and target groups. A mailing with project information to stakeholders and national and international media is also suitable for further dissemination.

Possible communication channels are:

  • Website (if necessary, own project website)
  • Newsletter
  • Social Media (if applicable own project social media pages/accounts)
  • Stakeholders
  • Knowledge platforms (here is an overview)
  • National and international media (TV, radio, print and online media, etc.)
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If a project partner does not take over his tasks, it is important to act with tact and sensitivity and to ask yourself the question: Would the other partners be able to take over his tasks or would this not be possible due to lack of resources and competences? If one comes to the conclusion that the unreliable partner is needed and this partner continues to fail to fulfil its tasks after several requests, the lead partner can withhold payments to this partner until the tasks are completed.

If a partner withdraws or if the project has to be continued without a partner, it is important to inform the funding institution/national agency immediately and to develop an alternative plan together. This plan can either provide for the remaining project partners to take over tasks in order to complete the project as planned (this usually changes the budgeting), or it can mean acquiring a new partner or reducing the size of the project. An end to the project is rarely the only option and should of course be avoided.

on Tuesday May 26 by aga