Enhance primary cancer prevention through sustainable behavioural change
Enhance interventions and scale these up in different geographical, socio-economic and cultural settings as well as in different environmental conditions. Proposals should aim to deliver results through sustainable behavioural change, which are directed and tailored towards and contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Citizens, including people at high risk of developing cancer, cancer patients and survivors benefit from health promotion and primary prevention programmes that reflect behavioural change and psycho-social approaches tailored to the specific needs of different population groups both in urban and rural areas;
- Citizens, including people at high risk of developing cancer, cancer patients and cancer survivors benefit from easy-to-understand and accessible, tailored recommendations and support programmes on sustainable behavioural changes, including psycho-social care, that are easy to implement in their daily lives, including through the use of digital tools to facilitate healthier choices;
- Regional, local and national policymakers and authorities, promote healthy environments as well as design and implement the most suitable, sustainable health promotion and prevention programmes, which take account of behavioural change and psycho-social requirements. Scope :
With about 40% of cancer cases being preventable, prevention represents the most cost-efficient and sustainable cancer control strategy. The Mission on Cancer and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan aim to exploit the potential of primary cancer prevention by addressing key risk factors and health determinants.
Achieving sustainable behavioural change can play a major role in enhancing the impact of health promotion and preventive measures and thus contribute to reducing the number of preventable cancer cases. Despite having access to peer-reviewed existing evidence and recommendations on cancer prevention, widely accepted by policymakers across the EU, their uptake to effectively change behaviour needs to be enhanced.
In the past, evidence on how to achieve behavioural change has not been sufficiently taken into account when designing health promotion and primary prevention programmes. This is because behavioural change is a complex challenge, which is subject to manifold influences that could be better understood at individual and systems level, through public engagement and interdisciplinary approaches.
This requires a systemic approach involving all the main actors at different levels who can facilitate sustainable behavioural change including public authorities, policymakers, health care providers, employers, educational institutions, industry, non-governmental consumer and patient organisations, citizens and media.
Investments are needed to establish, scale-up or improve health promotion and cancer prevention programmes through increased awareness among citizens about cancer risk factors and related behavioural change, with a focus on hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups of the population.
Proposals should further address all of the following:
- Develop, test and evaluate the effective impacts of innovative primary cancer prevention programmes, possibly through the use of novel, including digital, solutions, for different population groups which should be involved in the design;
- Provide evidence-based cost-benefit analyses of the proposed programmes;
- Identify and address specific bottlenecks and barriers that prevent the uptake of sustainable behavioural change for different target populations, taking into account sectorial, socio-economic, cultural and geographical conditions as well as gender and age;
- Identify the most appropriate actors and develop incentives promoting sustainable behavioural change, such as increasing the uptake of the European Code against Cancer;
- Assess and validate parameters and factors facilitating or impeding behavioural change, and measure their impact;
- In addition, attention should be paid to health determinants, including occupational and environmental factors (e.g. pollution). Furthermore, education, socio-economic status, gender, age, and inequalities to access prevention programmes, which affects for example elderly people, people with disabilities, or minorities and people living in rural areas should be taken into consideration.
- Approaches on how to best reach and involve disadvantaged socio-economic population groups, vulnerable groups, and people living in rural areas, should be developed.
This topic 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.
Due consideration should be given to EU-funded initiatives such as: the Climate-neutral and Smart Cities Mission, the Soil Health and Food Mission, as well as the successful proposals resulting from the topics HORIZON-MISS-2022-CANCER-01-01 (Improving and upscaling primary prevention of cancer through implementation research), known by mid-2023, and HORIZON-CL6-2021-FARM2FORK-01-15 (Transition to healthy and sustainable dietary behaviour) . Activities should, where appropriate, complement the EU Non-Communicable Diseases Initiative “Healthier together”.
Successful applicants will be asked to liaise with these and other initiatives where applicable. The successful proposals are expected to liaise with and build on resources made available by the Knowledge Centre on Cancer (KCC)  in order to foster EU alignment and coordination.
The Commission will facilitate Mission-specific coordination through future actions, notably fostering exchanges with other proposals funded under this topic. Hence, successful applicants will be asked to join the ‘Prevention’ cluster for the Mission on Cancer, established in 2022. In this regard, the Commission will take on the role of facilitator, including with relevant initiatives and stakeholders, if appropriate.
Therefore, proposals should include a budget for networking, attendance at meetings, and potential joint activities without the prerequisite to give details of these at this stage. Examples of these activities are the organisation of joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the establishment of best practices, or the initiation of joint communication activities with projects funded under other clusters and pillars of Horizon Europe, or other EU programmes, as appropriate. The details of joint activities will be defined during the grant agreement preparation phase and during the life of the project.
For example: OECD (2017), Behavioural Insights and Public Policy: Lessons from Around the World, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264270480-en; https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/behavioural-insights/topic/behavioural-insights-health_en
Such as living, work, study and urban environments, etc.
All known risk factors and health determinants, including socio-economic and commercial ones, e.g.: tobacco; alcohol; genetics; bacterial and viral pathogens; chemicals from air, soil, water, and food; physical inactivity; diet and nutrition; gut dysbiosis; behavioural patterns; exposure to ionising radiation, UV, radon; occupational exposure; socio-economic background, education, employment.
Such as e-learning platforms, apps and wearables
Across and within countries, covering the urban-rural dimension.
Proposals FEAST and PLANEAT, see: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/horizon-cl6-2021-farm2fork-01-15
Applicants are not expected to contact these initiatives before the submission of proposals
Hosted by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). Especially through the ’European Guidelines and Quality Assurance Schemes for Breast, Colorectal and Cervical Cancer Screening and Diagnosis‘, and the ’European Cancer Information System (ECIS)’ and the ’European Cancer Inequalities Registry (ECIR), see https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/cancer_en
In order to address the objectives of the Mission on Cancer, participants will collaborate in project clusters to leverage EU-funding, increase networking across sectors and disciplines, and establish a portfolio of Cancer Mission R&I and policy actions.
- Admissibility conditions: described in Annex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes
Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System
- Eligible countries: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide .
Other eligibility conditions: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes
Evaluation and award:
- Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes
The thresholds for each criterion will be 4 (Excellence), 4 (Impact) and 3 (Implementation). The cumulative threshold will be 12.
- Submission and evaluation processes are described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes and the Online Manual
In order to ensure a balanced Cancer Mission project portfolio and to achieve the Mission’s goal, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but also to at least one application that fully addresses cancer in children, adolescents or young adults (meaning people between birth and the age of 24), provided that the application attains all thresholds.
- Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Specific conditions: described in the [specific topic of the Work Programme]
Standard application form — call-specific application form is available in the Submission System
](https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/horizon/temp-form/af/af_he-erc-cog_en.pdf) Standard evaluation form — will be used with the necessary adaptations