Training and Education on High Performance Computing (H2020-JTI-EuroHPC-2020-03)

Deadline: 01-05-2021

Source: European Commission


Horizon 2020 Framework Programme


Training and Education on High Performance Computing (H2020-JTI-EuroHPC-2020-03)

Type of action


Deadline model


Opening date

17 March 2021

Deadline date

01 July 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time

Topic description

Specific Challenge:

Central objective of this call is to develop and implement the pilot(s) of the European Master of Science (MSc) programme(s) for High Performance Computing (HPC). The graduate education programme(s) will focus HPC and HPC-usage. They will demonstrate the added value of a pan-European education programme, committed to academic excellence, that offers students an outstanding career perspective in international companies and research institutes.

HPC is a rapidly accelerating field of research and development with a strong potential for economic growth. HPC, data science, data analytics and the data-economy are becoming increasingly important for many industry and commercial sectors. While basic computer science and programming languages are included in many university curricula, existing education programmes do not meet the demands on modern education adapted to a rapidly developing HPC technology ecosystem. Increased HPC awareness and an HPC-proficient workforce are essential to develop a competitive HPC ecosystem in Europe in the next years. The availability of HPC experts to drive the European digital transformation, such as HPC administrators and architects, HPC proficient data scientists, HPC application developers and expert users, depends on the education of highly skilled and talented graduate students.

The call aims at creating one or more pan-European pilots for the development of a modern HPC-centred education programme to reach scientific and industrial target groups and to serve key actors in the private and public sector.


European Master (MSc) programme in HPC

Proposals under this action should detail a pilot programme that aims to develop a quality-controlled educational master programme for HPC and industrial applications in HPC of pan-European reach.

The action should support the design and delivery of a master programme of pan-European reach for 50+ students per annual intake, equivalent to 120 ECTS and targeting advanced skills development to widen the scientific and industrial use of HPC applications. Two cohorts of students should complete the pilot programme.

The proposed projects must fulfil the following objectives:

  • Educate students able to contribute in areas such as the design, deployment, operation, and/or the use of current and future generation HPC and HPC-related technologies in Europe.
  • Educate experts skilled in driving HPC adoption and knowledge transfer in industry and academia in different strategic domains, thereby linking HPC activities in industry and academia.

The proposed master programmes should address all of the following aspects:

  • Design the framework and pilot of a two-year European joint master programme and its learning outcomes, and detail how excellence in academic content, teaching and talent development will be achieved and sustained among all partners in the consortium.
  • Propose a general curriculum for a master programme on the design of HPC platforms, HPC adoption in industry, expertise in HPC environments and applications using HPC.
  • Ensure a modular design of the curriculum, with clear identification of scientific disciplines, industrial applications and HPC usage profiles (designer, developer, administrator, user), that facilitates full or partial adoption of the modules into new or existing MSc programmes.
  • Explain how students will be immersed in research activities and educated in European technology and applications throughout the curriculum and according to their specific interests.
  • Provide information on the envisaged learning environment and opportunities for personal development and the development of a collaborative and inclusive student community.
  • Describe the details of the awarded MSc degree, which academic institutions at pan-European level will award it and in what form (e.g. joint or multiple degrees).
  • Define a transparent, effective and competitive selection process for the admission of students, addressing the requirements of European stakeholders.
  • Explain how a balanced intake of students regarding geographical origin and underrepresented groups will be achieved.
  • Explain which measures will be implemented to ensure that only students who are nationals of EU or Participating States may receive financial benefits by the programme.
  • Educate students and provide room for creativity in using leading and emerging European HPC systems and technology as part of the MSc programme.
  • Clearly elaborate the benefits of a pan-European MSc programme for students and stakeholders. Ensure excellence to attract talents and partners from the public and private sector.
  • Develop and implement an action plan using existing links to industry, entrepreneurship centres, business incubators, academic partners and other European initiatives to support students after graduation in their careers in HPC.
  • Promote the programme across Europe and specifically in countries where HPC adoption is low to increase diversity, participation by underrepresented groups and to support a broad geographical coverage of applicants.
  • Develop substantial content, teaching materials and online courses to complement on-site courses, which should also be provided to a broader community under an open license using a coherent structure and format to support the adoption by other education programmes.
  • Explain the mechanisms to share expertise and resources among the consortium.
  • Address the requirements and needs of relevant European industry players (supply and user industry). Expectations and commitment of industry partners, e. g. in mentorship programmes, should be described in detail and the added value clearly identified.
  • Demonstrate how the requirements of SMEs will be taken into account in the education programme.

The proposed action should deliver a set of lessons learned for the implementation of a pan-European education programme in HPC inspired by the present pilot programme. Moreover, concrete recommendations including a roadmap to achieve a sustainable and successful MSc programme on the basis of the pilot should be provided by the end of the project.

The action should also facilitate mobility and internships for students as a part of HPC master programme.

  • Student mobility between European universities, research centres and industry should be designed as a part of the study programme in synergy and coordination with other mobility programmes (Summer of HPC, HPC Europe, Erasmus+ etc.) to support awareness and collaboration across communities. Proposals should also explain how mobility will be achieved.
  • For students pursuing an industry-focussed track of the MSc programme, student internships at industry or at research institutions will be a mandatory part of the study programme curricula. Expected duration of the internships is from 3 to 6 months during the second year of the study. The consortium should implement appropriate measures to ensure a high quality and comprehensive supervision of the students during the internship (clear work plan, personal supervisor, monitoring and on-site visits by coordinator, feedback loop etc.). Costs incurred by entities hosting students during internships are not eligible.

Requirements on consortium: The consortium should demonstrate a good mix of excellence in education, research and in HPC technologies and applications, with solid links to the HPC supply and user industry in Europe. Moreover, the participating institutions should demonstrate complementary and well-justified roles in the programme with an outstanding track record in their respective field. The consortium should support inclusivity in Europe and help in creating a level-playing field across Europe, and in particular for those countries currently developing their HPC infrastructure and ecosystem.

As consortium partners following types of institutions are eligible:

  • Higher education institutions (HEI) that are able to deliver a curriculum equivalent to 120 ECTS credits and award a master degree diploma (coordinator and main partners)
  • Supercomputing centers
  • Research institutions focused on HPC
  • Other entities eligible for participation in H2020, including private and for-profit companies, are eligible to participate in the action in exceptional and well-justified cases.

Each HEI in the consortium should provide a letter of commitment from their respective legal representative.

The consortium as a whole should provide a clear plan how the availability of state-of-the-art computing resources and emerging technology will be ensured for the activities within the project.

An advisory board consisting of industry and academic representatives must be constituted for the project. Letters of commitment from potential members of the advisory board should be provided as a part of the project proposal.

The EuroHPC JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the JU for a duration of up to 4 years would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nevertheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another duration.

Expected Impact:

Proposals should describe how the proposed work will contribute to the impacts listed below:

  1. Contribution to the realisation of the EuroHPC JU’s overall and specific objectives
  2. Establishment of a high quality, internationally competitive MSc programme in HPC across the Union with measurable key performance indicators and addressing requirements and needs of the European industry
  3. Improved coordination and increased availability of educational activities on HPC
  4. MSc students and graduates connected to industry and more broadly preparing a skilled young future workforce in HPC ready to be employed by the European industry
  5. A large number of new specialists, in particular from underrepresented groups, trained in the use of current and future generation HPC and HPC-related technologies and applications in Europe.

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: Part A of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the actions covered by this topic.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: Part B and C of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the actions covered by this topic.

The conditions are described in General Annexes A, B and C of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020.

3. Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below. 

4. Evaluation criteria and process: Part H of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the actions covered by this topic. Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

The criteria, scoring and threshold are described in General Annex H of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020.

The procedure for setting a priority order for proposals with the same score is given in General Annex H of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020.

 5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreements: Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission. Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

 6. Proposal and evaluation forms and model agreements:

Please ask RTD B.3 to send you the hyperlink once you have finalised the templates.

Research and Innovation Action:

Standard proposal template

Standard evaluation form

General MGA – Multi-Beneficiary 

Coordination and Support Action:

Standard proposal template 

Standard evaluation form

General MGA – Multi-Beneficiary

Innovation Action:

Standard proposal template

Standard evaluation form

General MGA – Multi-Beneficiary 

 7.  Additional requirements

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

Classified information

Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply 

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

For grants awarded under this topic the Commission may object to a transfer of ownership or the exclusive or non-exclusive licensing of results to a third party established in a third country not associated to Horizon 2020. The respective option of Article 30.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Grants awarded under this topic will be complementary.

The respective options of Article 2, Article 31.6 and Article 41.4 2 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Grants awarded under this topic will include a common task, defined by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, contributing to the definition of a common, overarching objective such as, for example, the definition of a modular curriculum in HPC, including cooperation with other Grants awarded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

 8. Additional documents (i.e):

EuroHPC Workplan –> specify the year of the work plan and add the correct link

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020 

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment 

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation 

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme 

 9.  Open access to research data and specific publications:

Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from actions covered by this topic.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Projects funded under this topic will by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out. Part L of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the actions covered by this topic. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

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