First external Call (pre-announcement)

This call will be open from April 2021 with a closing date for proposals on 7th of September 2021

The European Joint Programme “EJP SOIL - Towards climate-smart sustainable management of agricultural soils” comprise 24 countries committed to the overall goal of providing sustainable agricultural soil management solutions that contribute to key societal challenges including climate change and future food supply.

Rationale & Aim

The objective of this call is to foster holistic agricultural soil management practices which will assist making a shift to diversify farming to include a variety of sustainable and environmental practices.

Knowledge gaps in the area of SOC sequestration need to be closed, e.g. by developing soil management options which help to protect existing stocks of soil carbon and store additional C through sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. Effective CO2 sequestration can help reduce GHG emissions thereby helping to fulfil the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Another objective is to make shift from those agricultural practices that contributes to soil degradation, towards, more sustainable practices and methods. This not only addresses sustainable production but also healthy environment, which can be achieved by, enhancing knowledge about biodiversity, and understanding functionalities and interactions in soils. Strong population growth combined with climate change challenges have placed food security high on the global agenda and therefore it is one of the key elements of the EU’s farm to fork strategy.

  1. Thus, interested project consortia should apply to one of the three topics:
  2. Understanding SOC sequestration (stabilization, storage and persistence)
  3. Soil biodiversity: status, and role in ecosystem services provided by soils
  4. Site-specific or landscape-scale approaches to improve sustainability, resilience, health, and productivity of soils

Read more detailed information in the document 'Pre-Announcement 1st external call'.

Budget, funding modalities, eligibility criteria and project types

More than 16 funding organisations from 14 countries will contribute to the 1st external call.

Researchers from participating countries can apply on the research topic outline above.

Research partners from not participating countries can be part of research consortia if they bring in their own funding.

All proposals must fulfil the general as wells as the applicable national eligibility criteria. General eligibility criteria are:

  • Proposals must be written in English
  • Proposals must be complete and in accordance to the procedure
  • Consortia must consist if at least 3 partners from 3 different participating countries
  • Project summary must be submitted and coordinator and partners must registered via online submission tool until 25th June 2021
  • Proposals must be submitted until 7th Sept 2021 via submission tool
  • The project duration must not exceed 3 years

A webinar will be organised in May for all interested applicants.

Content of the webinar will be an overview about all relevant aspects for the Call and will give a short introduction for the submission tool. More detailed information will be released directly on the submission tool website and here in due time.     


Participating Countries

Preliminary list of participating countries




Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen


Centre wallon de recherches agronomiques*


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung


Maa- ja metsätalousministeriö


Agence nationale de la recherche


National Research, Development and Innovation Office


Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine


Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentari e forestali


The ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania*


Norwegian Research Council


Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases    


Ministry for Primary Industries


The National Centre for Research and Development


Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia*


Department of State scientific and technological policy in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council



The call will be conducted as one-step-procedures but proposals are only eligible if a project summary is submitted and coordinator and corresponding partners of the projects are registered in provided submission tool:




April 06th 2021

Launch of the Call

April 2021

Webinar for interested applicants

May 2021

Deadline Registration of project

June 25th 2021

Deadline Proposal submission

Sept 07th 2021

Proposal evaluation and selection

Sept-Nov 2021

Aimed start of research projects

Dec 2021-Jan 2022


Call Office contacts

NAME:                   Ulrike Ziegler                            Christian Breuer

Organisation:          Jülich                                           Jülich

Phone:                    +49 2429 90 88 055                       +49 2465 30 58 847


The EJP SOIL programme has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 862695