DG CONNECT Call for Research on Disinformation and Fake News

The objective of this DG CONNECT call is to support the EU strategy to tackle disinformation and complement European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) activities by providing funding to specific research projects on disinformation. Such projects, which include fact-checking and analysis of online propagation patterns, should be carried out by expert teams with a specific knowledge of information and media environments in one or more Member States.

Each project will have the possibility to access EDMO’s technological platform under the conditions set out by the EDMO governance board. Proposals must ensure the involvement of media organisations, and specific expertise in fact-checking, media literacy, network science, data and computer science. Moreover, the projects should able to reach out, whenever necessary, to experts in areas that might become target of disinformation campaigns (eg health, climate change, immigration, European policies). These projects will focus their journalistic investigations and research activities around emerging digital media vulnerabilities and disinformation campaigns, which are of special relevance within the territory and/or linguistic area in which they will operate.

Activities to be covered by the Pilot Project:

1. Analysis and detection of harmful disinformation campaigns at national/regional level and their impact on society and democracy.

2. Expose disinformation campaigns, including their impact on society and democracy.

3. Media literacy activities at national/regional level.

The following types of activities are eligible under this call for proposals:

Conferences, seminars, events.

Training activities.

Awareness and dissemination actions.

Actions aiming at the creation and improvement of networks, exchanges of good practices.

Studies, analyses, mapping projects.

Fact-checking and research activities.

The Pilot Project facilitates the creation of independent national multidisciplinary teams, which include media practitioners, fact-checkers and academic researchers. The Pilot Project will enable fact-checkers academics and media practitioners, to detect, analyse and expose disinformation campaigns and their impact on society. Moreover, the Pilot Project is expected to support targeted media literacy activities as well as journalists training focused on the use of state-of-the-art technology to detect and debunk disinformation campaigns.

The call is open to consortia that may include the following types of entities:

Non-profit organisation (private or public).


Educational institutions.

Research centres.

Profit-making entities.

Small-sized online media companies.

Non-Governmental Organisations.

Natural persons as part of a consortium.

The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of the projects under this call for proposals is estimated at €2.2 million. The maximum grant will be €315,000. The EU co-financing is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 75% of the total eligible costs.

The Commission expects to fund up to seven proposals.

Applications must be submitted by 30 November 2020.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.