Find the answers to frequently asked questions here. 


Challenging young bright minds to shape the future. That is what the EU TalentOn stands for. 

The Talenton is an event meant for young academics from all over Europe, between the ages of 21 and 35. The event is a competition where people will compete to find the best solutions to problems in the world of today and tomorrow. The participants will be divided into teams. These teams will take on challenges linked to the 5 EU Missions in light of Horizon Europe.

TalentOn will be held between September 14 – 18, 2022.

Other important dates to keep in mind are:

July 11 at 12:00, 2022 CET – Deadline for eligible applicants to review to peers. They will receive an e-mail about this during the first weekend of July.

July 16 at 12:45, 2022 CET – Lunch talks at ESOF 2022: find out about selection!

August 1 19:00-21:00 CET – Online teaming session for selected participants.

The EU TalentOn will take place in different venues around the historical centre of Leiden in the Netherlands. At PLNT, Stadsgehoorzaal, Pesthuis, and various institutes and company offices.

The EU TalentOn aims to bridge the gap between young academic talent, science and industry.

A total of 78.000 euros of prize money will be divided over the 5 Mission Arenas. Per Mission Arena, a first prize of 8000 euros and a second prize of 4000 euros will be handed out. For the Mission Arenas with more than 4 teams (all Mission Arenas except Soil Deal for Europe) there will also be a third prize of 2000 euros.

Besides the prizes per Mission Arena, there will be a Grand Prize for the team  which overall has the best ideas, doubling the first Mission Arena Prize with 8000 euros.

The teams can use the prize money to their liking – but are stimulated to continue as a team. A follow-up meeting will be planned in the last quarter of 2022.

A jury panel of 3 experts from industry and academia judges the team projects and selects the winners. 

The Talenton is meant for young academics from all over Europe. The EU TalentOn targets early career researchers aged 21-35.

From the 17th of May 2022 onwards, people are requested to apply to join the TalentOn. The deadline to apply to the EU TalentOn is July 1st. Applicants will hear about their admission before the end of July. If you would like to apply, you can do so via this form: here.

No, people who apply for the EU TalentOn and are selected, are expected to physically partake in the event in Leiden.

The EU TalentOn, part of Leiden 2022 European City of Science, directly contributes to the actions set out in the ERA Policy Agenda. Specifically, the contest helps bring science closer to citizens by inviting them to co-create solutions for our most pressing challenges.

After selection of the participants per Mission arena in July, applicants will hear about their selection. On August 1st (7-9 pm CET), an online session will take place during which the participants per Mission arena will meet each other online. During a special formation process, they are guided towards forming teams of four. The team formation will be done on the basis of specific team interests, as well as diversity in personality traits, gender and ages. The teams will as much as possible be made up of participants from different countries.

The most important things to know about the EU TalentOn, are to be found in a factsheet. Donwload the factsheet here: EU TalentOn Factsheet

The facilitator or ‘Mission Navigator’ of the EU TalentOn is Henrik Scheel, professor and entrepreneur. Read more about his contribution here: 


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1. Adapting to climate change
2. Preventing of and dealing with cancer
3. Smart and climate-neutral cities
4. Restoring soil
5. Restoring oceans and water

Find more information on the EU missions here.

Participants are asked to team up according to interest and expertise during the online teaming session on August 1, 2022 (7-9 pm CET).

During the EU TalentOn, each team formulates their own challenge within the Mission Arena. The Mission Arenas take their content from the 5 EU Missions. As a team member in the EU TalentOn, you and your team thus formulate a challenge based on these Mission Arenas.


The EU TalentOn is indeed part of the European Year of Youth, as a flagship event.

Leiden was chosen as the European city of science in 2022. Because of that, a festival by the same name (although often shortened to Leiden2022) is being organised throughout the entirety of 2022. Leiden2022 aims to connect society and science. In 2022, several events will be organized by Leiden2022. In these events, locals will be able to participate in science and the arts in many different ways.

The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) was founded in 2004 by EuroScience, the non-profit grassroots organisation of researchers in Europe. It is a biennial meeting designed to offer the scientific community a platform for interdisciplinary and intersectional debate about scientific culture, scientific research and innovation, for and with society. Since its inception, ESOF has become the largest conference of its kind in Europe. 

ESOF 2022 is organized in Leiden, European City of Science between July 13 and 16, 2022. 

All applicants to the EU TalentOn have received a voucher to acquire a free ticket to ESOF2022. During the lunch talks at ESOF2022 on Saturday July 16, the concept developer of the EU TalentOn Lucien Geelhoed will take place in the studio and announce the selected participants for the EU TalentOn. Applicants received a voucher via email.

application & selectiOn

Go to and fill in the form before July 1, 2022, 17:00 CET.

In the month of July.

From the 17th of May 2022 onwards, people are requested to apply to join the TalentOn. The deadline to apply to the EU TalentOn is July 1st  at 17:00 CET. Applicants will hear about their admission on or before the end of July. 

The EU TalentOn is meant for early career researchers. To join the EU TalentOn, you need to be between the ages of 21 and 35 years old. 

The EU TalentOn is meant for young academics from Europe. Applicants from the following countries are eligible to apply:

  1. The EU Countries
    1. Austria
    2. Belgium
    3. Bulgaria
    4. Croatia
    5. Republic of Cyprus
    6. Czech Republic
    7. Denmark
    8. Estonia
    9. Finland
    10. France
    11. Germany
    12. Greece
    13. Hungary
    14. Ireland
    15. Italy
    16. Latvia
    17. Lithuania
    18. Luxembourg
    19. Malta
    20. Netherlands
    21. Poland
    22. Portugal
    23. Romania
    24. Slovakia
    25. Slovenia
    26. Spain
    27. Sweden.
  2. Countries associated to Horizon Europe:
    1. Armenia
    2. Bosnia and Herzegovina
    3. Georgia
    4. Iceland
    5. Israel
    6. Kosovo
    7. Moldova
    8. Montenegro
    9. North Macedonia
    10. Norway
    11. Serbia
    12. Turkey

The application form was open until July 1st at 17:00. All eligible applicants were peer reviewed (based on motivation, expertise, connection to the Missions and team role). As the EU TalentOn is all about acquiring skills relevant for young academics, peer reviewing is unmissable to the selection process. 

After the peer reviews, a committee of experts reviewed the top applicants (based on their CV, motivation, expertise, and connection to Missions) and took care of the final selection of participants for the EU TalentOn 2022 in Leiden, European City of Science. On July 16th, all applicants heard about the selection during ESOF2022.

Do you want to help us spread the message and reach potential applicants? That’s great! We created a toolbox with ready-to-use materials for you to spread within your network or use on your or your organisation’s social media pages. You can download the Toolbox via this link.

All eligible applicants for the EU TalentOn receive a link to peer review during the first week of July 2022. This email provides a link to the review system. Once you have reached the page, follow these steps:

1.  Please make sure to fill in the same email address as the one you applied with.
2. After doing so, you will receive another link that allows you to log in to the system. It is valid for 20 minutes. Didn’t receive a link? Please check your spam.
3. Once in the system, you will see a page with a) the Mission Arena in which you are reviewing and b) the first application to review. In some cases, parts of the answer are replaced with [edit] due to privacy reasons.
4. Read the answers to the questions and give a score per answer.
5. Finished with the first review? Then press “Submit your scores”.
6. Continue until you have reviewed at least five applications. You are welcome to review more.

Perhaps you haven’t reviewed before, perhaps you’re very experienced. In any case, we provide you with a few tips to help you review:

  • Use the entire scale from 1 to 10. This allows for differentiation between the final scores and makes selection easier. Scoring with a 10 means the application fits the challenge perfectly. Scoring with a 1 means the application should according to your review, definitely not be selected. Don’t be afraid of using all numbers.
  • Keep in mind: content over language. Review what the application is saying, rather than how it is written.
  • The people you review applied to a different Mission Arena than you did. Find all Mission Arenas and more information on the 5 EU Missions through this link.


Yes, once selected, travel arrangements will be made and hotel rooms will be booked with the help of a travel agency. Each participants will stay in a single hotel room.

Leiden Centraal (The local train station) is located next to the hotel.

If you arrive by train, it is only a 2-minute walk.

If you arrive by plane, you can take the train from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Leiden Centraal.

There are around 144 trains per day running between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Leiden Centraal, which usually take 19 minutes to complete the 15 miles (24 km) journey.

It depends on the month and can differ per day. Check for example this website for the current weather.

You are very welcome to stay longer in Leiden! TalentOn organisers will cover your accommodation and catering from 14-18 of September. Accommodation and meals outside of those dates are at own cost.

Here are a couple hotel recommendations:

  • De Doelen (Rapenburg), room from €78 per night. 

During the selected participants’ stay in Leiden, travel, meals and accommodation are paid for from September 14th in the evening until September 18th in the morning. That includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks.

As the EU TalentOn cares about sustainability, the first choice for travel is the train. If the travel time exceeds 14 hours, the second option is travelling to the Netherlands by airplane.

Participants will be accommodated in the Fletcher hotel and the VIC hotel, which are both located right next to the Leiden Central train station. Each participant will get a single room. End of August participants will hear in which hotel they will sleep.

All meals will be vegetarian and we will make sure to take into account any dietary requirements. Please let us know on your registration form.

You can use your own laptop and anything that you think could help you during the EU TalentOn – so bring this with you.

We will provide whiteboards, flip-overs, post-it notes, projectors, pens, markers, etc. If you need anything specific or have an idea for supplies that can help the teams, do let us know!

There is no dress code, wear whatever feels comfortable. If you like, you can bring something nice to wear during the pitches and the Award Ceremony. 

Bring a sweater and a jacket and/or umbrella for when we move between locations and it would be cold or rainy. 

Do I need to get travel or health insurance?

All participants must ensure they are covered by a health insurance for the period of the event. For EU27 MS countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – more information on the European Health Insurance Card can be found here: You are also advised to have a travel insurance that covers possible loss of luggage, delays, etc.