Hot new Horizon 2020 funding opportunities

28 July, 2014

There have been fresh announcements from the European Commission on how it has decided to allocate the €79bn budget, and we’ve profiled the new calls in an easy-to-read spreadsheet.

As the summer reaches its height, many will be looking forwards to holidays, or at least the promise of good weather. However, if you’re involved in research you might be even more excited about some of the up-coming funding opportunities from the Horizon 2020 programme. There have been fresh announcements from the European Commission on how it has decided to allocate the €79 billion budget, and we’ve profiled the new calls in an easy-to-read spreadsheet.

Launched in January this year, Horizon 2020 is the flagship pan-Europe research and innovation funding programme with a budget of €79 billion over seven years. The massive size of this programme means there is almost always a suite of active calls for research applications. Here at UKCDS we’re keeping a lookout for all of the calls that recommend international cooperation as part of the specifications across the breadth of topics.

This month there are quite a few opportunities in topics close to UKCDS’s organisational heart. Within Societal Challenge 7 (Secure Societies), there are ten openings in the area of ‘Disaster Resilience: Safeguarding and Securing Society’, four of which seek international cooperation. The deadline for these calls is on the 28 August 2014.

With a combined budget of €73.4m (£58.2m) across this topic it seems like an opportunity not to be missed! The different calls are quite diverse – projects range from feasibility studies for Civil Contingency scenarios, to the search for tools to help diagnose and treat individuals.

This variety serves as a reminder that the nature of Horizon 2020 is quite different to its predecessor programmes. It’s worth taking a browse through topics you may not ordinarily consider your speciality, as there may be an opportunity where you’re least expecting it.

In addition to the topic-specific calls, there are opportunities for individual fellowships – allowing you to focus on the area that you’re most passionate about. Through the Excellent Science pillar of Horizon 2020, the Marie Skłowdowska Curie Actions aim to provide opportunities for researcher mobility, both in terms of European researchers going abroad and Global researchers to relocate to an institution in Europe. This scheme has a budget of €240.5m (£190.8m) and also has options for those looking to restart their research career after a break.

As part of the upgrade from Horizon 2020’s predecessor (Framework Programme 7), there is a huge drive to achieve a quick application assessment period – now tipped to be just five months. Applicants are therefore facing the prospect of hearing about the outcomes of some of the first calls in August or September, with projects potentially getting off the ground before the end of the year.

My personal top tip for anyone thinking about putting together an application would be to get in touch with the superb network of National Contact Points (NCPs) who are able to provide sound advice. Non-UK applicants can look here to search for their corresponding NCPs.

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