Posts By / Ainar

ERC Confirms Upcoming Call Deadlines

The ERC Executive Agency has confirmed the publication dates and deadlines for its 2021 calls for proposals.

  • The 2021 Starting Grant call will open on 25 February and close on 8 April.
  • The 2021 Consolidator Grant call will open on 11 March and close on 20 April.
  • The 2021 Advanced Grant call will open on 20 May and close on 31 August.

The 2021 ERC Work Programme – first one to be adopted under Horizon Europe – is available on the ERC website.

Applicants to the ERC Starting Grant call should note that the Work Programme is still showing the old deadline of 24 March, which has been extended, as explained in the ERC’s announcement.

This information has been provided by UKRO.

UKRO, in its role as the UK ERC National Contact Point, will hold two Information and Proposal Writing webinars on Tuesday 16 March from 10am to 12pm (UK time) and on Friday 19 March from 1pm to 3pm (UK time).

More information and details on registration for these two webinars will be shared in due course.

Horizon Europe – Clusters for Collaborative Research Projects

This is another post related to UK’s participation in EU Horizon Europe (HE) Framework Programme.

As mentioned earlier, based on UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the UK will be HE Associated Country. This association will ensure that UK and EU entities participate in Horizon Europe Programme on equivalent terms.

Similarly as for previous EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020, research activities in Horizon Europe are structured under 3 pillars. However, there are some differences; as they say – ‘no revolution but evolution’:

  • Pillar 1 – Excellent Science
  • Pillar 2 – Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness
  • Pillar 3 – Innovative Europe

In the picture above, you can see that all themes we knew as ‘Societal Challenges’ in Horizon 2020 have been moved under Pillar 2 and integrated with ICT, NMBP and space topics – this seems to be the major change; there are more, however I will leave them unexplored for now.

So, most of collaborative research projects BU academics may be interested in lay under the second pillar in Horizon Europe. Those are grouped in clusters and Work Programmes for each of these clusters have been drafted.

I will continue these series of blog posts about HE providing more details regarding topics and expected opening of HE calls (first calls are expected to be open in March/April).

There will be funding briefing for BU academics on Wednesday 3 February at 12pm led by RDS Research Facilitators.

This week’s spotlight topic will be MSCA Individual Fellowships. It should be useful for those academics who wish to submit applications this year and also those who are not familiar with MSCA funding scheme. Feel free to join this weekly event on MS Teams.

Just as a reminder – with enquiries regarding international funding opportunities and questions related to EU, especially Horizon Europe, funding contact me – Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums.

UK’s participation in Horizon Europe

There was an earlier blog regarding UK participation in EU programmes for research, innovation and higher education last week. As promised, here is more information related to Horizon Europe (HE) Framework Programme.

Based on UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the TCA) the UK will be HE Associated Country. The association secures participation of UK and EU entities in Horizon Europe Programme on equivalent terms. This will ensure that via the Horizon Europe Programme UK organisations have access to R&I funding, infrastructure and markets; according to the TCA, UK organisations can lead projects and UK experts can take part in evaluations. It also provides association to COST programme and the UK plays an active role in the ongoing governance and development of the HE programme.

UK entities will be able to access grant funding from all parts of HE, including European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and all application and grant management process will be the same as for Horizon 2020, unless any changes are made for the whole HE programme.

There are certain steps to be completed before the UK formally associates to the HE Programme – EU to ratify HE Regulation (expected in January/February) and to finalise Protocol between UK and EU, which sets out all terms of UK participation.

I believe, this is fantastic news for the whole UK academic community and wish you success in applying for research funding.

For EU funding related questions, contact RDS Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums. I will post further information as soon as new information regarding EU programmes becomes available and important decisions are reached.

Applying for Interreg funding from January 2021

Interreg has been one of the funding sources where BU academics have been successful during previous years. RDS have had a number of enquiries from academics regarding our eligibility to apply for Interreg funding after the UK has left the EU. The answer may be both – yes and no.

According to the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK continues participation in all EU programmes funded from the 2014-2020 EU budget. There are final calls for proposals under the 2014-2020 programmes which are ongoing and will close in 2021. The UK continues to be eligible to apply for these, including Interreg, and EU funding will be provided for the whole lifetime of the project.

The next EU budget period is designed for 2021-2027; if Interreg calls for proposals are to be funded from the EU 2021-2027 budget, UK participants will not be eligible for EU funding.

Theoretically there may be a situation that there are two open Interreg calls for proposals with different eligibility criteria for UK participants. Our advice to academics would be to check first if funding for the particular call comes either from the EU 2014-2020 or the 2021-2027 budget.

There will be another blog post in the coming days, providing more details regarding our participation in the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact Research Facilitator – International, Ainar Blaudums, if you have specific questions regarding EU funding.

UKRO annual 2020 (remote) meeting with BU academics

As usual, RDS will host an annual UK Research Office visit to BU in 2020.

This year’s event has been scheduled for November 18 and is organised in a form of a remote zoom meeting. Please make a note in your diaries – all academic staff interested in EU funding, the new Horizon Europe framework programme and future implications of Brexit are invited to attend the event.

The event will be hosted and run by our UKRO European Advisor Ms Malgorzata Czerwiec from Brussels.

At this point, we have a draft agenda and some input from academics before finalising the agenda, as a minimum to register your interest to attend particular session by 6th November 2020, will be appreciated.

The link to the zoom meeting will be provided after the registration is closed; some of agenda items may be changed or removed depending on your feedback.

Please see the draft agenda below and register your attendance preferences (at the end of the registration, click on DONE button to complete the form).

Draft agenda of the webinar

10:30 – 11:45

UK Participation in Horizon 2020

BU involvement in H2020

Update on Horizon Europe developments

12:00 – 12:40

H2020 Evaluation process and proposal writing hints and tips + questions – session for PIs involved in the Green Deal Call for proposal submission

In the afternoon

Previously booked one-to-one sessions with UKRO representative

Obviously, lunch will not be provided this year, although there will be some flexibility to have a coffee at home or in the office between the sessions.

During registration, academics are welcome to submit any other EU funding related topics for discussion; those may either be included in one of the above sessions or discussed individually during one-to-one meeting.

UKRO delivers subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and European Research Council (ERC) National Contact Point services in the UK. As part of UKRO services, BU members of staff may sign up to receive personalised email alerts and get early access to the EU funding related publications on UKRO portal.

Please contact Research Facilitator International Ainar Blaudums if you have further questions.

MSCA NCP Virtual Drop-in Sessions

This is a quick reminder for those BU academics interested in applying for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships call in September 2020.

The UK Research Office (UKRO), in its capacity as UK National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), will be holding a virtual drop-in session for organisations and individuals interested in applying to the 2020 MSCA Individual Fellowships call (call deadline of 9 September 2020).

The virtual drop-in session will provide with an opportunity to speak directly with the MSCA NCP on specific elements of their proposal. The event is aimed at potential UK academic and non-academic based supervisors, and their prospective fellows, who are planning to submit a proposal to the Individual Fellowship 2020 call.

If you would like to attend, please visit the events page and register MSCA Individual Fellowships, Wednesday 22 July 2020 14:30-16:00 CET (13:30-15:00 UK Time). Further information on the event will be provided to delegates once registration for the sessions has closed.

Direct link to registration

If you have any BU specific queries, please contact EU & International Research Facilitator Ainar Blaudums or your RDS Funding Development Officer.

A three-day Sandpit focused on Digital Technologies for Health and Care

UKRI have announced an opportunity to apply to attend a sandpit on Digital technologies for Health and Care.

This is the first sandpit in a series of three which will be advertised over the next three years.

The theme for this sandpit is novel digital technologies for improved self-monitoring and health management. The sandpit will run over three days starting mid-morning on Tuesday 30 June 2020 and finishing mid-afternoon on Thursday 02 July 2020.

Key dates:

  • Call announced: February 2020
  • Call close (expressions of interest): 04 May 2020
  • Participant Selection panel: May 2020
  • Sandpit: 30 June-02 July 2020
  • Funding Application Deadline: w/c 14 September 2020
  • Funding Announcement: Before 30 September 2020

For more details please visit EPSRC web page or contact your RDS Research Facilitator for further assistance.

Funding opportunities – the final year of Horizon 2020

Some Horizon 2020 calls for proposals have been launched already in late 2019, though there are quite a few more to come in 2020.

The UK Research Office have made available resources for their subscribers (login required) that will help to explore opportunities of the last year of Horizon 2020.

A summary of the main novelties included in the final Work Programme of Horizon 2020 is included in the following articles:

There are more than 370 topics in the final Work Programme of Horizon 2020 and to make their identification easier for subscribers, at the end of 2019, UKRO has produced a call calendar, which lists all available funding opportunities by call deadline. This resource was previously available only to European Liaison Officers (ELOs) from UKRO subscribing organisations, but is now accessible to all UKRO Portal users. The calendar is designed for A3 (horizontal) format.

While UKRO are making every effort to ensure that information included in these files is true and accurate, it is provided for information only and is not legally binding.

UKRO maintains a large number of factsheets, which include useful information on how to write a successful proposal, how to find partners for your consortium (if required) and how to cost your project. There are also dedicated factsheets for the post-award phase to help you manage ERC/MSCA and other projects effectively.

BU academics with queries related to EU funding are welcome to contact Research Facilitator – International Ainar Blaudums at RDS for further assistance.

 

Horizon 2020 SC6 Online Brokerage Event

An online brokerage event for the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6 (SC6) ‘Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies‘ will take place on 12 December 2019, from 11:00 to 12:30 CET.

This online event is foreseen for up to 50 participants and registration is open until 8 December.

The event is organised by Net4Society, a network of SC6 National Contacts Points. More information is available on the event’s webpage.

The UK SC6 NCP is also holding an information event in London on 5 December, to support the UK stakeholders interested in the SC6 call. The call is now open with deadline of 12 March 2020.

In a case of no-deal Brexit, the H2020 Guarantee extension covers all successful bids made after EU Exit on schemes that the UK can bid for in its new status as a third-country – above mentioned call falls under this guarantee. H2020 Guarantee extension funding is for the lifetime of the grant as awarded.

Public databases related to EU funding

The European Commission maintains a large number of publicly available databases with details about Horizon 2020 and other EU projects. The UK Research Office (UKRO) have recently prepared a summary of sources where data related to both submitted and funded EU projects may be found; these may be useful for academics considering applying for EU funding and searching for experienced partners for future applications.

Horizon 2020 Dashboard – This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date of all databases provided by the Commission. It is very interactive and allows users to modify and export the relevant data in various formats. Since its launch on November 2017, the database has grown immensely.

UKRO maintains a dedicated website with information on how to best utilise available data (BU is UKRO subscriber – our academics have access to subscribers’ part of this website).

EU Open Data Portal (ODP) – In a way, the EUODP is the Dashboard’s predecessor and allows users to download various datasets in .xls and .csv formats. While it initially only included details of projects and organisations participating in H2020, it has been expanded in recent years and now includes details such as project deliverables, PIs in ERC projects and researchers in H2020 MSCA projects, which cannot be found on the H2020 Dashboard. Information about FP7 projects is also available.

CORDIS – This database has been the main repository for EU research results since 1990s and includes information about projects funded under the current and past EU Framework Programmes (FP6, FP5, etc.). Apart from basic project data, it also includes information about project deliverables and summary reports, as well as project-related events.

European Research Council’s (ERC) Funded Projects – This basic database provides generic information about ERC projects (including the PIs’ names) and allows searching by scheme (Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, Advanced Grant, etc.), year and country of the host institution, which is also possible in other databases.

For more details, you may read full article on UKRO portal (login details required). If you have difficulties in accessing information on UKRO portal, feel free to contact Research Facilitator – International Ainar Blaudums.

Save the date – 18 November 2019 – UKRO Annual Visit to BU

As usual, RDS will host annual UK Research Office visit to BU in 2019. This year’s event has been scheduled for November; the reason is obvious – Brexit. All academic staff interested in EU funding are invited to attend the event starting from noon.

Provisionally, the event will take place in FG04 seminar room; sessions will be delivered by Dr Andreas Kontogeorgos, European Advisor of the UK Research Office.
Agenda will include such topics as post-Brexit situation, remaining Horizon 2020 calls available for UK’s researchers in 2020 and development of the next EU framework programme Horizon Europe.

More information on agenda will be provided in early November. Academics are welcome to submit any other EU funding related topics for discussion to Ainar Blaudums at RDS Funding Development Team by the end of October.

UKRO delivers subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides MSCA and ERC National Contact Point services in the UK. As part of UKRO services, BU members of staff may sign up to receive personalised email alerts and get early access to EU funding related publications on UKRO portal.

The second wave of UKRI Fund for International Collaboration launched

The second wave of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC) has been announced on Friday 9 August 2019. The Fund for International Collaboration aims to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners.

The thirteen partnerships, supported with £60 million from UKRI and at least £45 million in matched partner funding with additional in-kind support, will see UK researchers working with collaborators in ten countries, including the USA, Canada, Japan and India.

Announcement and summaries of programmes are available on UKRI web portal; research topics include:

  • The Changing North Atlantic Ocean and its Impact on Climate (partner country – USA; lead/partner UKRI council – NERC)
  • Understanding and adapting to a changing environment (Canada; NERC)
  • Next generation transdisciplinary international research collaborations in Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (USA, Israel, China; BBSRC)
  • Diabetes Partnership Initiative (Canada; MRC)
  • Healthy Ageing Flagship Challenge (China; ESRC, Innovate UK)
  • Built Environment and Prevention Research Scheme (Australia; MRC)
  • Joint Call on Artificial Intelligence and Society (Japan; ESRC, AHRC)
  • Collaboration on Artificial Intelligence: Building competitive, resilient economies and societies (Canada; ESRC, AHRC, EPSRC, MRC)
  • Globalink Doctoral Exchange Scheme (Canada; NERC on behalf of seven UKRI councils)
  • Digital transformation in humanities research (Ireland; AHRC)  and a few other topics

Specific calls are announced and more details provided by dedicated Research Councils. Announcement also contains summaries of the FIC Wave 1 projects funded through the UKRI-JSPS call.

For further support and assistance please refer to your RDS research facilitator.

Funding Call: Knowledge Frontiers – International Interdisciplinary Research

The British Academy has opened Funding Call: Knowledge Frontiers – International Interdisciplinary Research 2020, funded by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The deadline for submissions and UK institutional approval is 23 October 2019 at 17.00 (UK time), awards up to £200,000 for duration of 24 months, projects must begin on 1 April 2020.

The British Academy is inviting proposals from UK-based researchers in the humanities and social sciences wishing to develop international interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with colleagues from the natural, engineering and/or medical sciences. The Academy is looking to fund applications that break new ground in the collaborations – international and interdisciplinary. The purpose of each project will be to develop new international research ideas.

The Academy encourages partnerships with researchers in low-income countries, however applications focused on any country are welcome.

Applications must demonstrate an innovative and interdisciplinary approach yielding new conceptual understandings, developing ground-breaking research and energising innovative collaborations between the humanities and social sciences on the one hand, and the natural, engineering and/or medical sciences on the other, related to one or more of the following themes:

  • Hazard and Risk
  • Cultures of Forecasting
  • Meaning of Resilience

RDS is currently working with cross-disciplinary group of BU academics to develop a proposal. If you are interested either to join the existing group or willing to lead/create a new group, please contact Research Facilitator Ainar Blaudums for further details by the middle of August.

Update on Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe

The European Commission published the updated 2018-2020 Work Programme of Horizon 2020, which includes details of the last calls for proposals launched under the programme. The last Work Programme is intended to be a bridge between Horizon 2020 and the next EU framework programme for research and innovation – Horizon Europe, which will start on 1 January 2021.

This Work Programme, with a total budget of more than €11 billion, will support the Commission’s political priorities in the following areas:

  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.7 billion;
  • Circular economy: €1 billion;
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.8 billion; and
  • Security Union: €1 billion.

The updated Work Programme parts can be found in the ‘Reference documents‘ section of the Funding & Tenders Portal (to find necessary Work Programme part, use filter ‘Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (H2020)’ and select ‘Work Programmes’ from the menu).

The UK and the EU have agreed a flexible Brexit extension for six months to 31 October 2019. During the extension period, the UK will remain a member of the EU with all the relevant rights and obligations. This means that UK organisations can continue to participate in Horizon 2020 as a Member State, and remain eligible to apply for Horizon 2020 funding. This includes requesting the relevant part of the project’s budget as an EU contribution.

The government’s no deal guarantees remain in place to ensure continuity of funding in a no-deal scenario. The UK government has committed to underwrite competitive UK bids to EU funding submitted before exit, even if they are notified of their success after exit, for the lifetime of the projects.

The UK government Post EU Exit Guarantee Extension would cover funding for successful UK bids to EU calls open to third country participants from the date of exit until end of 2020. The guarantee would cover the lifetime of their projects, even if these last beyond 2020.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has been appointed to manage the UK government’s guarantee and post-EU exit extension.

H2020 Societal Challenge 5 Information Days in September

The Information Days on H2020 Societal Challenge five: “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials” will take place on 16 and 17 September 2019 in Brussels. It targets applicants to the 2020 calls for project proposals; two individuals per organisation are allowed to register.

Registration closes on 8 September 2019. Once registered, attendees have the opportunity to design their own programme agenda as well as utilise a match-making facility that will enable them to schedule bilateral meetings and to present their interests, expertise and/or project ideas to possible project partners.

Further information is available on the Information Days website.

Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative: building competitive and resilient economies and societies through responsible AI

The three Canadian federal research funding agencies and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have announced an interdisciplinary joint call aimed at building competitive, resilient and healthy economies and societies through responsible AI. The call is now open and the deadline for applications is 12 September 2019.

This call is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), in collaboration with three Canadian federal research funding agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Academics interested in applying or finding more details related to this call may refer to ESRC web page or RDS.

Horizon 2020 information / brokerage events – SC1 & LEIT

A number of EU-wide information events have been announced recently.

LEIT: ICT, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

The Enterprise Europe Network, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and British National Contract Points (NCPs), is organising an international partnering event on ICT, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing.

The event will take place on 4 July 2019 in Dublin and participation is free. The programme will include presentations from the European Commission, National Contact Points, CEO of the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre (IMR), and will provide a unique opportunity to pitch ideas and expertise in front of leading research organisations and cutting-edge innovators from across industry.

Registration will be open until 1 July 2019 and more information is available on the event’s webpage.

Societal Challenge 1 ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’

On 3 July in Brussels, the European Commission is holding an Open Info Day for the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1 ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’. It will be a free, all-day event focusing on upcoming SC1 2020 calls for proposals, with an overall budget of €650 Million.

Draft agenda and registration are available on the event’s website.

Related to the Open Info Day, a free brokerage event is taking place on 4 July in Brussels. It is organised by the Health NCP Net 2.0 to provide the applicants with partnering opportunities. It is a separate event and requires registration by 31 May.

Interreg (Channel) Event on Flooding – Save the Date

INTERREG Channel programme has pre-announced an event on flooding to be held on 10 July, 2019 in London.

For those interested, more information will follow on INTERREG Channel website. Contact details of our Interreg representative: telephone: 01603 222 896, email: interregV@norfolk.gov.uk

On INTERREG VA France (Channel) England Joint Secretariat website you may also find update on impact of ‘no-deal Brexit’ on EU programmes from UK Government.