UKRO update 31/3/21
All BU academics can create an account to UKRO as we are a subscribing institution. Please use your BU email address. UKRO has prepared a new section on the Portal to allow subscribers finding the latest announcements and advice on the COVID-19 outbreak easily. This new page is available in the ‘Resources’ tab and provides a useful overview of the main messages from the European Commission and other important information. It will be regularly updated with the latest information taken from UKRO’s daily news articles, which are now tagged with the ‘COVID-19‘ hashtag for easier identification.
The European Commission launched the European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform on its Funding & Tenders Portal to make information related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on Horizon 2020/Horizon Europe grants available in a single place. The page includes links to the COVID-19 FAQs, a list of funding deadlines that have been extended and links to other useful resources, as well as links to the relevant pages of EU Member States (obviously, the UK doesn’t have a page). It’s a one-stop-shop for applicants and beneficiaries of Horizon funds looking for information about the COVID-19 outbreak.
Webinars: Upcoming UKRO webinars and past ones with slides are available for subscribers here. You will find a number on the topic of ‘COVID-19’ and ‘Horizon Europe’.
The European Commission launched the Coronavirus response website, which provides information on how the Commission coordinated a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19. The website includes general advice, latest developments and initiatives, as well as links to pandemic statistics and a dedicated section on research activities.
COVID-19 research: The EC and EU member states launched a data-sharing platform ‘European Covid-19 Data Platform‘ to enhance coordination of the COVID-19 research. The aim of the COVID-19 Data Portal is to facilitate data sharing and analysis, and to accelerate coronavirus research. The Platform consists of three connected components:
- SARS-CoV-2 Data Hubs, which organise the flow of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak sequence data and provide comprehensive open data sharing for the European and global research communities;
- Federated European Genome-phenome Archive, which provides secure controlled access sharing of sensitive patient and research subject data sets relating to COVID-19; and
- COVID-19 Data Portal, which bring together and continuously update relevant COVID-19 datasets and tools, will host sequence data sharing and will facilitate access to other SARS-CoV-2 resources.
EU H2020 update 2/11
For award holders, Article 51 of the H2020 MGA sets out the conditions in which the force majeure clause can be used. Costs will be eligible, if they fulfil the general eligibility conditions set out in Article 6 H2020 MGA like any other costs incurred under the action. For example, if a meeting/ event cannot take place due to force majeure, travel and accommodation costs may still be charged to the H2020 action if they fulfil the cost eligibility conditions, even if the beneficiary did not travel and did not take part in the meeting/event. If force majeure entails extra costs for the implementation of the action, these costs may be eligible if necessary for the implementation for the action (e.g. a cancelled conference is reorganised at a later stage). However, the maximum grant amount cannot be increased.
ERC update 15/3/21
The ERC have issued a statement to say that panel evaluations are being organised remotely. The update includes changes to application deadlines, and advice on extensions to grants and adapting projects to Covid-19.
MSCA update 17/2/21
The REA have created Coronavirus:information for the MSCA community pages which provide updates to fellows and project managers. These are updated regularly and so do check these is you are intending to apply for funding. UKRO has made available a new dedicated resources page for COVID-19-related issues in the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions. The page outlines areas applicable to all MSC Actions, followed by dedicated sections for Individual Fellowships (IF), Innovative Training Networks (ITN), Research Staff Exchange Scheme (RISE), COFUND and Researchers Night (NIGHT).
Erasmus+ update 4/1/21
The EC issued a statement in March 2020 explaining that it will apply maximum flexibility in the implementation of the programme, within the limits of the applicable legal framework. To deal with participants being unable to travel, or return home, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Erasmus+ National Agencies are now permitted to invoke force majeure clauses whereby they may accept additional costs up to a maximum grant amount. Planned activities may also be postponed by up to 12 months per project. Please note that the UK will not be able to apply to future Erasmus+ calls. The UK government are implementing a new scheme called Turing scheme. Find out more here.