European Funding Opportunities

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The European Union invests heavily in research, technological development, and innovation. Since 1984, the EU’s seven Framework Programs for Research and Technological Development have provided multi-year funding and direction for research, innovation, and technological development.

The Seventh Framework Program (FP7) is the largest public-funded research program in the world; between 2007 and 2013, it provided €53.3 billion budget to support research and innovation in Europe.

In 2014, FP7 is replaced by Horizon 2020, a new funding framework that brings together all existing EU-level programs that support research and innovation to ensure scientific excellence; boost industrial leadership and competitiveness; and tackle societal challenges. Between 2014 and 2020, a proposed €80 billion will be provided under the Horizon 2020 framework to research institutions, universities, innovative private companies, and small businesses.

For more information, you can contact the Science, Technology and Education section at the Delegation of the EU to the United States.

European Research Council (ERC) funding schemes

Established in 2007 by the European Commission, and funded through the 7th Framework Program, the European Research Council (ERC) encourages high quality research in Europe through competitive funding.
European Research Council (ERC) funding schemes come under the "Excellent Science" pillar of Horizon 2020 and are open to top researchers of any nationality or age who wish to carry out their frontier research in the 28 EU Member States or associated countries. There are three ERC core funding schemes and two additional schemes.

- ERC Starting Grants aim to support top researchers with 2 to 7 years of experience after their PhD. Grants amount to up to €2 million for up to five years.

- ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support top researchers with 7 to 12 years of experience after their PhD. Grants amount to up to €2.75 million for up to five years.

- ERC Advanced Grants are open to excellent established researchers who have a recent research track-record which identifies them as leaders in their respective field of research. Grants amount to up to €3.5 million for up to five years.

- ERC Proof of Concept: for ERC grant holders only. Bridging gap between research - earliest stage of marketable innovation. Up to €150,000.

- ERC Synergy Grants: pilot scheme for small groups of excellent researchers.

- More information about ERC Funding and grants : http://erc.europa.eu/funding-and-grants

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) come under the "Excellent Science" pillar of Horizon 2020 and will award 6,162 million euro over the period 2014-2020.

The objective of the MSCA is to support the career development and training of researchers – with a focus on innovation skills – in all scientific disciplines through worldwide and cross-sector mobility. For this, the MSCA provide grants at all stages of researchers’ careers, from PhD candidates to highly experienced researchers, and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, funding 25 000 PhDs.

Endowing researchers with new skills and a wider range of competences, while offering them attractive working conditions, is a crucial aspect of the MSCA. In addition to mobility between countries, the MSCA also seek to break the real and perceived barriers between academic and other sectors, especially business. The MSCA follow a "bottom-up" approach, i.e. individuals and organisations working in any area of research can apply for funding. Several MSCA initiatives promote the involvement of industry etc. in doctoral and post-doctoral research.

- Research networks (ITN): support for Innovative Training Networks

ITNs support competitively selected joint research training and/or doctoral programmes, implemented by European partnerships of universities, research institutions, and non-academic organisations.
The research training programmes provide experience outside academia, hence developing innovation and employability skills. ITNs will include industrial doctorates, in which non-academic organisations have an equal role to universities in respect of the researcher’s time and supervision, and joint doctoral degrees delivered by several universities. Furthermore, non-European organisations can participate as additional partners in ITNs, enabling doctoral-level candidates to gain experience outside Europe during their training.

- Individual fellowships (IF): support for experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries, optionally to the non-academic sector

Individual Fellowships will support the mobility of researchers within and beyond Europe - as well as helping to attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU. The grant usually covers two years’ salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution. Individual researchers submit proposals for funding in liaison with their planned host organisation. Proposals are judged on their research quality, the researcher’s future career prospects, and the support offered by the host organisation. Fellows can also spend part of the fellowship elsewhere in Europe if this would boost impact, and those restarting their career in Europe benefit from special eligibility conditions.

- International and inter-sectoral cooperation through the Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE)

RISE will support short-term mobility of research and innovation staff at all career levels, from the most junior (post-graduate) to the most senior (management), including also administrative and technical staff. It will be open to partnerships of universities, research institutions, and non-academic organisations both within and beyond Europe. In worldwide partnerships, academia-to-academia exchanges will be permitted.

- Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes that finance fellowships involving mobility to or from another country

The MSCA offer additional funding to regional, national and international programmes managed in Europe for research training and career development. COFUND programmes encourage the movement of researchers of any nationality across borders and provide good working conditions. The scheme can support doctoral and fellowship programmes.

More information:
- http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/marie-sklodowska-curie-actions
- http://ec.europa.eu/research/msca


Horizon 2020 Calls for proposals

- List of Open Horizon 2020 Calls for proposals
- Full list of H2020 Calls

- Latest Horizon 2020 Call openings (rss) :