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Research Operations Office


The Government has made it clear that the referendum result will have no immediate effect on those applying to Horizon 2020. The UK’s status as a full, participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not changed as a result of the referendum vote – existing project grants and contracts will be honoured unless or until advised otherwise.

UK institutions also remain fully eligible to apply to all funding schemes of Horizon 2020. The University shall continue to monitor the situation and update staff with any developments through the EU Queries website and other appropriate channels. For the statement of the VC of the University of Cambridge on the result of the referendum please click here.


The European Commission funds research and innovation in Europe through their Framework Programmes. Framework Programme 7 (FP7) funded research from 2008 to 2014 with a budget of €53 billion. The current framework programme, Horizon 2020 will run from 2014 to 2020 and has received a significant increase to its (estimated) budget which is expected to be around €70 billion (excludes EURATOM). Horizon 2020 includes parts of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), uniting therefore the funding of basic research and innovation.

What are the main changes with Horizon 2020:

  1. A simpler programme with a reduced average time to grant of 8 months (5 months evaluation + 3 months grant preparation)
  2. An inclusive approach, open to new participants
  3. Tighter integration of research and innovation, providing seamless and coherent funding from idea to market
  4. More support for innovation and activities close to the market
  5. A strong focus on creating business opportunities
  6. More opportunities for EU novices and young, promising scientists to put forward their ideas and obtain funding

Horizon 2020 is structured in Three Pillars, each focusing on a specific research strand:



Excellent Science - boosting top-level research in Europe, including a budget increase of 77% for the ERC, as well as such as Marie Curie and the Future and Emerging Technologies scheme

Strengthen Industrial Leadership in innovation including major investment in key technologies (focusing on Enterprise and Innovation funding)

Address major Societal Challenges (similar to FP7's Cooperation, but with more emphasis on the potential of research to solve society's current challenges)


EU news

Upcoming EC Call Deadlines

  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks - 17 January 2018
  • ERC Consolidator Grant - 15 February 2018
  • ERC Advanced Grant - 30 August 2018
  • ERC Proof of Concept Grant - 16 January 2018; 18 April 2018; 11 September 2018

The Research Office EU Team will run workshops for the ERC and MSC schemes prior to the each call deadline – further information about these events will be made available closer to the time. Tailored training on other EC schemes or for specific groups can also be arranged upon request. Please contact the EU team to arrange one of these sessions.