The European Union funds research in a variety of ways as part of Horizon 2020 – the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Its funding programmes include support for collaborative research projects as well as individual actions such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie and ERC Grants.
Horizon 2020 – the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, is the European Union’s main instrument for promoting research, technological development and innovation until 2020. The EU has set three main emphases with Horizon 2020:
- Promoting excellent science
- Strengthening industrial leadership
- Addressing major societal concerns, such as health, climate, energy, food safety and security
The various programmes of Horizon 2020 make a significant contribution to the networking of the European research landscape and the formation of a European Research Area (ERA). It is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever with nearly 80 billion euros of funding available over 7 years.
Over 24 billion euros of that total is being made available for excellent science and bottom-up projects. These funds will be allocated to various programmes:
- The European Research Council (ERC), an EU body that aims to promote basic research, receives the largest budget in this area with 13.1 billion euros
- 6.2 billion euros is being made available for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, a programme that primarily aims to improve researchers’ mobility and career development
- 2.7 billion euros are being invested in Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
- Roughly 2.5 billion euros are provided for European Research Infrastructures
Facts and figures
Essentially, Horizon 2020 is focusing on the three key areas: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges
Nearly 80 billion euros of funding is being made available (2014–2020)
The key area of excellent science has access to a total of over 24 billion euros
The two programmes ERC Grants and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions award funding for international research collaborations and grants for researchers who are at the beginning of an independent research career as well as experienced researchers.
ERC Grants – support for excellent scientists
The European Research Council aims to support ground-breaking research in all research disciplines with ERC Grants.
- Starting Grants support research projects by junior researchers at the beginning of their careers with up to 2 million euros for a maximum period of 5 years
- Consolidator Grants support experienced junior researchers with up to 2.75 million euros for a period of up to 5 years
- Advanced Grants finance pioneering research by outstanding experienced researchers with up to 3.5 million euros for up to 5 years
- Synergy Grants support groups of 2 to 4 outstanding researchers and their teams with up to 10 million euros for a maximum of six years
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – support for research training and career development
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) primarily aims to improve researchers’ mobility and career development. MSC Actions offer a variety of different sponsorship programmes, ranging from individual fellowships to (host-driven) institutional actions.
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellowships fund research stays by experienced researchers for up to 2 years in an EU member state or associated country
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowships fund research stays by experienced researchers for up to 2 years in a third country (e.g. USA, Canada, China) with a mandatory return phase of 1 year in an EU member state or associated country
National Contact Points for EU funding
Working on behalf of the German government, the Network of German National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 offers free-of-charge advice and information on EU funding instruments to potential applicants at German research institutions. The following services are provided:
- Individual advice in all questions concerning the application
- Legal and financial information with regard to grant preparation and project management
- Proposal writing and information events in Germany
More: The German National Contact Points MSCA (NCP MSCA) and ERC (NCP ERC) provide information and advice relating to participation in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and funding provided by the European Research Council.
The European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) offers information, consulting and training on EU research funding for any EU research project.
The Network of National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 in Germany is coordinated by the DLR-PT, EU Bureau of the BMBF.