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Horizon 2020: post-Brexit update

You are still eligible for Horizon 2020 funding and, as a University, we have a high success rate, writes Jonathan Seckl, Vice-Principal Planning, Resources and Research Policy.

Although the UK has now left the EU, we have entered the transition period which will continue until 31 December 2020. The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement ensure that thankfully the UK remains a full participating country for the remainder of Horizon 2020 (H2020). This means that we can continue to apply to all H2020 deadlines (including ERC and MSCA) that fall under the H2020 framework (some H2020 deadlines may be in early 2021). All successful projects will be funded for their entire duration, even if the start date comes after 31st December 2020.

The University of Edinburgh has enjoyed considerable success during H2020. We rank 4th in the UK and 10th overall in the EU among universities. Our success rate of 24% compares very favourably with the UK university average of 14% and overall EU average of 13%. And for the largest multi-partner collaborative grants we are 3rd in the UK.

We also do very well with ERC applications, those prestigious marks of the excellence of our star researchers. Our ERC success rate is 17%, considerably higher than the UK average of 11% and overall EU 10%. Indeed, we are 4th in the UK for ERC grant holders and 7th in the EU overall.

We submitted our highest ever number of ERC applications to the most recent Starting Grant call last October, showing that interest remains high.

Specifically, we are eligible to apply for the upcoming ERC Advanced (Aug 2020) and MSCA Individual (Sept 2020) Fellowships calls. Please do avail yourselves of these excellent opportunities to mark you own excellence or host promising early career applicants to the MSCA-IF call.

In addition, there remain over 250 opportunities to apply to collaborative calls. A full list of deadlines can be found here (University staff only). We also expect major calls to support delivery of the EU’s recently published Green Deal. Please apply.

Whether or not we are allowed to take part in Horizon Europe from 2021 is in the lap of politicians and their negotiators. There is optimism that, since both sides overtly want to continue to collaborate at scale, agreement should be attainable. But we will have to wait and see.

Meantime, we at the University of Edinburgh are continuing to defy the odds and gain plenty of splendid H2020 awards to support our outstanding research. So please continue to apply whenever you have the chance. Good luck.


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