MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

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Horizon 2020: Do you know a talented researcher who wants to come to the UK?


Picture the scene. You know someone who would be a perfect addition to your research group – they have their PhD* and a good track record, their research is a great fit and they have good links to other organisations (including their current employer). The only snag is they’re not local, in fact they’re not even based in the UK.

If this sounds familiar, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions “Individual Fellowships”, may be just what you’re looking for.

So how do they work?

The scheme provides fully funded fellowships of up to 24 months for researchers to come to Manchester Met from any country other than the UK. They can be working in any discipline and together with colleagues at Manchester Met, they can build their own programme of research in any field. The application is made jointly between the prospective fellow and Manchester Met and does not require a large partnership.

The really good news is you also have plenty of time to prepare your application – the next deadline will be 12 September 2018. However, the scheme is competitive, so we would advise you to start thinking now and get a head start on the competition (Ed. The Guidance for Applicants, which provides more information is available here)!

If you’re interested in finding out more or think you may have someone who fits the bill, please get in touch (

(* even if they don’t have their PhD, if they have four years full time research experience they also qualify) 



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Horizon 2020: Individual Fellowships and support to develop your proposals

In preparation for the call for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships, our  colleagues at UKRO (the UK National Contact Point for MSCAs) have announced details of an information event in London on 25 April 2018.

The event is free of charge, and you can find out more and register here.

There will be another event announced soon which will take place at another UK location in May (Ed – keep an eye on the Blog for details).


MSCA Individual Fellowships

The MSCA Individual Fellowships can support researchers to pursue a fellowship at Manchester Met for up to two years full time (Ed – there are now part time options too). The scheme targets individuals with a PhD or equivalent full time research experience. It is open to researchers in any discipline who have spent less than 12 months of the past three years in the UK. The next call for proposals will open on 12 April 2018, with a deadline of 12 September 2018.

Internal funding available – Early Career Fellowship Scheme

For those of you considering making an application with a fellow, you may also be interested in the RKE Early Career Fellowship Scheme, which is currently open for applications. The scheme can provide up to £500 to support your prospective fellow to come to Manchester Met to work on their application with you. The deadline for applications is 25 April 2018, and you can find information on how to apply and the application form here.

Manchester Met information session

Finally, following on from previous years, we are in the process of planning an information session of our own at Manchester Met. So we can get an idea of interest, please drop us a line at if you would be interested in attending.

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Further clarification from BEIS on future participation in Horizon 2020

Following our round-up last week of messages we’ve been hearing , there is some more news to report in relation to our involvement in EU funded programmes.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has just published a document on the current and future aspirations for UK’s participation in Horizon 2020. As you might expect our colleagues at UKRO have had close involvement in the preparation of the document and you can read their analysis here (Ed – you’ll need to be logged in/register to get access).

Picking up on elements of Theresa May’s speech on 2 March 2018, the document strikes a positive tone for the short term. It reiterates the intention that the UK will continue to participate in Horizon 2020 and other programmes covered by the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, and makes clear reference to the value placed on Horizon 2020. It also reaffirms the UK Government’s continued commitment to underwriting involvement in Horizon 2020, irrespective of the outcome of negotiations.

With respect to Framework Programme 9, the tone is a little more circumspect, with the document observing: ‘It is too early to speculate on whether the UK will seek to Associate to Framework 9’.

For a more in-depth analysis look out for an update next week!



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Urban Europe: Europe-China Joint Call – internal expressions of interest required

Urban Europe

This is an important post for those of you who may be considering an application to the latest Urban Europe call: Europe-China Joint Call: Sustainable and Liveable Cities and Urban Areas.

The ESRC (who fund the UK’s participation) have announced demand management measures for the call.

From the ESRC’s guidance: “It is our expectation that applicants will seek to improve the quality and regulate the volume of proposals coming from the same Research Organisation in the UK before they are submitted to this call, ensuring that only those deemed to have the highest chance of success are submitted. We expect applicants to use internal institutional pre-submission review and quality control mechanisms to achieve this.

A UK applicant, can be involved in a maximum of two proposals, but can only be the Main Applicant on one proposal. A person can be a Co-applicant (and the lead for a UK component) on a maximum of two proposals.”

In order to comply with this requirement, we would like to invite expressions of interest from those of you who may be considering a submission to this call either as a partner or as lead by 9 March 2018.

An EoI form can be obtained from RKE Directorate via and potential applicants are asked not to register their interest via Urban Europe’s website at this point.

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H2020 – Work programme 2018-20 is here!


Slightly later than originally anticipated, the work programme for the final phase of Horizon 2020 has now been published and the first calls launched.

As well as the areas that will be familiar to those with an interest in Horizon 2020, we also see the launch of the European Innovation Council (EIC), which brings together a number of support measures to foster ‘breakthrough, market-creating innovation’.

The table below provides links to selected annexes of the work programme which set out topics for each of the key areas and associated deadlines.

As ever, if you’re considering a proposal, please do get in touch (

You can also take advantage of our visit from Ian Devine of UKRO next week (31 October 2017) to find out more about the work programme and some of the thinking behind priorities. To book your place, please visit the registration page here. If you can’t make the 31 October 2017, Ian will also be speaking at the Universities of Salford and Manchester (1 and 2 November 2017). Please contact us for more details of  how to register (

Horizon 2020 – Priorities and deadlines (details relating to the European Research Council can be found here).

Pillar Area Key 2018 Deadlines


Excellent Science – reinforcing and extending the excellence of the European research base Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)
FET Open May
FET Proactive March, May
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Innovative Training Networks January
Research and Innovation Staff Exchange March
Individual Fellowships September
Research Infrastructures March
Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies – developing technologies and innovations to underpin tomorrow’s business Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing (NMBP) January (Two Stage), February, March, April
Information and Communication Technologies January, April, August, November
Space March
Societal Challenges – addressing major policy priorities of Europe 2020 strategy Societal Challenge 1: Health, demographic change and wellbeing February, (Two Stage), April, (Single Stage)


Societal Challenge 2: Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy


February (Two Stage)
Societal Challenge 3: Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy January, February, April, September, October, November, December


Societal Challenge 4: Smart, Green and Integrated Transport January (Two Stage), April (Single Stage)
Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials February (Two Stage)
Societal Challenge 6: Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies March
Societal Challenge 7: Secure Societies  August
Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation  September, November
Science with and for Society April
European Innovation Council (EIC) See FET Open

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H2020 – UKRO Visit 31 October – reminder

UKRO and Horizon 2020

As previously announced via the Blog, we will be welcoming our UK Research Office European Advisor, Ian Devine, to Manchester Met on 31 October 2017.

Ian will be providing an update on the new Horizon 2020 2018-20 work programme for all those of you who are interested in finding out about opportunities for funding through Horizon 2020. He will also provide  information about the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, for which UKRO are the UK’s National Contact Point.

For details of timings and location and to book a place please visit our event registration page here.

PLEASE NOTE – this event is only open to employees of Manchester Met and the Universities of Manchester and Salford.

There will also be the opportunity for Manchester Met staff to meet with Ian on a one-to-one or small group basis on the afternoon of 31 October 2017 to discuss any particular queries. If you would like to book a slot then please contact us (

Sessions at University of Salford and University of Manchester also open to Manchester Met staff

Ian will also be visiting the Universities of Salford and Manchester to present on 1 and 2 November respectively, and colleagues have kindly agreed to open up their sessions to Manchester Met staff who are unable to make it to our sessions.

If you would like further details of events at University of Salford or University of Manchester please contact us ( and we will provide details of how to register.

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H2020 – Update on pre-publication of work programme


In readiness for the imminent launch of the 2018-20 work programme, the European Commission have now published a near complete set of drafts. You can access the documents here, (Ed – simply follow the ‘DRAFT work programme’ links to find out more about likely topics and deadlines).

Whilst the documents are not yet cast in stone, wholesale changes are not anticipated.

If you are interested in finding out more, then we will be hosting our European Adviser Ian Devine from UKRO on 31 October 2017. If you’d like to join us for a session on the new work programme then please register your place here.