MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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

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H2020: MSCA Individual Fellowships Information Event – reminder


For those of you interested in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions “Individual Fellowships”, we will be holding an event on 23 May 2017, from 2.00-4.00 pm where you can find out more and also hear about Dr Emma Hodson-Tole’s experiences of securing funding from the scheme. If you are interested in attending please register here by 10 May 2017 – we have limited places available, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Unfortunately, attendance is restricted to our Manchester Met-based subscribers, but those of you based at different institutions may be interested in the events being run by UK Research Office.

About the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions “Individual Fellowships”

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 next deadline is 14 September 2017.

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


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H2020 Info Days and new gender equality resource

After a bit of an absence, a few updates for colleagues with an interest in the Science with and For Society and/or Secure Societies calls, news of a new guide to improving gender equality in research organisations and a quick reminder of forthcoming Horizon 2020 calls. As ever, if  anything catches your eye then we’d love to hear from you (!

H2020 Science With And For Society – presentations available from Information Day

Presentations and a video are now available from the recent SWAFS information day. The presentations covered the main topics for the 2017 call: Science Education; Public Engagement; Ethics and Research Integrity and Gender. The call will officially open on 12 April 2017 and deadline for applications will be 30 August 2017.

A new resource for improving gender equality

Science Europe have made a number of presentations available from the launch of their new practical guide on ‘Improving Gender Equality in Research Organisations’. The guide, and the presentations, include thoughts on: avoiding unconscious bias in peer review; monitoring gender equality and improving grant management practices.

H2020 Societal Challenge 7 – presentations available from Secure Societies Information Day

Presentations are now available from the recent information day on the latest calls under Societal Challenge 7. Amongst the sub-topics covered were: cybersecurity; research to support critical infrastructure protection; border security and external securityfight against crime and terrorism; and pan-European networks of practitioners and other actors in the field of security. All calls are now open and have a deadline of 24 August 2017.

Forthcoming H2020 Deadlines

With work well underway to define priorities for the last phase of Horizon 2020 (2018-20), there are still a number of opportunities open for the current 2017 call.

25 April LEIT – ICT
24 August Societal Challenge 7 – Security
30 August Science with and for Society
14 September Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships

As ever, if you are thinking of applying, or want to know more, then please get in touch(


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Have your say on the shape of University-Business Cooperation in Europe


Colleagues from the European Commission are seeking views from academics and businesses across Europe about cooperation between HEIs and public and private organisations.

The results of the survey, which has been commissioned by the European Commission, will be used as an input into future policy making, so this represents a great opportunity to contribute to future priorities.

You can find details of how to respond and links to the survey in the invitation here and more information about the survey itself here.


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Horizon 2020 – Updated 2016-17 Work Programme

Horizon%202020For those of you eagerly awaiting the opening of the 2017 Horizon 2020 calls, things have moved a step closer with the publication of an updated version of the 2016-17 Work Programme. We anticipate that there will be around 50 calls and other actions worth in the region of €8.5 billion during 2017.

You can find all updated documents on Participant Portal in the ‘Reference Documents’ section – just click on the area that you’re interested in to find out more about priorities, timings and budgets (Ed – you’ll need to scroll down to the ‘Main WP’ folder).

Our good friends at UKRO are also providing summaries by area of the Work Programme, which provide a handy guide to the key changes. (Ed – if you’re not signed up to the UKRO portal we’d highly recommend it and suggest it’s well worth the couple of minutes it takes to set up a profile. It’s fairly straightforward, but if you have any problems do get in touch – 

In parallel, a factsheet summarising the overarching 2017 priorities and call budgets has also been made available here. This gives some great insight when thinking about how your project fits in with and addresses the wider priorities and agendas of the EU.

Key change for 2016-17 – Annex L Open Access

One key change affecting all projects from 2017 is the move to roll out the Horizon 2020 Open Data Pilot, making open access to research data the default option for all projects. A specific Annex to the Work Programme (Annex L) provides more detail, but in summary:

  • Projects will be expected to make data needed to validate their research findings (and required instructions) available on an open access basis
  • Projects will need to provide a Data Management Plan as a deliverable within their project.
  • Costs relating to making data openly available can be incorporated into projects.

There is the option to opt out of this obligation, for example if there is the potential to jeopardise protection of commercially sensitive results, create security issues or is incompatible with rules on protecting personal data (Ed – Annex L gives more detail, and there will not be penalties when applications are assessed), but a case needs to be made.

To assist consortia, there is some really helpful information available on Participant Portal, which gives you information on both open access and data management (Ed – there is a helpful outline of a DMP on this page).

If you’re thinking about a project get in touch

As ever, we’re keen to hear from anyone who is thinking about applying for a Horizon 2020 project and we’re happy to provide advice and support. Just drop us a line at

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Horizon 2020 – dates for the diary!



In the run up to the 2017 Call for Proposals, details of Info Days are coming through thick and fast.

The latest dates for the diary are:

As regular readers will know, these are excellent events for finding out about topics from colleagues at the European Commission and also developing links to potential partners. Indeed, we have examples of current H2020 projects which have their origins in links developed through Info Days!

If you are thinking of attending do let us know (, and for those of you who can’t make it on the day, keep an eye on the event websites which will publish videos and presentations after the event.

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What could the EU referendum mean for Horizon 2020?


It is currently impossible to avoid the media attention being focused on the decision facing the UK population on 23 June 2016 and we even have the obligatory ‘snappy’ term coined on such an occasion – ‘Brexit’.

As part of the build-up to the referendum, Universities UK have launched the ‘Universities for Europe’ campaign expressing their support for retaining EU membership and our own Vice-Chancellor, Prof Malcolm Press, was one of the 103 signatories of an open letter published in the Sunday Times highlighting the negative impact that an exit from the EU could have on UK universities.

Manchester Met is currently involved in European research funded by the EU, with the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives in areas ranging from therapies for degenerative diseases to the sustainable management of the fisheries sector and from sustainable use of energy and reuse of textiles to innovative social investment and young people’s participation in cities. Like other UK universities our researchers benefit greatly from the ability to collaborate on an international scale through programmes like Horizon 2020.

What happens to our future involvement in Horizon 2020 if we vote to leave the EU?

Focusing on the very practical aspect of European research funding through programmes such as Horizon 2020, if we vote to retain our EU membership it will be business as usual with full funding and no restrictions on participation. But what happens in the event of a ‘Brexit’?

There are two main options open, but we are dealing with many unknowns.

There is the option to become an Associated Country, where we can negotiate our involvement in programmes such as Horizon 2020 on a funded basis. However, concerns are being raised about how some of the other features of a ‘Brexit’ might impact on what this option might look like. (Ed – Janet Beer (Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool and vice-president of UUK) writing in Research Professional provides an interesting review, which includes some of the potential challenges to be faced). 

There is also the option to engage as a Third Country. However, given the UK’s relative prosperity the default will be that this is on an unfunded basis similar to countries like USA, Canada and Australia. Unlike these countries we do not have the mechanisms in place currently to provide national funding to support participation, so the ability of UK universities to participate could be curtailed (possibly significantly) – at least in the short term.

Parallels are being drawn with the situation that Switzerland has experienced in gaining access to Horizon 2020 following the outcome of their referendum in 2014 limiting freedom of movement. A recent interview with Philippe Moreillon (Vice Rector at the University of Lausanne) in Research Professional provides an interesting insight of what challenges the UK could face as an unfunded Third Country.

It’s highly unlikely that the vote on 23 June will be decided on our ability to participate in Horizon 2020 (Ed – even the most hardened H2020 obsessive would struggle to argue to the contrary!), but it is a small yet practical illustration of how things could change for UK universities and researchers.


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Horizon 2020 – A glimpse into the future (clues about the next phase of H2020)


A recent publication from DG Research (Strategic Foresight: Towards the 3rd Strategic Programme of Horizon 2020 available here) provides an interesting take on what the future could hold for Horizon 2020 and is likely to be a key input into setting future priorities. Designed to provoke discussion, eight ’emerging issues and disruptions’ are explored  in the context of future scenarios and the implications they have for the third phase of Horizon 2020 are considered.

The areas identified are:

  • Hyperconnectivity and Big Data driving accelerated change and innovation
  • Falling cost of energy as a huge economic and environmental game changer
  • Migration and changing demographics: important changes for innovation in Europe
  • Health as a major driver: a key concern in citizens’ aspirations and a shaper of attitudes to Research and Innovation
  • Facing climate change, oceans and space as pacifying/unifying projects
  • Primary sector innovation: strategic and key for sustainability and well-being
  • Biotechnology as the next wave of disruptive technologies
  • A state of instability as the new norm in global society

Whilst digesting the whole report requires a certain amount of commitment from the reader, Section 6 (and in particular the introduction of each issue and implications for Horizon 2020) is likely to be of interest to the H2020 ‘Detective’.