MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Horizon 2020: Final work programmes published

As some of you may have seen, the Commission have now launched their final update to the 2018-20 work programme. This update contains details of the last calls under Horizon 2020. It will also form a bridge to the next EU framework programme for research and innovation – Horizon Europe.

A further €11bn will be made available through these calls, including support for the Commission’s political priorities in:

  • Low carbon, climate resilient future
  • Circular economy
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services
  • Security Union

You can access work programmes through the ‘reference documents’ function on the Commission’s Funding and Tenders Portal (Ed – click on ‘Work Programmes’, ‘2018-20’ and then  ‘Main WP’ to access).

UK participation in calls for proposals

As an EU Member State, the UK remains eligible to participate in, and apply for funding from Horizon 2020 until the UK’s date of exit from the EU (currently set at 31 October 2019). After this date, the UK’s status will change and we anticipate that there may be changes to the parts of Horizon 2020 which are open to the UK.

The UK government have committed to underwrite participation in Horizon 2020 through its underwrite guarantee, and following our exit through an extension to this guarantee which will support successful projects where we are still eligible to apply.

Where to get support

If you are thinking of getting involved in Horizon 2020, or would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact us. Details of the appropriate person to contact can be found below:

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MSCA Individual Fellowships – funding available to support talented researchers

The 2019 call for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships (MSCA IF) is now open, with a deadline of 11 September 2019.

As regular readers of the Blog will be aware, this is a prestigious scheme which provides the opportunity to bring talented post-doctoral researchers (or those with equivalent research experience) to Manchester Met to undertake a programme of research and personal development. Typical fellowships will last for 24 months, and there are options to support those returning to research after a period away, as well as those returning to the EU to re-establish their research careers in EU organisations.

Researchers are able to develop their programme of research in any field, and fellowships can also provide an opportunity to experience life outside academia, with secondments in industry, the public sector or charitable organisations all possible.

The Guide for Applicants for the call is available here, and is essential reading for anyone wishing to apply.

Early notification

In order to ensure that we can give you the best support for your MSCA IF applications, we are asking for colleagues to notify RKE as soon as possible if you have a prospective fellowship (

National Contact Point Information Events

As part of their role as National Contact Point for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, our colleagues at UK Research Office will be organising two information events:

  • 29 May 2019 in London
  • 13 June 2019 in Newcastle

Events are free, but registration is mandatory – details will appear on UKRO’s website over the coming weeks.

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Horizon 2020 – New Work Programme is here!


As some of you may be aware, the 2019 update to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme has now been published. This coincides with HM Treasury’s confirmation that they will underwrite funding for the lifetime of the programme (even in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit), which will enable researchers to bid for most funding streams until 2020 in the knowledge that their participation will be fully funded.

Complete information about the calls within the 2019 work programme can be accessed via Participant Portal here.

(Ed – just click on Work Programmes > 2018-20 > Main WP and select the area you are interested in).

As the work programme is extensive, many colleagues find it helpful to use the search function available on the Portal. This allows you to search forthcoming calls, and calls with open topics, to narrow your search down to specific opportunities which link to your area of research.

Getting support and finding out more

If you would like to know more, need help with assessing the available opportunities, or are thinking of applying for funding, then please do get in touch with RKE ( Don’t worry if you’re at an early stage of thinking – we can explore the options together!

We will also be hosting a visit from our new UKRO Advisor Dr Branwen Hide in the autumn, which we hope will give you insight into some of the direction of travel for Horizon 2020, and its emerging successor programme (Horizon Europe).

Keep your eyes on the Blog for more details as they are finalised!





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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