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 14 September 2017. However, the scheme is competitive, so we would advise you to start thinking now and get a head start on the competition!

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) 

Manchester Met Information Event

For those of you interested in the scheme, 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.




H2020: MSCA Individual Fellowships – Info Events


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 two information events (Liverpool on 5 May 2017 and Bristol on 23 May 2017).

The events are free of charge, and you can find out more and register for the Liverpool event here and the Bristol event here.

Manchester Met information session

For those of you unable to make it to Liverpool or Bristol for the UKRO sessions, 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 (Ed – please note that this session will only be open to colleagues from Manchester Met).

MSCA Individual Fellowships

The MSCA Individual Fellowships can support researchers to pursue a fellowship at Manchester Met for up to two years. The scheme targets individuals with a PhD or equivalent full time research experience. Manchester Met can apply for support to host 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 11 April 2017, with a deadline of 14 September 2017.

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Horizon 2020: National Contact Points visit Manchester


Our good friends at the University of Manchester will be hosting a number of representatives from the UK’s National Contact Points on 13 December 2016 to talk about Horizon 2020 future calls.

The event will be held in the Manchester Institute Biotechnology Lecture Theatre and the agenda for the day will be as follows:


If you are interested in attending, then please register by completing the short survey here.

This is a great opportunity to hear how different areas of the programme will shape up post 2017 and also to make links with colleagues at the NCPs and University of Manchester.

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Horizon 2020: FET Open, Info Days and Shift2Rail


In a bid to try to clarify the purpose and expectations of Horizon 2020’s (highly popular) Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open scheme, the European Commission have released a short promotional video available here.

For any of you thinking about applying to the scheme for either of the 2017 deadlines (17 January and 29 September) it’s well worth taking a few minutes to watch to make sure that your ideas are suitable.

Information Days

Presentations are now available from the Information Day for the 2017 call for Societal Challenge 6 (Europe in a Changing World) held in Brussels. These include presentations from representatives of the EC, an existing Horizon 2020 project, and the ESRC.

The EC together with National Contact Points will host an information day and brokerage event on 8 December in Brussels. The event will cover the following calls from Societal Challenge 5 (Climate Action):

  • Nature based solutions for inclusive urban regeneration
  • Heritage-led rural regeneration
  • Nature-based solutions for hydro-meteorological risk reduction

An agenda and details of registration are available via the event website.


The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking (S2RJU) has announced a call for proposals aligned with the ‘Smart, Green and Integrated Transport’ Societal Challenge. Certain elements are restricted to S2RJU members, but amongst the topics open to non-members are:

  • Smart metering and asset management of railway systems
  • Future stations and autonomous monitoring systems
  • Smart technologies for improved travel companion and trip tracking

Full details of the call including descriptions of topics are available in the S2RJU 2017 Annual Workplan.

As ever, if you’re thinking of making an application or want to know more about any of the above we’d love to hear from you (



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Horizon 2020 – Key Deadlines


As discussions continue about priorities for 2018/20 and the next Framework programme there is still plenty to bid for in the 2017 call for proposals.

To help you navigate what’s out there, the list below gives an overview of some of the main deadlines and links to help you access the relevant work programme. In each document you’ll see a range of topics and those with a ‘2017’ or ‘2016-17’ suffix (e.g MG-1.2-2017 or MG-1-5-2016-2017) are the ones to focus on.

As ever, we’re keen to hear from you and support you with your submissions, so please do get in touch if you’re thinking of applying, need help deciding on a topic or just want to know more ( The earlier you get in touch, the more we can help!

Overview of Key Deadlines – Horizon 2020, 2017 Call for Proposals


10 January Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Networks
17 January / 29 September Future and Emerging Technologies – Open
26 January / 1 February Societal Challenge 4 – Transport
31 January/ 14 March / 11 April Societal Challenge 1 – Health
2 February Societal Challenge 6 – Society
14 February Societal Challenge 2 – Food/Agri/Marine/Bioeconomy
14 February / 7 September Societal Challenge 3 – Energy
1 March Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Tech (LEIT) – Space
7 March Societal Challenge 5 – Climate Action
5 April Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Research and Innovation Staff Exchange
25 April LEIT – ICT
25 April / 24 August Societal Challenge 7 – Security
30 August Science with and for Society
14 September Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships


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Horizon 2020 – Updates from Info Days


As the 2017 calls start to gather pace, presentations from Info Days are being made available. A couple that may be of interest are:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Proposers’ Day 2016 , covering ICT-focused areas of the 2016/17 workprogramme including Internet of Things, Big Data, Digital Security and ICT for Active and Healthy Ageing. Presentations can be accessed via the event pages.
  • Climate Action (Societal Challenge 5) info day, where organisers have made both presentations and a video available.

As ever, if you’re thinking of applying for Horizon 2020 funding please do get in touch –


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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