MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Horizon 2020 – UKRI Update on continued participation

As the 31 January 2020 approaches, UKRI have published the following statement regarding the UK’s continued access to Horizon 2020 programme, which confirms that once the Withdrawal Agreement is approved we will remain eligible to apply for the duration of the programme:

“UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in, bid for and lead projects in the European Union’s (EU) flagship programme Horizon 2020, as if the UK remained a Member State, even after the UK exits the EU on 31 January 2020.

The UK remains the second highest recipient of Horizon 2020 funding for science and innovation and UK organisations are encouraged to continue to bid into calls for grants until the end of the Horizon 2020 programme.

Following the Second Reading in parliament of the Withdrawal Agreement on 20 December, the UK has now stepped down its preparations for leaving the EU without a deal, with confidence that it will ratify the EU Exit deal by 31 January.

The Withdrawal Agreement means that the UK continues to participate in EU Programmes financed by the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure. Horizon 2020 is a Programme funded under the current MFF. UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in these programmes and receive EU grant funding for the lifetime of individual projects, including projects finishing after the transition period ends in 2020.

A very limited number of UK Horizon 2020 projects, which involve access to security-related sensitive information restricted for EU Member States, may be unable to continue after EU Exit in their current form. The government expects the European Commission to inform participants if this is the case. Any affected UK grant holders should contact UKRI at 

The priority continues to be securing the best outcome for UK research and innovation and creating the best possible environment for collaborations and international partnerships to flourish. This includes a mutually beneficial future relationship with the EU in science and innovation.”

(original statement accessible via UKRI website here)

Our participation in the forthcoming Horizon Europe Programme (the successor to Horizon 2020) remains subject to negotiation, and discussions are unlikely to move forward until Member States have agreed the next EU budget for the period 2021-2027.

Our colleagues at UKRO continue to maintain their excellent Brexit factsheet, which provides a useful overview of the current position.

Thinking of applying?

If you are thinking of applying for EU funding, then we’re here to support you. Just get in touch with your International Research Development Manager for help and advice:

Sally Pedley – Arts & Humanities, Business & Law, and Health Psychology & Social Care (

Margaret Eastcott – Education and Science & Engineering (

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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: Upcoming Info Days

save the date

As we head towards the final year of Horizon 2020, our colleagues at UKRO have helpfully compiled a list of the events which have been announced to date. These events, which are organised by the European Commission, its Executive Agencies and the networks of Horizon 2020 National Contact Points will provide details of upcoming calls.

Events announced so far:

Societal Challenge 1 Info Day and Health Partnering Day 2019 – 3-4 July 2019, Brussels (Save the Date)

Societal Challenge 2 Info Day 2020 and brokerage event – 3-4 July 2019, Brussels

Energy Info Days – 25-27 June 2019, Brussels (Save the Date)

ICT Proposers’ Day 2019 – 19-20 September 2019, Helsinki (Save the Date) – details will appear on the IDEAL-IST website

UK Participation in Horizon 2020

In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the UK will continue to be eligible to participate in all parts of Horizon 2020 open to Third Country participation. In the case of the events highlighted above, the UK will still be eligible to participate in consortia and the UK Government has agreed to provide financial support to projects that are successful.

As ever, if you are thinking of applying for Horizon 2020 funding, or would like further information, please get in touch (

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Last places remaining – UK Research Office Visit – 8 November 2018 – ‘The Future of EU-funded Research’

Just a quick reminder that we have a few places left for this event, so please book now to avoid disappointment!

We will be welcoming our UK Research Office (UKRO) European Advisor, Dr Branwen Hide, to Manchester Met on the 8th November, 2018.

As part of her visit, Branwen will be presenting a forward-looking update on EU research, which will provide insights into the new Horizon Europe programme and life after Brexit, as well as a consideration of the increasing importance of global sustainability and international collaboration.

This is likely to be a popular event, so places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 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.

About UKRO

The UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. It delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO’s mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities.

For further information about Manchester Met’s subscription to UKRO, or EU-funded research please contact(

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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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EU Update – H2020 work programmes and future programmes


After a little absence, and with the next annual updates of H2020 work programmes on the horizon, we thought a round-up might be useful to Blog readers.

Horizon 2020 – 2019 work programme refresh and Infodays

The draft priorities for 2019 calls will soon be approved, with a target date of July 2018 for publication of the final work programmes. Our colleagues from UKRO have been doing a great job in pulling together the latest intelligence on what’s likely to change.

If you haven’t taken a look yet, you can access information about specific parts of H2020 via the links below (Ed – you’ll need to be logged into the website to view. If you don’t have an account, then we’d highly recommend signing up – see below for more details):

Information Communication Technologies

Nanotech, Advanced Materials, Biotech and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing


Societal Challenge 1. Health

Societal Challenge 3. Energy

Societal Challenge 5. Climate Action  there will be an Infoday relating to the 2019 call in Brussels on 11 September 2018.

Societal Challenge 6. Europe in a changing world

There will be also be an Infoday relating to the 2019 call for Societal Challenge 2 (Food Security …)  in Brussels on 25 June 2018.

As ever, if you’re thinking of applying and need advice then do get in touch (

Future programmes and UK participation

The European Commission is also starting to publish it’s thoughts about programmes which will come on line with the new Multiannual Financial Framework (Ed the MFF will run from 2021 to 2027). We’ll cover in more detail in future posts, but information is starting to emerge about Horizon Europe (Ed – this will be the follow on from Horizon 2020) and a proposal has been published about the successor to Erasmus+.  (Ed – again, UKRO have developed a really helpful resource here, which gives an overview of a range of programmes)

Whilst the UK’s participation in future programmes will depend on the outcome of negotiations around our departure from the EU, the UK Government has been very clear about it’s desire to take an active and full role in Horizon Europe (Ed – this has been a theme in recent speeches made by the Prime Minister and Science Minister).

About UK Research Office
The UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. UKRO’s mission is to promote effective UK engagement in EU research, innovation and higher education activities. As a subscriber to UKRO, all MMU staff can register to receive personalised alerts on funding opportunities and policy developments.