As National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, UKRO is holding two info events on the current Innovative Training Networks call. This call will open on 15 September and will close on 10 January.
The events will be held on 26 September at the University of Manchester and 12 October at the University of West London. They are aimed at those interested in applying to this call and will take participants step by step through the proposal format and issues to consider when developing an application.
In both cases attendance is free but registration is essential. This can be done on the UKRO website. If you are not an UKRO member, you can sign up here.
Innovative Training Networks support joint research training and/or doctoral programmes, implemented by European partnerships of universities, research institutions, industry and other non-academic organisations. The research training programmes are intended to provide doctoral students with excellent research skills, coupled with experience outside academia, hence developing their innovation capacities and employability prospects.
Net4Society, the Network of National Contact Points for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 6 “Europe in a changing world – Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”, has recorded a webinar on impact in Societal Challenge 6 projects, focusing on how the impact of proposals is assessed by evaluators. It is an hour long but worth a watch if you are developing an application to this Societal Challenge or have a H2020 project proposal with a significant Social Sciences and Humanities element.
The European Research Council has launched the 2017 Starting Grants call today. The deadline is 18 October. Starting Grants are for talented researchers with 2-7 years of post-PhD experience and strong track records. Attractive long-term funding of up to € 1.5 million is available for projects of up to 5 years duration.
The Consolidator Grants call (for researchers with 7-12 years post-PhD experience and a track record showing scientific talent) will open on 20 October with a deadline of 9 February and the Advanced Grants call (for researchers with a 10 year track record of leadership in their field) will open on the 16 May 2017 with a deadline of 31 August next year.
If you are interested in applying to any of these calls, please contact your faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager who can advise you on the next steps.
As UK National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), UKRO is holding an information event for those interested in applying to the 2017 MSCA Innovative Training Networks call, which has a deadline of 10 January 2017.
The event will be held from 10.30 – 16.00 on Friday 16 September at the University of Manchester. It will give participants an overview of the call, the proposal format and the aims of the Innovative Training Network programme. Attendance is free but registration is essential. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register on the UKRO website. If you are not already an UKRO subscriber, you can sign up here.
Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) train early stage researchers (typically PhD students) and provide skills development and experience in the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility. ITNs are collaborative research projects run by consortia of academic and non-academic partners across EU Member States and Associated countries.
UKRO has stated that there will be another similar event to be held in London during October. We will share more info here when we have it.
UKRO, as UK National Contact Point for the European Research Council, is holding two events for academics interested in applying to the next ERC Starting Grants call (which will have an October 2016 deadline). The events will be held at the University of York on Monday 5 September from 13:30 – 17:00 and at King’s College London on Tuesday 6 September 2016 from 10:00 – 13:00. Attendance is free but you must register to confirm your place.
ERC Starting Grants are for early career researchers who completed their PhD between 2-7 years prior to 1 January 2017. The grants are extremely attractive (offering up to € 1.5 million) funding promising researchers with a great track record to undertake an excellent and innovative research project.
Presentations from a recent EC info day on Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing are available to watch on the event website. The first set of presentations cover ‘ICT for Health, Infectious Diseases, Personalised Medicine and Non-communicable Diseases’ and the second, ‘Regenerative Medicine and Advanced Therapies’.
They give details of the 2017 calls, the rules of participation, key legal and financial issues, and information on opportunities for business. The introduction also highlights the main changes to the text of the 2017 calls from the original 2016-2017 Work Programme. These include:
- PM-07-2017 (on promoting mental health) now makes specific reference to migrants;
- PM-20-2017 is now called ‘Development of new methods and measures for improved economic evaluation and efficiency measures in the health sector’;
- HCO-07-2017, a topic on the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) has now been developed to focus on mental health;
- A new co-ordination and support topic is included on providing support to the ‘World RePORT’ mapping project and tracking research outcomes; and
- An additional €48 million has been added to the 2017 budget. €35 million of this will go to the SME Instrument in order to allow high-quality applicants from the last call to bid again for funding; the remaining €13 million will be split between topics PM-02, PM-08 and PM-10.
- There is a new topic SC1-HCO-17-2017: CSA for support for large-scale uptake of Digital Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing.
- Topic PM-15 on Personalised coaching for well-being and care of people as they age has had a budget increase of €1.5 million.
The European Commission is holding an info day in Brussels on 23 September on the ‘Smart cities and communities’ calls of the 2016-2017 Horizon 2020 Work Programme ‘Cross-cutting activities’. Presentations will include details on the 2017 call and the application procedure. Registration is free of charge but essential in order to confirm your place.
The Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee is examining the implications and opportunities of leaving the EU for UK science and research. The Committee is holding hearings on this during July, and invites written submissions during that period.
Yesterday’s session saw Kevin Baughan (Chief Development Officer, Innovate UK), Professor Philip Nelson (Chair, Research Councils UK) and Jo Johnson MP (Minister of State for Universities and Science) questioned.
Kevin Baughan (Innovate UK) underlined that the business sector is an important recipient of Horizon 2020 funds and that companies have already expressed concerns about decreased opportunities for collaboration. He underlined the importance of confidence, both in the sustainability of contracts beyond two years and of those from other EU Members States in UK partners. The more information the UK Government can give as to what will happen, the more confidence there will be. There is a huge risk to the UK in a two-year pause in excellence and innovation.
Philip Nelson (RCUK) stated that the biggest risks of Brexit are around the mobility of people as the UK has to continue to be seen as a destination for expertise. The creation of UKRI and the changes in the HE Bill have been ongoing for some time and he stated that it will be crucial that UKRI has a strong voice in the Brexit negotiations. He also mentioned much anecdotal evidence of UK partners being removed from consortia and leading researchers deciding not to risk coming to the UK and is concerned by this; RCUK will continue to monitor UK participation in applications to Horizon 2020.
Jo Johnson reiterated his earlier message stating that the UK Government is fully committed to science and to ensuring that the UK remains a ‘science powerhouse’. The Government is currently undertaking planning and analysis across all areas, and science will be a big part of that. In terms of opportunities, the Government needs communication from the research community to help identify new flexibilities in the relationship with the EU and how they can be exploited. He told the Committee that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is working on a comprehensive Communications Strategy to ensure it is clear that Brexit doesn’t mean increased insularity, but rather that the UK is now even more open and globally-minded. He also said that it has been made clear, both by BIS and by Commissioner Moedas that there should be neither soft (in the construction of consortia) nor hard (in the assessment and awarding of grants) discrimination against UK participants. Statements of assurance from the Commission need to be regularly reiterated and he is working with Moedas on this. Mr Johnson is concerned to hear anecdotal reports that UK partners are being rejected as participants in and leaders of consortia and has set up a unit which is ready to receive evidence. An email address (email@example.com) has been set up to which people to submit examples of this kind of behaviour.
Further details are available for subscribers to the UKRO website and to all from the Select Committee inquiry page.
Obviously the recent EU referendum result has raised the question of whether UK-based institutions can continue to apply to Horizon 2020 and other EU funding programmes. Whilst we don’t have too much information at the moment, Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, has issued a statement clarifying the current position for UK HE.
It states that the referendum result does not have any immediate effect on those applying to, or participating in, Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way.
Future access to EU higher education and science funding will be a matter for future discussions and it is stated that the Government is “determined to ensure that the UK continutes to play a leading role in European and international research”.
We will put further info on this blog as we get it.
The European Commission will hold an information week from 27 to 29 June on the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 ‘Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy‘.
This will provide opportunities to hear about successful FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects in these areas, to learn about the upcoming Societal Challenge 2 calls and to participate in “brokerage” sessions to meet potential project partners.
Participation is free but you must register by 10 June. If you have an idea for a project in one of these areas and would like to attend this event, please contact your faculty research funding and policy manager. We also have small “EU networking” fund to support academics to attend events such as these.