EU Funding Demystified: From FP7 to Horizon 2020

EU flag at the European Parliament by European Parliament CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Are you interested in accessing EU funding for research but not sure what’s available or where to begin? Or are you familiar with European funding but want to find out more about the next programme of funding which starts in 2014, Horizon 2020? RBS is running a number of workshops called EU Funding Demystified which will focus on the transition from Framework Programme 7 (FP7, which runs from 2007-2013) to Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).

We will begin by reviewing the few remaining opportunities in FP7 and then move on to consider the likely budget and proposed strands and societal challenges in Horizon 2020 and the main ways it will differ from FP7. It is anticipated that this will be of interest to research staff from all disciplines and at various career stages, given the breadth of funding opportunities proposed in Horizon 2020.

There will be opportunities for both individual PI “fellowship” type funding (through the European Research Council’s Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Investigator Grants), mobility funding (through the Marie Curie actions), as well as the more traditional EU large scale collaborative research projects involving multiple partners from several member states (which will address one of the identified “Societal Challenges”).

Although the budgets and details of Horizon 2020 are yet to be finalised, there’s a lot we already know about the likely structure and focus of the programme and although calls have not yet been released it’s important to get started early.

The next session takes place on Thursday, 18th July from 2-4pm. To book you need to email Donna Smith in HR ( We will be running a number of these sessions over the next academic year, so if you can’t make it in July, just book onto the next one.

Here are the full details of all forthcoming sessions over the next year. Note that as more information becomes available about the final structure of Horizon 2020, the content and focus of the session will be updated to reflect this:

Delivered by: Samantha King, David Young (Research Funding and Policy Managers, Research and Business Services)
Who should attend? Academic staff and Postdoctoral researchers
Aims and objectives: Staff attending this workshop will:

  • Understand the main mechanisms of EU research funding
  • Gain awareness of priorities and plans for Horizon 2020
  • Understand the proposed call timetable for Horizon 2020
Times and dates: Thursday, 18th July 2013 (2-4pm)

Thursday, 10th October 2013 (10am-12pm)

Wednesday, 12th February 2014 (10am-12pm)

Tuesday, 13th May 2014 (2pm-4pm)


ICT 2013: Create, Connect, Grow

ICT 2013 Create Connect GrowICT 2013, taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania from 6th – 8th November 2013, is the biggest ICT event in Europe and incorporates a conference, exhibition, networking sessions, investment forum and activities for students and young researchers.

More than 4000 researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, young people and politicians are expected in at the event, which will focus on Horizon 2020 – the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020.

There are still opportunities available to exhibit your research and innovative projects at the event – there will be 150 stands available and potential exhibitors have until 7th June 2013 to submit their exhibition proposal. The kinds of exhibits they are looking for are:

  • Advanced research projects;
  • Research, technology and innovation projects with high-tech prototype demonstrators;
  • Companies demonstrating innovative products less than 2 year on the market;
  • Information stands about ICT-related activities without technology prototypes.

Potential exhibits should fall under one of the five broad themes of the exhibition: the digitally empowered citizen; smart and sustainable cities for 2020; the industry and business of tomorrow; intelligent connecting intelligence; culture, science and creativity. The exhibition will be accompanied by an art exhibit “where art meets ICT and Futures”.

Any Northumbria staff interested in applying for the exhibition should get in touch asap to discuss their application as it may be that staff can collaborate on a themed exhibition.


Bidding for EU Fellowships: Tips, clues and insights

path path path by Barbara Agnew CC BY-NC 2.0Interested in applying for EU fellowship funding, but not sure where to start? Need some advice and guidance?

Northumbria academics and researchers are welcome along to a workshop being organised by Prof Olivier Sparagano, Associate Dean for Research in Health and Life Sciences on May 29th from 3-5pm in Northumberland Building 442.

Professor Olivier Sparagano (EU panel member for the MCF and Eurasia schemes) is running a workshop on the EU Fellowship funding schemes. If you have previously considered bidding to these schemes (you just need one candidate, not a multi country network) but never seen it through or been unsuccessful, you may find this workshop useful. Anybody can apply for a Marie Curie Fellowship on almost any topic so everybody has a chance.

Olivier has been a Marie Curie Fellow himself (IEF scheme) and won another one last year (IIF scheme) (after a few unsuccessful ones) and he has been scoring many proposals in the past so can give you a few tips about what is not mentioned on the application form but is needed to get a higher mark.

Staff interested in EU funding should also check out Sam King’s report on the Durham University Marie Curie Fellowships day last week and look out for our forthcoming workshop on EU funding demystified: From FP7 to Horizon 2020 which will be taking place in June with publicity and booking available soon.


Marie Curie Fellowships – North East Information Day

marie curieOn Wednesday 8th May Durham University hosted a Marie Curie Information Day on behalf of the NE regional universities.

Marie Curie Actions have been renamed Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions to distinguish the new MC scheme in Horizon 2020 from the MC scheme in Framework 7.

The aim of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions is to contribute towards a strong high-quality research landscape in Europe by fostering the international and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers, offering attractive employment and training opportunities, promoting professional standards in research careers and equipping researchers with the skills needed in the modern economy. 40% of the MCA budget is allocated to the training of early-stage researchers. Under FP7, by 2013, the programme expects to have supported 50,000 researchers and funded 10,000 PhDs.

There were presentations from the UKRO Marie Curie National Contact Point, the European Commission Marie Curie Office, as well as Case Studies from current and past Marie Curie Fellows, highlighting the highs and lows of being a MC Fellow. Speakers looked at schemes still available under FP7 as well as new opportunities in the upcoming Horizon 2020.


Sobia ASlam, UKRO MC National Contact Point – Marie Curie 2013 Calls – Overview of Schemes

Sobia gave an overview of the Marie Curie Schemes available in Framework 7, with some hints and tips for success, as well as analysis of success rates. There are still a few schemes open under FP7 so there is still time to apply under the current round of funding:


Call identifier Budget (EUR million) Deadline
Career Integration Grants (CIG) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG 40 18 September 2013
Intra-European Fellowships (IEF) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF 134 14 August 2013
International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IIF 44.5 14 August 2013
International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF) FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF 44.5 14 August 2013

Following Sobia’s presentation there was a Q&A Session, which raised the following points of interest:

  •  There is a clear definition of Roles in Marie Curie Fellowships:
    • Coordinator – researcher
    • Scientist in Charge – supervisor
    • Main contact – European Incoming/Outgoing Organisation (there should be a Partnership Agreement in place with host institution)
  • Referees not compulsory but recommended, better not from host institution, as therevcould be conflict of interest.
  • Make is easy for the reviewers to provide positive comments:
    • Mention European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in your research proposal.
    • Impact tips, need to refer to the strategy documents and how your research will impact….how it responds to European Policy, eg Youth on the Move
    • Write for a more general audience, also your evaluator’s first language may not be English. You need to tell a good story about how this will be beneficial for both the Fellow and for Europe.
  •  EU prefers that Fellow is employed under an employment contract, rather than a stipend if possible.
  •  Earliest start date is the 1st of the month after you’ve signed the contract….latest start date is 12 months after
  •  Any claims for funding for partners and dependents is based on marital status is at the time of application see Annex 3 of the workprogramme for a definition of what constitutes a ‘partner’ or ‘dependent’.
  •  The MC Fellow has to work 100% of their time on the project….but there are guidelines for a career development plan which allows scope for dissemination, so some teaching could be possible in this context.
[notice]One point of particular note which was repeated throughout the day was that the budget is split by discipline depending on the spread of applications received…so the budget is split between Panels depending on application number, there is no pre-defined split of budget between subject areas. Members of the audience from an Arts/Social Science discipline had expressed concern that there did not appear to be as good a chance of success from this discipline background. This was completely refuted by the speakers, the simple fact is that they receive fewer applications from these disciplines so fewer MC Fellows are funded. So the advice was we need to encourage more Arts/Social Scientists to apply.[/notice]


Paul Harris, Policy Officer, European Commission – Value of MC/mobility to the EU

Points to note from Paul’s presentation & questions throughout the session.

  • NE success rates – 106 MC awards to NE HEIs since 2007
  • UK is most successful in MC actions.
  • There is a key link between MC programme and Innovation Union in that we need 1million new researchers across Europe.
  • Again it was emphasised that funding is based on number of applications – so Panels budgets are based on which subject areas apply, the budget is not pre-set by Panel disciplines.


Paul Harris, Policy Officer, European Commission – Marie Sklodowska Curie in Horizon 2020

Marie curie horizon 2020 from kingkatz

Main points to note from Paul’s presentation were:

  • The Commission is still hoping that first calls and workprogramme can be launched Dec 2013, but this will depend on budget decisions being made on time.
  • Actions have been streamlined into 4 main schemes, early stage, experienced, exchange of staff & COFUND (regional, national, international programmes funding doctoral and postdoctoral researchers).
  • 10,000 postdoctoral researchers funded under MC, hope to fund 25,000 early stage researchers….looking at extending experience to non-academic organisations (NGOs, Industry etc). There is a possibility to do a secondment in an Individual Fellowship out to industry/NGOs etc
  • Support for joint doctorates brought into MC (currently under Erasmus Mundus)
  • Still an emphasis on the Triple I dimension……inter-sectoral, international, inter-disciplinary.

There were also 4 Case studies presented from present and past Marie Curie Fellows highlighting their personal experience of having been a MC Fellow. All 4 had  extremely positive and worthwhile experiences. One of the Fellows recommended a webpage and discussion group which had handy hints and tips from other MC Fellows.


Dajana Dzanovic, European Funding Manager at Durham University &  Deirdre Dodd, European Funding Manager at Newcastle University – Application and Post Award Support.

Finally there was a presentation from the European Funding Managers from Durham and Newcastle Universities on the support available at each organisation, and with some tips for success.

Some points to note from this presentation:

  • State where supervised PhDs have gone to after they have been at the host institution….this demonstrates calibre of organisation
  • Stock paragraphs on assistance that can be provided from host institution, for example how the organisation can provide help with language training, pastoral care etc.
  • Impact section, add text from European Policy, documents establishing FP7 etc…reviewers can then quote this back in the feedback
[important]NOTE: There is similar support available here at Northumbria University – get in touch with one of the Research Funding Managers in the first instance if you are interested in applying to the August 2013 deadline: Sam King or David Young[/important]



Marie Curie Fellowships Information Day – North East Event

European CommissionA Marie Curie Fellowships information event, in partnership with the North East Universities (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside), UK Research Office and Research Executive Agency of the European Commission will take place at Durham University on 8th May 2013 from 10am-4pm.

There will be presentations on the benefits of being involved with a Marie Curie Fellowship, as well as some Case Studies from regional universities.

The timetable for the day is as follows:

Time Session Presenter
10:00-10:15 Welcome Durham/Newcastle
10:15-11:30 MC Fellowship 2013 call – overview of the schemes UKRO MC NCP short version of the UK information session
11:30-11:45 Value of MC/mobility to the EU Paul Harris (REA)
11:45-12:00 Value of MC/mobility to the UK UKRO MC NCP
12:00-12:30 Value  of MC/mobility to the   Universities in the Region Durham+Newcastle PVC-R
12:30-14:00 Lunch and networking
14:00-15:00 Case studies (4x15mins) Newcastle/Northumbria/Teesside/Sunderland/Durham
15:00-15:30  MC/mobility in Horizon 2020  Paul Harris (REA)
15:15-16:00  Help with applications including post-award finance and management with focus on current MC Fellows  Newcastle/Northumbria/Teesside/Sunderland/Durham
 16.00 Close Newcastle/Durham

Register by email at                                                     


Accessing European Funding – from FP7 to Horizon 2020

Unlock Your Future by Images_of_Money CC BY 2.0Last Thursday Sam and I travelled down to London for ModernGov’s Accessing European Funding Seminar. It was an early start but worth it for some useful insights into the likely shape of Horizon 2020 (the successor funding programme to FP7), as well as crowd sourced hints and tips on developing a high quality Marie Curie Fellowships application for one of the few FP7 calls remaining.

Understanding European Funding

Linda Pialek, Head of the European Team at Oxford’s Research Services department, kicked off with a comprehensive overview of EU funding available: what it is, why the EU funds research, where to find out about it, and how to get it.

It’s a brave person who attempts to survey the vast and complex array of EU funding opportunities, including research and structural funds, within an hour and inevitably there was some overrun/death by PowerPoint. However, overall it was a commendably clear and concise summary which managed to pack in a good amount of useful detail for the EU funding newbie (and even the not-so-newbies).

The key points:

  • Why: the EU funds research and other activities in order to achieve its strategic objectives (we’re currently working towards the Europe 2020 strategy) and where there are issues and challenges which benefit from a coordinated, transnational approach. To put it another way, it seeks to reduce duplication in funding (where two or more national governments may fund the same or similar activity) and adds value by ensuring EU-wide cooperation.
  • What: broadly speaking there are two mechanisms for European funding – contracts and grants.
    • Contracts are competitively awarded via calls for tender and cover a whole range of activities, from the supply of books and IT equipment to studies, analyses and technical consultancy. Clearly some of these activities are more relevant to universities than others. Contracts are highly specific and suppliers must meet this specification and offer good value for money. Tenders are not announced in advance and there can be a very quick turnaround required to take advantage of these opportunities.
    • Grants are more familiar territory for universities and the EU issues a mixture of top-down and bottom-up calls for proposals via an annual Work Programme. What this means is that essentially you can plan grant applications in advance, unlike tenders, and there is more opportunity to specify the direction of the projects awarded. Most of the FP7 budget is awarded as grants for individual research projects and networks, and Horizon 2020 will be similar (see below).
  • How: there are three ways to get involved in EU funding: as an expert to develop the strategic agenda and shape calls; as an evaluator to review proposals and get insider knowledge on EU grants; and as a beneficiary by submitting an application and participating in a funded project. Linda stressed the timescales involved in grant applications for European funding are generally around a year from submission of the bid to project start. What happens in between is the evaluation and project negotiation, if you’re successful.
  • Tips: a vast array to tips and insights were provided on the best way to access EU funding, from reading through past successful bids to attending info days; from understanding eligibility criteria to finding and managing a consortium. Essentially though, it boiled down to making sure you’re as prepared as possible as early as possible. When it comes to European funding, Linda’s view was simple: you can never start early enough because it will always be too late.

Horizon 2020: an update from BIS

Steve Ringer, Head of Framework Programme Management at the International Knowledge and Innovation Unit in BIS, gave an update on the current state of play on Horizon 2020, the successor to FP7.

There has been a mix of useful information, speculation and analysis flying around on Horizon 2020 recently but Steve’s presentation was a useful summary of what we know, what we don’t, and what we can make an educated guess about. It’s important to note that Horizon 2020, like all of the EC’s programmes, is at the moment just a proposal and its adoption is dependent on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework being signed off by EU Heads of State in the European Council. This is a closer prospect now than at the end of 2012, but it could still take until autumn for the i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed.

Key points:

  • H2020 brings together three programmes previously under FP7, the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Like FP7, it’s a multi-year programme which will run from 2014-2020.
  • There will be three “pillars”:
    • Excellent Science, covering a number of “bottom up” actions such as the European Research Council (or IDEAS programme), Marie Curie actions (e.g. Fellowships), and Future and Emerging Technologies (this gets pulled out of the ICT theme where it sat in FP7 and gets a big boost to funding in current proposals.
    • Industrial Leadership, with innovation for SMEs, access to risk finance including venture capital for SMEs, and key enabling technologies covering six technology areas (ICT, space, biotech,).
    • Societal Challenges, this is the replacement for the Cooperation programme in FP7 and is rather different since it is carved up into large, cross-cutting issues rather than disciplinary themes: health and ageing, food security, clean energy, smart transport, and climate action are included in the challenges. The sixth challenge, which was an amalgamation of social sciences and security, has now been split into two: Europe in a changing world and Secure societies. Cultural Heritage had been proposed as an additional challenge but has not been agreed. Given the titles of these challenges, there will inevitably be a focus on interdisciplinary projects to address them, many of which will feature an enhanced role for industry, SMEs and other non-research focused actors.
  • The current proposal from the EC is a budget of €80bn over the period. However, the European Council (EU heads of state) has suggested a significant cut to €70bn in line with cuts suggested elsewhere in EU budgets. The European Parliament (MEPs), however, wants an increase from the original €80bn proposal. Where it will end up is anybody’s guess at the moment, but BIS indicated that they expected it to fall somewhere in between €70-80bn.
  • Within this budget the current breakdown in the three pillars is: Excellent Science 32%; Industrial Leadership 23%; and Societal Challenges 41%, with the remainder on EIT and Joint Research Council. Within those pillars the headline is that ERC sees a doubling of its budget from FP7 to €15bn, which is welcome news for the UK since it has done so well from this strand in the past. Marie Curie, meanwhile, has a more modest increase to €6.5bn, which Steve suggested may be revised upwards before the whole thing is signed off.
  • Simplification is one of the watchwords in H2020, but it should be stressed that this is a relative term! From what we know, however, it does look more straightforward than FP7. Current negotiations suggest that there will be a single funding rate of 100% of eligible costs for all research, non-profit, and public sector actors, with an indirect cost rate of 25% of eligible costs (though this may drop back to the original proposal of 20%). Industry would get 70% of eligible costs for close to market actions, with the same indirect cost rate. Different reimbursement rates for different types of activities would be a thing of the past.
  • Alongside this, the EC has proposed a raft of other changes designed to increase participation and reduce paperwork: fewer, better targeted audits; a broader acceptance of participants’ accounting practices; simpler grant agreements; making VAT an eligible cost; and a faster average time to grant (targeting 230 days average, down from the current 330 days).
  • Given that H2020 is due to start on 1st Jan 2014, the timeline to adoption is tight. The next key step as mentioned is the ratification of the Multi-annual Financial Framework, likely in Summer/Autumn 2013. Following that informal calls may be released as early as December this year.

Marie Curie Fellowships: Good practice tips to help secure EU funding

Linda Pialek led a workshop in the afternoon which mainly focused on proposal writing for the latest Marie Curie Fellowships call, which I blogged about here last week. Although this exercise focused on a specific call, the approach is widely applicable to other EU funding streams.

The starting point is to read the guidance and understand what the call is fundamentally about. In this case, Marie Curie Intra European Fellowships are primarily focused on mobility and training. The focus is on early career researchers and giving them them the experience and skills they need to progress to senior researchers. It was also noted that there is a “triple-I” dimension to the call: intersectoral (i.e. moving between industry and research), international, and interdisciplinary.

Winning Marie Curie Fellowships funding is tough: proposals which score less than 90/100 are regularly unfunded. It’s not that they’re poor quality – it’s simply that there’s not enough funding available to meet the demand for places, so any bid really needs to stand out to have a chance of success.

The next step is to write the application to explicitly address the review criteria. The five sections in this case are:

  1. Science and Technological Quality
  2. Training
  3. Researcher
  4. Implementation
  5. Impact

Getting hold of a copy of the evaluator’s guidance notes is helpful here to ensure you precisely match your bid text to the checklist that the evaluators will use. At this point we split into groups and discussed what we would include in one of the above sections, directly addressing the evaluation criteria. Our group took on the Implementation section and came up with the following ideas:

Quality of infrastructure/facilities and international collaborations of host: Describe the state of the art equipment/facilities in your Department, how much is it worth, has there been a recent investment in labs, equipment or other resources. What international collaborations has the department had, give evidence of previous funding. What international networks are the department involved in and how can the fellow tap into these networks. Has the department hosted previous MC fellows, what is the department‘s current postdoc portfolio. What lab and desk space will be made available for the fellow.

Practical arrangements for the implementation and management of the research project: How will the fellow be managed. Will there be weekly meetings with the supervisor and other members of the department. Tie in regular meetings around the work plan milestones and objectives. Mention any central service support. Research office can assist with the development of IP, what HR training courses are available to support transferrable skills, for example project management.

Feasibility and credibility of the project, including work plan: Think about risk assessment, draw up a risk register. Create a Gantt chart with a workplan, milestones, objectives and deliverables. Hold a list of Key Performance Indicators that can be monitored through the lifetime of the project. Where you have a general statement on how you handle IP at the host organisation, include this here. Research & Business Support Staff can assist in managing IP and there is national funding available in the UK (HEIF) to support innovation.

Practical and administrative arrangements and, support for the hosting of the fellow: Mention the real practical support here, are there good schools and nurseries nearby if the fellow has a family, will the fellow get assistance in finding accommodation before they arrive. Does the international Office have any welcome events or clubs that the fellow can take part in while they’re here.  Mention here any support that is available in the Language Centre for language skills development.


2013 Marie Curie Fellowships Calls Released

European Flag by CoreMedia CC BY 2.0The final round of FP7 Marie Curie Fellowships calls was opened last week on the 14th March. The deadline is 14th August 2013 for all three kinds of Fellowships:

There’s an additional deadline of 18th September 2013 for the Career Integration Grants.

Who can apply?

Marie Curie Fellowships are open to “experienced researchers” in any discipline and at any career stage who want to enhance their research skills and competences (IEFs), add an international dimension to their research (IOFs) or transfer knowledge into the European Union and enhance links with “third countries” (IIFs). In addition IEFs can be used to restart careers for people who’ve been research inactive for at least twelve months.

In all cases mobility is the key: the applicant fellow must move from one country to another for a period of 1 or 2 years (full-time equivalent) to carry out a research project and gain skills and experience relevant to his/her research career. IOFs also involve a mandatory 1-year return phase to the host organisation in the EU. The origin and destination country is different depending on the fellowship you’re applying for: IEFs must move from one EU member state or associated country to another; IIFs must move from outside the EU to a host institution within the EU; IOFs move from the EU to a host institution in a non-EU (“third”) country.

Applicants of any nationality are eligible for any of the Fellowships – what matters is where you’ve lived in the 3 years prior to the deadline date for the call: to be eligible an applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity for more than 12 months in the previous 3 years. For the career restart scheme, you need to have been based outside of the host institution country for more than 3 years of the past 5 and you must not have been active as a researcher for at least the previous 12 months (i.e. the 12 months prior to the deadline).

It’s worth de-mystifying some EU-speak which may put potential applicants off: an “experienced researcher” just means a researcher with a PhD or at least four years full-time research experience (measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate). It’s also worth emphasizing that the Marie Curie Fellowships are “bottom up”, meaning any research discipline is eligible to apply, including sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

What does it offer?

All three different Fellowships provide an attractive salary (approx €58K for researchers with <10 years experience; €87K for those with >10 years experience), a monthly mobility allowance to facilitate relocation (€700/month without a family, €1000/month with a family), a flat-rate contribution to research and training expenses (€800/month), as well as a contribution to overheads for the host department (€700/month).

Note that most of these amounts (except the research and training expenses) are subject to modification by a “correction coefficient”, which essentially means that they’re adjusted in line with living costs in the host country. So for fellows in the UK, the amounts are revised up by a factor of 1.34. The full list of rates and correction coefficients are given in the People Work Programme, Tables 3.2 and 3.3, at the end of the document.

How does the application process work?

The proposed fellow applies in conjunction with an EU host organisation (e.g. a university). The application is completed online on the EU Participant Portal and consists of two parts: Part A contains the basic administrative information including the proposal title, abstract, proposed evaluation panel, host institution, financial details, and some details about the researcher; Part B is where the applicant must detail the research proposal, training programme, researcher CV and achievements, implementation, and impact. Note that these sections are closely linked to the evaluation criteria, summarised below.

Potential applicants and hosts should carefully read the relevant Guidance for Applicants notes available on the call pages linked above. This provides a step-by-step guide to the completion and submission of the application and also gives full details on the evaluation process and timetable.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of five criteria: “Science and Technological” Quality (i.e. “research excellence” in RCUK-speak, and note that this doesn’t preclude applications from social sciences or humanities – this constitutes 25% of the overall mark); Training (15%); Researcher (25%); Implementation (15%); and Impact (20%). Each of these elements has a different weighting and individual threshold score and there is an overall quality threshold for the full application.

What next?

Northumbria staff are encouraged to think about whether you know any researchers outside of the UK who may be a potential candidate for these Fellowships and to contact the relevant Research Funding Manager in RBS at an early stage to start developing a bid. If you’re interested in applying for an outgoing fellowship to a host institution elsewhere in the EU (or globally) you should speak to your line manager and research lead as soon as possible to discuss practicalities and arrangements for the return phase, if relevant.

In addition, we intend to hold a briefing workshop for applicants interested in Marie Curie Fellowships in the near future and more details about this will follow on the blog and via email.


ARTEMIS 2013 Call: Network Embedded Systems

The shape of the online universe by Adam Crowe CC BY-NC-SA 2.0The ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking, a European public-private partnership for research funding in embedded systems, has recently released its 2013 call for funding. The deadline for full proposals is 6th June 2013.

You can read a summary of the call on the ARTEMIS 2013 call page. Full details can be found on the EU Participant Portal call page – you should read Work Programme Part ASP if you’re interested in the ARTEMIS sub-programmes (areas of research around real-world applications of embedded systems) and Part AIPP if you’re interested in the ARTEMIS innovation pilot projects (technology development for user and business needs in the area of embedded systems).

What’s an “embedded system”?

“Embedded Systems pervade all areas of life, from children’s toys and mobile phones to space probes and from transportation vehicles to healthcare systems. In fact, Embedded Systems will be part of all future products and services, providing intelligence on the spot and capabilities to connect to the abundance of systems in their environment, either physical or at cyber-space level, in real time. In this sense, Embedded Systems form the edges of the “Internet of Things” bridging the gap between cyber space and the physical world of real ‘things’, and are crucial in enabling the “Internet of Things” to deliver on its promises…”

Content of the calls

Under the ASP call, projects should have a focus on at least one of the industrial priorities of ARTEMIS in the context of at least one sub-programme.

The industrial priorities are:

  • Reference designs and architectures: “The objective is the creation of an energy efficient generic platform and a suite of abstract components with which new developments in different application domains can be engineered with minimal effort.”
  • Seamless connectivity and interoperability: ” Middleware, operating systems and other functions required to link the physical world, as seen by the networked nodes, and also the higher layer applications, as well as hardware features needed to support an efficient and effective interoperability implementation.”
  • Design methods and tools: “To manage architectural complexity during design while ensuring maturity at introduction under strong time-to-market constraints”

The sub-programmes are:

  • Methods and processes for safety-relevant embedded systems
  • Embedded Systems for Healthcare and Wellbeing
  • Embedded systems in Smart environments
  • Embedded Systems for manufacturing and process automation
  • Computing platforms for embedded systems
  • Embedded Systems for Security and Critical Infrastructures Protection
  • Human-centred design of embedded systems

In the AIPP call, applicants should have a technological focus on at least one AIP programme:

  • Innovative Integrated Care Cycles
  • Seamless communication and interoperability – Smart environments: the Neural System for society
  • Computing platforms for embedded systems

Who’s eligible and how are the proposals costed?

Projects are multi-partner involving at least three organisations from three participating ARTEMIS member states (see the eligibility rules [PDF] for more information). Different member states structure their own costing rules and requirements in different ways, depending on which funders are actually providing the funding. For the UK, universities can be involved in projects but you’ll also need a UK-based industrial partner, because the UK element of the call is coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board alongside EPSRC.

Research and academic organisations will receive a standard 80% of FEC contribution, but 83.3% (of that 80% FEC) will come from the UK funders (i.e. TSB and EPSRC) and 16.7% (of that same 80% FEC) will come from the ARTEMIS pot. Universities don’t have to find any additional funding as it’s funded in the same way as a standard Research Council award. However, SMEs and Large Companies have different balances of funding and do have to contribute some of the cost themselves. Note also that costs for academic organisations can only make up 30% of the total consortium cost for the UK part of the consortium, so these consortia must be industry-led and driven. To receive funding at this level, Research Organisations will have to be non-profit distributing, and ensure they disseminate the outputs of their research relating to the project, and state in the application how they are going to do this.

Northumbria staff should contact RBS if you are interested in discussing ARTEMIS further or if you think you may have a proposal idea which would be eligible.


EU Research Funding for Humanities

Before the Christmas/New Year break I presented to the University’s Department of Humanities research meeting on EU research funding available for humanities disciplines. You can see the full presentation below.

Sometimes researchers are either unsure or unaware of EU funding which is available to them. This short presentation highlights a few options either currently open or likely to re-open in future, while bearing in mind the forthcoming transition from FP7 to Horizon 2020. I’m happy to discuss on a one-to-one or small group basis with any members of staff who have an interest in EU funding, and to revisit this presentation for other disciplines.

EU Research Funding for Humanities