Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Call 2018: Information Event

The UKRO has arranged an information event for those who are interested in applying to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Research and Innovation staff Exchange (RISE) Call, which will open on 22 November 2017 and has a deadline of 21 March 2018.

The Information Event will take place on Tuesday 9 January 2018, at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Conference Centre in London. It will include talks from successful previous applicants, and will equip attendees with an overview of the call and the proposal format. To register for the event (allocated on a first come first served basis) visit the UKRO’s events page.

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UK Government underwrite of Horizon 2020 funding confirmed

Following the UK Treasury’s statement in August 2016, Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, yesterday confirmed the UK Government’s continued commitment to underwrite the funding for successful bids to Horizon 2020 made by UK applicants before the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Johnson stressed that the underwrite applies to both projects that are on-going at the point of the UK’s EU exit and funding that is applied for before the UK’s exit and is subsequently successful. He also confirmed that the underwrite includes Horizon 2020 calls with two-stage procedures, as long as the first application is submitted before the UK leaves the EU.

This reiterates the message that UK universities should continue to apply for EU funding through mechanisms such as Horizon 2020 while the UK is a member of the EU. This statement applies to competitive funding schemes managed centrally by the EC but not decentralised schemes administered directly by individual member states.

 

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ERC Starting Grant events in the UK, 19 & 26 July

​As UK National Contact Point for the European Research Council (ERC), UKRO is holding two events for researchers interested in applying for the 2018 ERC Starting Grant call.  There will be an event at the Natural History Museum in London on 19 July from 10.45-13.30 and another identical event at the University of Edinburgh on 26 July from 10.00-13.00.

The events are free but registration is essential. You can sign up on the UKRO website.

The 2018 Starting Grant call is likely to open on 18 July and close on 17 October. These grants offer flexible, generous funding to researchers with an excellent track record at the stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. To be eligible for the 2018 call, the PI must be 2-7 years from their PhD on 1 January 2018, which is extendable in certain limited cases.

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Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships call open, deadline 14 Sept

This year’s call for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships has launched with a deadline of 14 September 2017. Full call information, including the Guide for Applicants, is available on the European Commission’s Participant Portal.

Individual Fellowships (IF) are aimed at individual fellows who already have a doctorate or equivalent research experience. They enable researchers to advance their careers and gain new skills through advanced training, international mobility, and optional intersectoral secondments. European Fellowships are held in EU Member States and are open to researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe. Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a compulsory 12 month return phase in a Europe host organisation.

Applications are developed jointly between the fellow and their intended host organisation. As well as a strong programme of research, the application needs to describe the benefits of the fellowship to both the researcher and the host institution and how the programme of research and training for the fellow will be implemented and managed. Industrial secondments can also be included.

UKRO, as UK National Contact Point for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, is holding two information events on the call to be held in Liverpool on 5 May and Bristol on 23 May. These events will provide participants with an in-depth overview of the IF scheme. Participants should gain a clear understanding of the proposal format for each scheme and the key issues relating to planning, writing and submitting proposals. Attendance is free but you must register on the UKRO website to reserve a place.

If you are thinking about developing an application, please contact your relevant Research Funding and Policy Manager who can advise and support you through the application process as well as share resources such as previously successsful applications.

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Brexit: what we know so far

Our UKRO advisor, Jon Brookes, will be visiting Northumbria for the day on Wednesday 5 April. As UKRO subscribers we are entitled to an annual visit which we can plan according to our EU funding needs.

As part of his visit, Jon will be running a session on Brexit: the EU referendum and implications for EU funding from 10-11am, NB116, Northumberland Building, City Campus. This will be an opportunity to hear what we know so far about the UK’s status and participation in EU funding over the next few years and also what happens next in the Article 50 negotiations. There will be plenty time for Q&A.

If you would like to come along, please sign up here: http://rbscalendar.northumbria.ac.uk/event/3238666

 

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Beyond Horizon 2020?

European CommissionAlthough we’re not yet half way through Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s 8th framework programme for research and innovation, discussions have already started about the successor programme, Framework Programme 9 (FP9). Although UKRO have said that the Commission does not yet have a “masterplan ” for FP9, it is clear that the Commission is keen on a “co-creation” approach this time and has noted that there were big changes from FP7 to Horizon 2020 and further huge restructures are unlikely to be useful.  However, it is likely that there will be small changes and some flexibility in the last few years of Horizon 2020, enabling the creation of a European Innovation Council as proposed by the Research Commissioner, Carlos Moedas, and this will presumably continue into FP9.

Following discussions at an FP9 event in Brussels yesterday, Research Professional reports that as a result of political pressures from member states, defence research and a focus on capacity building for the newer member states will be included in future proposals. There may also be a greater focus on innovation, with a more industry-friendly programmes although there is no detail at this stage of what this may look like.

The Commission has asked a range of experts to consider the societal challenges that should be included in FP9 and this will be followed by a public consultation later this year. The proposal for FP9 is likely to be published in early 2018.

And then there is the question of the UK’s relationship with the EU by the time FP9 starts in 2021…

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ERC Consolidator Grant Information Events on 26 Oct and 16 Nov

ERCIn its capacity as the UK National Contact Point for the European Research Council (ERC), UKRO is running two events for researchers who are interested in applying for the 2017 ERC Consolidator Grants call. These will be held as follows:

  • 26 October from 14.00-17.00 at the University of Glasgow
  • 16 November from 14.00-17.00 at the Royal Veterinary College in London

The sessions will provide participants with a detailed practical overview of the ERC Consolidator Grants scheme. Participants should gain a deeper understanding of the proposal format and the key issues they are required to address in planning, writing and costing a proposal as well as tips for preparing for interview.

The 2017 Consolidator Grants call is expected to open on 20 October 2016 and close on 9 February 2017. Applicants are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of excellent research. The scheme is designed to support Principal Investigators (PIs) at the stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme. To be eligible for the 2017 call, the applicant must be 7-12 years from the date of award of their PhD on 1 January 2017, which is extendable in certain strict cases. The guidelines for applicants has further information.

There is no charge for attendance but you need to register for a place in advance on the UKRO website.

 

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Horizon 2020: Innovative Training Networks call open – deadline 10 Jan 2017

D Social Networking by StockMonkeys CC BY 2.0

The 2017 Innovative Training Networks call has opened with a deadline of 10 January 2017. This is part of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions within Horizon 2020.

ITNs are the main strand of funding in Horizon 2020 aimed at supporting Early Stage Researchers (doctoral researchers). The scheme supports joint training and/or doctoral programmes implemented by partnerships of universities, research institutions, research infrastructures, businesses and other socio-economic actors. There are three different strands to apply for: European Training Networks (ETN), European Industrial Doctorates (EID) and European Joint Doctorates (EJD).MCA

The 2017 call documents, including the Guide for Applicants, and links to online submission are available on the Participant Portal.

UKRO, in its capacity as MSCA National Contact Point, is organising an ITN Information event at the University of West London on 12 October 2016. If you’re interested in attending, register online here.

 

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EC’s LIFE programme now has post-Brexit funding guarantee

brexitUKRO has informed us that UK organisations that bid directly to the European Commission for LIFE projects will have the payment of their awards underwritten by the Treasury, even when the project continues after the UK leaves the EU. This is reassurance that UK organisations can continue to bids to this programme up to the Brexit date with a funding guarantee for successful projects. LIFE is the EU’s funding programme for climate action, nature conservation and the environment.

This news follows the August statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Treasury confirming that EU funding will be guaranteed beyond the date the UK leaves the EU. The statement provides assurance that “where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU”. It was also reiterated that British universities and research organisations should therefore continue to apply for EU funding through mechanisms such as Horizon 2020 while the UK remains a member of the EU.

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H2020 Innovative Training Networks info events in Sept and Oct

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.

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