More on Select Committee inquiry on leaving the EU call for evidence

CaptureFurther to my blog post yesterday on the House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into the implications for science and research of leaving the EU, the official transcript of the proceedings is now available. A further call for evidence was also launched to assist in developing a list of risks and opportunities which shoudl be included in the Government’s future EU negotiating strategy. Submissions should be made online by Monday 22 August.


Select Committee inquiry on “Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research”

The Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee is examining the implications and opportunities of leaving the EU for UK science and ukro3research. 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 ( 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.


Applying to Horizon 2020 after the EU referendum

Obviously the recent EU referendum result has raised the question of ukro3whether 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.




Interested in engaging in EU policy and funding consultations?

imagesYou might be interested to note that UKRO has set up a page listing all the ongoing EU consultations related to Horizon 2020, including the preparation of future work programmes, the interim evaluation of H2020 and developments related to the next framework programme such as the creation of the European Innovation Council.

There are currently a number of ongoing consultations on the next work programmes for different parts of H2020. These are good opportunities to feed in your ideas and shape the future content of work programmes and specific calls for proposals. You can find these listed here but will need an UKRO account to access this page.

As we are a subscribing organisation, any Northumbria colleague can set up an UKRO account which will enable you to receive daily update emails on EU funding opportunities, events, and policy developmens relevant to UK-based academics.


UK info events on Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships call

Brukselka by Barbiez Creative Commons
Brukselka by Barbiez – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As UK National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), UKRO is holding information events for anyone interested in applying to this year’s MSCA Individual Fellowships call (deadline 14 September 2016).

There will be an event at the University of Edinburgh on 11 May and another in London, hosted by the University of Greenwich on 27 May 2016.

The events will give participants an overview of the application process, the aims of the scheme and key considerations related to planning, writing and submitting proposals. These events are free of charge but you must register to secure a place.

Individual Fellowships are for researchers who already have a doctorate or equivalent research experience. They provide attractive funding to enable researchers to develop their careers through training, international mobility and optional intersectoral secondments. European Fellowships are held in 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 European host organisation.

If you’d like more info on the individual fellowships scheme or advice on developing an application, please contact your faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager.



Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions – 2016 COFUND call opens

logo_Marie_CurrieThe 2016 call for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND programme has opened with a deadline of 29 September. COFUND supports new or existing regional, national or international programmes to open up international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary research training. Co-funding is available for post-doctoral fellowship programmes and for doctoral training programmes. Co-funding is given for 3-5 years for large projects of up to € 10 million.

Further details are available on the Participant Portal. UKRO, as UK National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, is holding an information day on the call and how to apply. This will be held at the University of Birmingham on 25 May. Further information available here.


Find Out About Marie Curie Fellowships: 11th May 2016

Information Kiosk by Max Sparber CC BY-NC 2.0
Information Kiosk by Max Sparber CC BY-NC 2.0

Are you interested in applying to the 2016 round of the European Commission’s Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships call?

What are they? Marie Curie Fellowships provide funding to host a fellow (a researcher at any career stage with a doctorate) from anywhere in the world for up to 2 years, plus research expenses and a small amount for management costs. They help experienced researchers to advance their careers and gain new skills through advanced training, international mobility, and optional intersectoral secondments. UK-based academic staff can also apply for a Global Fellowship to go to another research institution anywhere in the world for up to 2 years, plus a 1 year reintegration back into the EU. This year the deadline is 14th September 2016.

How do I find out more? The UK Research Office, the UK’s national contact point for Marie Curie schemes, is holding an information event on 11th May 2016 at the University of Edinburgh. The day will provide an overview of the Individual Fellowships scheme. “Participants should gain a clear understanding of the proposal format and the key considerations related to planning, writing and submitting proposals.” There will also be a case study from a successful Marie Curie applicant.

Register: If you’d like to attend this event, you can book a place for free on the registration page.

For more information about this scheme and to access examples of successful proposals, please contact your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager.


Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) info event, London, 20 Feb 2016

As UK National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), UKRO is holding an ukro2information event on the current RISE call which has a deadline of 28 April. The event will give an overview of the scheme and aims to give participants a clear understanding of the proposal format and what to consider when planning an application. Attendance is free but you must register for a place. You can sign up though the UKRO website.

The RISE programme supports international and inter-sector collaboration through research and innovation staff exchanges, and sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice-versa). It is open to organisations from the academic and non-academic sectors (in particular SMEs), based in Europe (EU Member States and Associated Countries) and outside Europe (third countries). Support is provided for the development of partnerships in the form of a joint research and innovation project. The minimum consortium requirements are 3 participants in 3 countries.

RISE is seen as a good entry point into Horizon 2020 and EU funding. It is attractive funding with better success rates than other areas of Horizon 2020 . It can be used to build links and networks with other universities or industry world-wide which support the development of a consortium for larger H2020 projects in the future.



UKRO ERC Consolidator Grant Proposal Writing and Information Events



The UK Research Office, in partnership with the hosting institutions, is holding the above events for researchers who are interested in applying for the 2016 ERC Consolidator​ Grants call which opens on 15 October 2015 and closes on 2 February 2016. Further information about the scheme can be found here.


Further information and registration details for the above events are available at the links given above.



Reminder of UKRO Annual Visit: Friday 18 September 2015

Don’t miss this opportunity to refresh your knowledge of EU funding, Horizon 2020 and 2016 funding opportunities.

Most of the sessions will be led by our UKRO advisor, Alex Berry. We also have a session led by Jude Kirton-Darling, one of the North East MEPs. You will also be able to sign up for 15 minute clinic sessions if you have any specific EU funding queries you would like to discuss with Alex.

Details are below. Click on the links to sign up for the sessions. You won’t receive any confirmation but you can go back into the poll at any time to check it or amend your entry.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Alona Welby, Research Funding Manager, Research and Business Services.

Time Session Venue Register*

Applying for EU funding – top tips and lessons learned from the first round of Horizon 2020 calls


CCE1-410 Register here

Jude Kirton-Darling, North East MEPs – how Europe benefits the North East, including through research and innovation funding


CCE1-410 Register here

Opportunities for academics to work with industry in Horizon 2020 – FET, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges


CCE1-410 Register here

Clinic appointments – These are 15 minute slots and your chance to ask questions about EU funding and to start preparing for the upcoming 2016 Horizon 2020 calls


CCE1-410 Register here