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EU Research Funding

Horizon Europe is the EU’s seven year funding programme for research and innovation with a total budget of €95.5 billion. As the UK is aspiring to associate to Horizon Europe, UK entities continue to be eligible to be part of collaborative proposals and to apply to ERC and MSCA calls. Staff should continue to apply to Horizon Europe as normal. The UK Government remains committed to associating to Horizon Europe and the EU has confirmed that the UK can participate (as an Associated Country) in applications before the UK's formal association to Horizon Europe is complete. Currently the University can participate in applications to Horizon Europe calls with the same rights as EU participants. The UK Government has put in place contingency measures to ensure that UK researchers receive funding. There are short term measures (the UK Guarantee) and longer term plans in case delays continue and/or the UK does not associate. For current guidance on applying for guarantee funding please refer to the UKRI web pages here.

What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation which aims to tackle climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. This funding programme is structured under 3 pillars. Each pillar has a primary focus, with different schemes under them to support their objectives. The 3 pillars are:

Further information on how to apply for Horizon Europe funding and the programme structure can be found here.

Participant Portal

The Participant Portal (ECAS) is the European Commission's online system to search and apply for funding. The participant portal user manual can be found here Online Manual - Online Manual - Funding Tenders Opportunities (

Applications should be sent to your local Research Services team for institutional approval at least 10 working days before the deadline.

The University’s Participant Identification Code (PIC) remains the same as for Horizon 2020 - 999903840.  You do not need to apply for a separate/new PIC when setting up a new proposal session.

Proposed UK Pioneer Funding

On 6th April the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology published a prospectus outlining the longer-term plan B domestic alternative ('Pioneer') schemes for international collaboration in case association to Horizon Europe is no longer possible.  The Pioneer Prospectus sets out the proposals that would inform the scheme, which is being developed with input from researchers, and businesses across the UK.

Association to Horizon Europe remains the preference of the UK, but association would need to be on the basis of a good deal for the UK’s researchers, businesses and taxpayers. If the UK is unable to secure association on fair and appropriate terms, then Pioneer will be implemented.

The UK must ensure we have an ambitious alternative ready to go should we not associate following negotiations, the top priority of any replacement scheme will be supporting researchers and enabling then to continue their ground-breaking work.

Should it be required, the alternative Pioneer programme would focus on 4 main themes to complement existing R&D investments:

  1. Pioneer Talent which would enhance the UK’s investment in discovery research as well as the UK’s already strong talent offer
  2. Pioneer Global which would complement and enhance partners’ existing international partnerships
  3. Pioneer Innovation which would increase UK support to business-led innovation across sectors, technologies and UK regions
  4. Pioneer Infrastructure which would provide additional funding into UK SRTI infrastructure, building on successful programmes such as World Class labs

The long-term programme would be established as quickly as possible if needed and the government would undertake intensive engagement with researchers and businesses to determine priorities for a programme that would help build on UK strengths and develop new capabilities, while distributing resource and support for the sector across the country, in line with the Levelling Up agenda.  

This comes as the Horizon Europe Guarantee fund has reached an important milestone with more than £1 billion now awarded to UK-based researchers and innovators, enabling them to participate in Horizon Europe projects while the UK’s association to the flagship EU funding programme is delayed.

The guarantee scheme, delivered by UKRI, supports researchers and innovators who have been successful in Horizon Europe competitions but cannot receive EU funding due to the delays to the UK’s association to the programme. With Guarantee funding they can continue their important work in research and innovation.

Pioneer discussions are ongoing.

All Horizon Europe projects at the University eligible for guarantee funding have been guaranteed funded - this includes our collaborative projects and our MSCA and ERC awards. 

Updates to the call deadline date for the current guarantee will be circulated when available, nevertheless, the advice is to continue to apply for Horizon Europe funding since we expect the deadline to be extended while association discussions are ongoing.

Please visit FAQs page for more information on UK participation in Horizon Europe.

EU Research Funding Updates

EU Update 6.3.23

The UK Government has extended the Horizon Europe Guarantee.  The guarantee will now be in place to cover all Horizon Europe calls that close on or before the end of June 2023.

Also, following the Windsor Agreement news last week, and the statement from Ursula Von der Leyen that the deal was “good news for scientists and researchers in the EU and in the UK”,  and that work could begin “immediately” on securing UK association to EU R&D programmes once the new Windsor Framework is implemented - the UK research and business community must now wait to hear news of ongoing negotiations around association and the UK future financial contribution to the programme.

EU Update 27.3.23

Branwen Hide from the UK Research Office (UKRO) will be coming to the University on 20th April to run a couple of EU sessions with me for all University Research Services staff.  This afternoon event will look at Horizon Europe including engaging with the programme and proposal submission.   The event is currently open for RS staff registrations - if we have the space we will open registrations wider across the University.

Horizon Europe – Engaging with the Programme and Proposal Submission - 20th April 2023  -  2:30pm – 4:30pm - Coupland Building 3 – Lecture Theatre A

The session will give a general introduction to the Horizon Europe Programme and will provide advice on proposal preparation including setting up project budgets and cost categories. The session will address all Horizon Europe schemes and provide some advice on the UK guarantee.

University staff involved with Horizon Europe proposal preparation, including preparation of budgets and advising research staff, should try to attend. 



EU Update 29.3.23

Branwen Hide from the UK Research Office (UKRO) will be coming to the University on 20th April to run a couple of EU sessions with me for all University Research Services and Research Finance staff

This morning event will look at Horizon 2020 - Financial Management and Post-Award Reporting.   The event is currently open for RS and RF staff registrations - if we have the space we will open registrations wider across the University.

H2020 - Financial Management and Post-Award Reporting - 20th April 2023  -  10:00- 12:00 - Mansfield Cooper Building – G21

The session will give a general introduction to the H2020 Programme and will provide advice on preparation of financial reports, eligible and ineligible costs and audits but will also look at amendments, access rights, IPR management and reporting and other aspects of post-award project management.

All University staff involved with H2020 projects are invited to attend. 



EU Update 10.5.23

Two-factor authentication will become mandatory for all EU Login accounts on the Commission’s Participant Portal.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (or 2FA) is an electronic authentication method in which a user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence (or factors) to an authentication mechanism protecting user data from being accessed by an unauthorized third party that may have been able to discover a single password.

Why is the Commission introducing mandatory two-factor authentication on EU Login accounts?

The threats to cybersecurity are increasing and this prompted the Commission to introduce two-factor authentication for their EU Login accounts – this is optional at this stage.  Many of you will already have seen that every time you log in to your account a reminder pops up with information on how to set up two-factor authentication to make your account more secure.

While there is currently no clear timeline for two-factor authentication becoming mandatory we understand that this is expected to happen during the course of 2023, this will l be gradual process rather than a revolution and nothing will happen overnight, however, users can register at any time.

There are still a number of unanswered questions about the practicalities of use of 2FA, UKRO is discussing these with the Commission, including what two-factor authentication means for projects using shared mailboxes (e.g. – as soon as I hear anything more about this I will let people know, at the moment I don’t have any detail on this.

You can view an EU webinar on 2FA on YouTube via this link.

Useful Links

Participant Portal

UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee Guidance

UK Research Office (UKRO) Factsheet on UK Participation in EU Programmes

Help and Support

For costing and project management support please contact your local Research Services Team:

For general support with EU Research funding matters please contact Liz Fay, European Funding and Development Manager