Horizon 2020

Current Opportunities

Horizon 2020 is a research programme from the European Union (EU) to support research and innovation from 2014 to 2020. It is the largest EU research programme to date, with a total budget of nearly €80 billion, encouraging involvement of academia, research and industry as well as other stakeholders.

Horizon 2020 is based on three priorities or pillars, each of which involves a series of sub-programmes. Applications are made in response to calls for proposals, issued in a 2-year work programme, currently 2018-2020. Opportunities for individuals or research teams exist in each of these pillars and sub-programmes.

Excellent ScienceIndustrial LeadershipSocietal Challenges
European Research Council (ERC)
(Frontier research by the best individual teams)
Leadership in enabling & industrial technologies
(ICT, nanotechnologies, materials, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing and biotechnology, space)

Health, demographic change & well-being

Future & Emerging Technologies
(Collaborative research to open new fields of innovation)
Access to risk finance
(leveraging private finance and venture capital)
Food security, sustainable agriculture & forestry, marine/maritime/inland water research and the bioeconomy
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions
(Training & career development)
Innovation in SMEs
(fostering all forms of innovation in SMEs)
Secure, clean & efficient energy
Research Infrastructures
(ensuring access to world-class facilities)
 Smart, green & integrated transport
  Climate action, environment, resource efficiency & raw materials
  Inclusive, innovative & reflective societies
  Secure societies

Additional programme areas currently include:

Participating in Horizon 2020

Australia is classified as a 'non-associated industrialised third country' so we are free to participate even if the call for proposals or topic text do not state this explicitly, but we are not always entitled to receive funding or count towards minimum number of participants required for a project.

In general, foreign institutions are only eligible to receive funding if:

  • There is a bilateral scientific/technological agreement or similar arrangement between the EU and the country where the applicant is based which provides funding (this is not currently the case with the Australian agreement), or
  • The call for proposals clearly states that applicants based in such countries are eligible for funding, or
  • Their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action by the Commission or the relevant funding body because it provides: outstanding competence/expertise; access to research infrastructure; access to particular geographical environments; or access to data.

There are generally two ways for Australian academics to participate in Horizon 2020

  • Individual researchers – the European Research Council and Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions offer opportunities for individual researchers who want to work in Europe.
  • Collaborative Project – this is the most common type of involvement. It requires the involvement of three independent legal entities from three different EU member states or associated countries, and may involve partners from other countries (such as Australia)

How to Apply

All calls for funding can be found in the Participant Portal. Researchers can register as a non-registered user and search for funding opportunities. Researchers can also search funding opportunities targeting Non-European countries or encouraging international cooperation.

Researchers who are interested in participating in Horizon 2020 should contact the Research Office research-applications@newcastle.edu.au and advise of their intent to apply. Our Office will let you know what internal deadlines apply and what internal submission procedures you need to follow.

Current Opportunities

NHMRC- European Union (EU) Collaborative Research Grants Scheme for funding in 2020 is NOW OPEN. This scheme provides Australian researchers with funding (capped at $500,000 over 5 years max) to participate in successful applications to targeted Horizon 2020- Societal Challenges - Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing calls which open 26 July or 16 October 2018.

  • SC1-BHS-01-2019: Understanding causative mechanisms in co- and multimorbidities
  • SC1-BHS-02-2019: Systems approaches for the discovery of combinatorial therapies for complex disorders
  • SC1-BHS-07-2019: Regenerative medicine: from new insights to new applications
  • SC1-BHS-13-2019: Mining big data for early detection of infectious disease threats driven by climate change and    other factors
  • SC1-BHS-14-2019: Stratified host-directed approaches to improve prevention and/or treatment of infectious diseases
  • SC1-BHS-19-2019: Implementation research for maternal and child health
  • SC1-BHS-22-2019: Mental Health in the Workplace
  • SC1-BHS-25-2019: Demonstration pilots for implementation of personalized medicines in healthcare
  • SC1-BHS-28-2019: The Human Exposome Project: a toolbox for assessing and addressing the impact of environment on health
  • SC1-DTH-01-2019: Big data and Artificial Intelligence for monitoring health status and quality of life after the cancer treatment

Please note the above calls are either two-stage or single-stage applications, with all European Commission deadlines in April 2019.

The NHMRC webpage and Scheme-Specific Funding rules provide further detail on eligibility, noting in particular that:

  • Applications must be made to/approved through the EC review process to be eligible for  funding from the NHMRC
  • Australian researchers (and therefore their Administering Institution) must be listed as a full partner on the successful EC application, and therefore the EC Agreement.
  • Funding may not be sought where the EC is providing funds for the Australian component.

The timeline for the scheme is as follows:

July 2018NHMRC-EU scheme funding rules available
26 July or 16 October 2018EC applications open
2 October 2018EC close for first stage applications
16 April 2019EC close for second stage applications
April 2019EC close for applications with only one stage
25 September 2019NHMRC applications open in Sapphire (new RGMS) after the EC has provided the outcomes of their review process
30 October 2019NHMRC applications close in Sapphire
Anticipated January 2020 Earliest date for NHMRC-EU scheme funding announcement

Researchers should contact research-applications@newcastle.edu.au if you intend to apply or require further information.

Further Resources