The Horizon Europe funding programme is a key source of funding for researchers at the University of Essex. Here, Deputy Dean of Partnerships (Europe) David Briggs offers reassurance to University staff and European partners about the current situation and the UK guarantee.
Essex researchers have had considerable success with the Horizon Europe scheme since its launch, and it is imperative that we continue to engage fully with consortia calls, partnering with European collaborators to produce world-leading, high impact research.
On 22 December 2021, the EC confirmed that UK organisations were eligible to apply for Horizon Europe calls. Because of delays to the UK’s full association to Horizon Europe, the UK government has introduced a UK guarantee. This guarantee ensures that successful UK applicants for Horizon Europe grant awards will be guaranteed funding from the UK government regardless of the outcome of the UK’s efforts to associate to Horizon Europe.
This guarantee is comprehensive and enables UK organisations to engage in consortia calls and this should not place additional administrative burden on EU leads. The aim of the guarantee is to provide reassurance both to the UK research and innovation community and to European partners to enable collaborative research. The UK Horizon Europe Guarantee is valid for the entire duration of the awarded projects and is delivered through the government’s UK Research and Innovation.
The current guarantee covers all calls for which a grant agreement will be signed by the end of 2022. On 20 July 2022, the UK government announced how the UK will transition to a new R&D programme if unable to associate to Horizon Europe and this includes important guarantees for continued participation in Horizon Europe. The measures include:
For full details are on www.gov.uk - supporting UK R&D and collaborative research beyond European programmes
At application stage, UK organisations should be treated in the same way as all other beneficiaries to the call. UK institutions can lead work-packages and take a leading role in the scientific management of projects funded through Horizon Europe, though they cannot, at the present time, act as the overall lead institution.
Once the grant is awarded, if the UK is not at the time fully Associated to Horizon Europe, the EC will ask UK organisation(s) to be treated as an Associated Partner (see article 9.1 of the EC Model Grant Agreement and the budget that was originally requested from the EC to cover UK organisations’ costs will be paid by the UK government. The UK organisations will not sign the Grant Agreement but will sign a consortium agreement, eg DESCA.
Should you experience any difficulties during or post application please initially raise these with your departmental Director of Research and/or Head of Department.
Where necessary these can then be escalated through the appropriate channels to colleagues in the REO, the Deputy Dean of Partnerships (Europe) David Briggs, the Dean of Partnerships (Research) Professor David O'Mahony and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Greer.