The main types of funding of the European Union are:
The first steps to take are to define a project idea and project type, along with the type of funding needed. Then you should access the webpage of the European Commission and verify if there are open calls for proposals or tenders.
The Framework Programme Horizon 2020 is the successor of the 7th Framework Programme and it is a fundamental pillar of the Innovation Union, an important initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. H2020 will be implemented between 2014 and 2020 and aims to increase the relation between research and innovation, by converting scientific development into innovative products, thus responding to the challenges posed by globalisation (e.g. climate change, energy safety and ageing). In order to reach these objectives, the programme identifies three priorities: scientific excellence, creation of an industrial leadership and responses to societal challenges, being each of these priorities divided into diverse and well-defined objectives and activities.
Horizon 2020 was attributed a total budget of 77 billion €, being a sole programme which combines funds dedicated to the Framework Programme for Research, Framework Programme for Competitiveness and Innovation and the EU contribution for the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). The structure of the programme is based on three big pillars:
Scientific Excellence (about 32% of the total budget) including:
Industrial Leadership (about 22% of the total budget) including:
Societal Challenges (about 39% of the total budget) including:
Plus, Horizon 2020 is complemented by activities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), as well as the Joint Research Centre. International cooperation is promoted, along with other measures in order to enable the implementation of the European Research Area (ERA).
Besides the activities covered by the three pillars, other projects can be funded through other instruments:
The main types of projects funded under Horizon 2020 are Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Innovation Actions (IA). Research and Innovation Actions are mainly based on fundamental and applied research, technology development and integration. Innovation Actions are designed to develop plans or projects for new or improved products, processes or services. As these actions come closer to market, they will involve the development of prototypes to demonstrate or validate products and their replication. Horizon 2020 also covers Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, ERC projects, SME Instrument, Pre-Commercial Procurement and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions.
According to the minimum conditions of participation, at least three legal entities, independent from each other, from three different Member-States or Associated Countries. More than one entity per country may participate, as long as the minimum requirements are met. However, it is worthwhile to read the conditions of the specific call for proposals as there may be some additional requirements. The participation of one entity is the minimum requirement for some actions under Marie Sklodowska-Curie, European Research Council and SME Instrument actions.
All legal entities established in the Member-States of the European Union, along with its Overseas Countries and Territories are directly eligible for funding. The following Associated Countries are also eligible: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. Third Countries may also be eligible for funding. However, legal entities not listed above may also be exceptionally eligible, if it is specified on the work programme of a certain call for proposals.
All activities under Horizon 2020 have the same funding rate – 100%. However, Innovation Actions, which are activities closer to the market, have a funding rate of 70%. Yet, non-profit organisations, such as U.Porto, have a funding rate of 100%.
The flat rate of indirect costs of all research and innovation projects is 25% (excluding subcontracting), for all entities. However, under Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, the indirect costs correspond to fixed amounts, within specific cost categories, pre-defined by the European Commission.
The eligible costs under Horizon 2020 are the following:
Under Horizon 2020, unit costs, flat rate costs and lumps sums are also foreseen. VAT, if paid by the beneficiary and unrecoverable, is also an eligible cost.
Ineligible costs are expenditure which does not follow the regulations mentioned on the Model Grant Agreement, namely provisions for future losses or debts, currency exchange losses, costs related to return on capital, reimbursed costs of other EU action or programme, doubtful debts, excessive or reckless expenditure.
When preparing a budget, we advise you to contact the Project Management Office through the following address: email@example.com.
Consortium agreements are mandatory for all multi-beneficiary (consortium) projects, unless otherwise stated on the call for proposals.
The whole process, from proposal submission, evaluation, to grant agreement signature, typically takes about eight months.
A Participant Identification Code (PIC) is attributed to all entities participating in Horizon 2020. The PIC number is a nine digit identification code, to which all information, both legal and financial, is associated to. The information is stored in a database and it is used for all the different projects that the same entity participates.
The University of Porto is now identified by only one PIC number: 999894916. This number must be always indicated when the University (through its faculties, institutes and departments) submits a proposal to Horizon 2020 or other programmes, such as Third Health Programme, Erasmus +, etc. or when a project is negotiated or when the Commission demands it.
The data associated to U.Porto’s PIC is:
A register on the Participant Portal is mandatory, in order to be able to submit a proposal to varied European programmes. Thus, it is necessary to create an ECAS (European Commission Authentication Service) account on the Participant Portal. The register requires an individual registration. Users must provide a username, an e-mail address and a password. After the register is made, the user will receive a notification via e-mail with the next steps to take.
Professors and researchers of U.Porto can use the services made available by the Project Management Office of the University of Porto, or similar structures that may exist in the different faculties.
The services include, when submitting a proposal, support in the administrative component of the proposal, the verification of eligibility criteria or collection of institutional documents that may be needed to submit the proposal, and design of a budget. Besides, there is also support to identify potential partners, as well as giving guidance on how to structure a proposal. Besides the support given by the Project Management Office and other similar structures of the University, the technical staff may also contact the National Contact Points of each funding programme, which, in Portugal, are mostly based on the Gabinete de Promoção do Programa Quadro (Framework Programme Promotion Office).
The participation in European R&D projects brings many advantages to the research teams. Firstly, the fact that, in their vast majority, these projects are large, very ambitious and with great scientific impact, allowing researchers to reach results that would be difficult to attain individually. On top of that, participation in these projects brings scientific recognition to the participants.
The participation also offers the opportunity to collaborate with entities and companies which are leaders in their fields, allowing a technological and market observation, leading to a strengthening of collaborations and scientific networks at a European level.
The attractive funding rates allow the acquisition of equipment for infrastructures and hiring of specialized resources, which will lead to a great increase in the scientific and technical capacity of the research teams and the institution.
There is a great diversity of funding programmes, which fund different activities, with different funding rates and different eligibility criteria. Some examples organised by area:
To obtain more information about funding programmes of different areas, you may contact the Project Management Office using the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposal submission of the vast majority of European funding programmes is done electronically and it requires the registration of an institution. This registration can either be done before or during the submission process, depending on the programme. In some cases, it is not required to register an institution.
Given that the University of Porto has a single tax ID number (PT501413197), which is associated to different institutional registrations, the Project Management Office has verified the rules and has registered U.Porto in different platforms where proposals can be submitted.
The information below provides guidance on the registration on the main platforms:
Proposal submission to this programme requires a prior registration of the institution on eSUDOE platform. The researcher also needs to create his/her individual registration. The researcher, after logging in with his/her credentials, must associate the code identifying the faculty where he/she is based.
Proposal submission to this programme requires a prior registration of the institution on Synergie CTE platform. However, the registration can only be done if a call for proposals is open. Since at the moment no calls for proposals are open, it is not yet possible to register the institution. The Project Management Office of U.Porto will register the institution as soon as a call for proposals is open.
Proposal submission is done through the information system Coopera 2020. Institutional registration is mandatory, however it can only be done after the submission of an electronic certificate by the programme administration. The Project Management Office is waiting for further instructions and will disseminate them in due time.
Proposal submission does not require a prior registration or association of the institution. The researcher must, however, create an individual registration on the programme platform, which will be available soon.
Proposal submission does not require a prior registration or association of the institution. The researcher must, however, create an individual registration on iOLF platform.
Proposal submission does not require a prior registration of the institution, depending only on an invitation by ESPON Management Committee. After the invitation is received, the institution will obtain the required credentials to sign in to e-MS platform, in order to submit a proposal.
Proposal submission requires both a prior registration of the institution and researcher. Proposal submission is done via Research Participant Portal. The researcher after logging in to the platform with his/her individual credentials (registration via ECAS), has to introduce the identification code of the institution. U.Porto Participant Identification Code (PIC) is 999894916.
Proposal submission to these programmes requires both a prior registration of the institution and researcher. Proposal submission is done via Education, Audiovisual, Culture, Citizenship and Volunteering Participant Portal. The researcher after logging in to the platform with his/her individual credentials (registration via ECAS), has to introduce the identification code of the institution. U.Porto Participant Identification Code (PIC) is 999894916.
If any question or problem arises related to any of these institutional registrations, please contact the Project Management Office using the e-mail email@example.com.
The deans of the different faculties are entitled to sign/certify documents related to submission of proposals or project contracts from external entities, where U.Porto is a participating entity through one of its faculties.
In the specific case of Horizon 2020, the deans of the faculties are by default entitled to be the LSIGN (Legal Signatory for the organisation) and FSIGN (Financial Signatory for the organisation) of the institution.
For specific situations involving other programmes, please contact the Project Management Office using the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Commission provides funding for PhD projects promoted by different entities, such as universities, research centres or companies, which aim to create a research network. Interested entities may consult the available opportunities of the Innovative Training Networks within the Maria S. Curie Actions (Horizon 2020 – MSCA ITN). Researchers may also directly apply to specific vacancies created within these networks. All the opportunities will be available on the Euraxess portal.
There are different funding schemes for post-doc research directed to young researchers within H2020. Starting Grants of the European Research Council (ERC) fund innovative and frontier research projects in all scientific areas. They are mainly directed to young researchers (from 2 to 7 years after PhD completion). This funding scheme funds individual projects, being the creation of an international consortium not mandatory. Individual Fellowships (European or Global) within Marie S. Curie Actions (H2020) are mainly directed to advanced training and mobility of experienced researchers (PhD or 4 years minimum experience in research).
There are different funding schemes for independent and established researchers within H2020. Consolidator Grants (from 7 to 12 years of experience after PhD completion) and Advanced Grants (at least 10 years of experience as an established researcher) funded by the European Research Council (ERC) are an example. Individual Fellowships (European or Global) within Marie S. Curie Actions (H2020) are mainly directed to advanced training and mobility of experienced researchers (PhD or 4 years minimum experience in research). Also, Pillar 1 of H2020 – Scientific Excellence – foresees the funding of projects dedicated to the development of innovative and disruptive technologies – FET projects present three different lines of action (FET Open, FET Proactive, FET Flagships).
Experienced researchers may also find funding opportunities for research and innovation and from lab to market activities within pillars 2 and 3 (Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges, respectively).
The LEF is a document which confirms the legal status of an institution. It is a document associated with the registration of the institution and it is used together with the submission of proposals to programmes funded by the European Commission. This document is filled in by the University and signed by its legal representative. The document is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/legal_entities/legal-entities_en.cfm#pt
The University of Porto and all its faculties have a duly filled in, signed and validated Legal Entity File. If you need the document, please contact the project management office of your faculty or send an email to: email@example.com.
The Financial Identity Form is a document requested under projects funded by the European Commission. This document acts a proof of the bank account data associated to a project. This document is filled in by the University and signed by its legal representative. The document is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/financial_id/financial-id_en.cfm#pt
The University of Porto and all its faculties have a Financial Identity Form. If you need the document, please contact the project management office of your faculty or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.