Guidance

UK association to Horizon Europe and the UK Horizon Europe guarantee

From:
UKRI
Published:
Last updated:
15 December 2023

This page provides advice to:

  • successful applicants to 2021, 2022, and 2023 work programme calls who already hold Horizon Europe guarantee grants
  • applicants who are in the process of applying to the Horizon Europe guarantee
  • applicants who are currently in the European Commission’s (EC) Grant Agreement Preparation (GAP) stage

It provides association-specific information and is in addition to UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) published guarantee scheme guidance.

The EC and the UK government have confirmed that the UK will be associating to Horizon Europe from the 2024 work programme and participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme until 2027.

For information on the 2023 UK-EU agreement on the UK’s association to Horizon Europe and Copernicus, please see guidance from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

The UK government Horizon Europe guarantee scheme remains active and has been extended to cover all remaining Horizon Europe grant calls that are funded under work programme 2023 irrespective of the call closing or grant signature date.

You are able to identify which work programme calls fall under by the year noted in the call ID:

  • if the call ID includes ‘2023,’ the call is part of the 2023 work programme and be covered by the UK government guarantee (for example, HORIZON-CL2-2023-DEMOCRACY-01-02)
  • if the call ID includes ‘2024,’ the call will be part of the 2024 work programme and covered by the bespoke new association agreement (for example, HORIZON-CL2-2024-DEMOCRACY-01-02)

All UK-based businesses and researchers can continue to apply to Horizon Europe calls as a ‘Beneficiary’ (not as an ‘Associated Partner’) and will receive funding directly from the EC for 2024 work programme funding opportunities onwards.

For further information on finding Horizon Europe funding opportunities please see Horizon Europe: what we’re doing to support you, which signposts where you can access support.

The UK’s Horizon Europe guarantee scheme will continue to operate using the same processes for all remaining eligible grants. Further details can be found on this page and in UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance.

The EC’s eligibility criteria must be followed when applying to any Horizon Europe calls.

For questions only related to the Horizon Europe guarantee, please email eugrantsfunding@ukri.org if your query is not answered on this page or in UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance.

Please note that UKRI guarantee grant holders can apply for Horizon Europe calls from the 2024 work programme onwards to undertake additional new projects. We advise applicants to consider the minimum and maximum time commitment requirements for the grant they are interested in applying for. Grant holders will need to adhere to both UKRI’s research conditions and the EC’s grant agreement conditions.

Scope of the Horizon Europe guarantee

The scope of the funding guarantee has been expanded to cover successful Horizon Europe applications submitted to 2021, 2022, and 2023 work programme calls who cannot sign a grant agreement with the EC or delegated party because it is not covered by the UK’s bespoke association deal, and therefore cannot receive funding.

Successful applications made by UK-based businesses and researchers to calls under the Horizon Europe 2021, 2022 or 2023 work programmes will be covered by the guarantee for the lifetime of the grants.

The date of call deadlines does not delineate which work programme they are under. Please be aware that a small number of 2023 work programme calls will close in 2024, and a small number of 2024 work programme calls are closing in 2023.

Prizes remain out of scope of the guarantee.

In line with the preferences of the UK fusion sector, the UK has decided to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy instead of associating to the ECs Euratom programme. Euratom calls, aside from those listed in the guarantee scheme guidance, remain outside of the scope of the guarantee.

Applying to 2021, 2022, and 2023 Horizon Europe work programme calls

Please note, UK applicants must apply for funding from the EC as ‘Beneficiaries’ and not as ‘Associated Partners’ in order to be eligible for the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee. The change to ‘Associated Partner’ status must only be made after the project is at the point of preparing the EC’s grant agreement.

ERC and MSCA grant types hosted on the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S)

If your grant proposal is being prepared for or under evaluation by the EC for a 2023 work programme call

Guidance for applicants who:

  • are preparing a proposal for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) 2023 work programme call to submit to the EC
  • have a proposal under evaluation by the EC for a European Research Council (ERC) or MSCA 2023 work programme call

If successful, the project’s funding will be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance.

In particular, please note that UK host organisations:

  • should apply to the EC as ‘Beneficiaries’
  • cannot lead consortia in collaborative projects (for instance MSCA Doctoral Networks)

Please note that 2023 work programme calls with final deadlines in 2024 will be covered by the guarantee.

If a project is placed on a reserve list and subsequently invited to start grant agreement preparation, it will be covered by the guarantee.

If you have received notification of success from the EC but not submitted details to UKRI for guarantee funding

Guidance if you have received your notification of success from the EC, but not yet submitted your details to UKRI for guarantee funding for a 2022 or 2023 work programme call.

Successfully assessed UK based organisations taking part in ERC and MSCA projects should apply to UKRI for guarantee funding in Je-S once the Horizon Europe call results are announced, as funding will not be available from the EC.

In particular, please note that:

  • guarantee funding routes on Je-S will remain open for up to one year, unless closing dates are otherwise communicated on the guarantee guidance pages
  • the grant is expected to start within one year of the calls opening in Je-S
  • the grant will be classed as a UKRI grant on UKRI’s bespoke guarantee terms and conditions for the lifetime of the grant

For collaborative MSCA projects (Doctoral Networks, Staff Exchanges, COFUND, Citizens), please note that:

  • UK applicants must apply for funding from the EC as Beneficiaries and not as Associated Partners in order to be eligible for the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee. The change to Associated Partner status must only be made after the project is at the point of preparing the EC’s grant agreement
  • UKRI will require a signed grant agreement with the EC listing the UK partner as an ‘Associated Partner’
  • all UK partners in the same project should make a joint application in Je-S
  • UK-based host organisations cannot lead consortia for 2021, 2022 or 2023 calls

ERC grants which initially applied to be hosted outside of the UK can be moved to the UK and funded through the guarantee, subject to certain terms being met. Further guidance can be found on the guarantee guidance pages.

UK based ERC guarantee grant holders are entitled to refer to their project as ‘selected by the ERC, funded by UKRI’ and can use the ERC logo and branding. Grant holders can also join the Association of ERC Grantees (AERG).

Projects funded by the Horizon Europe guarantee must acknowledge UKRI funding and include UKRI branding where appropriate. For more information on funding acknowledgement, please consult the UKRI guarantee guidance. For UKRI branding, see guidelines and download logos.

Please see the UKRI guarantee scheme guidance for more information on guarantee-specific policies, which still apply to all guarantee grants.

If you have submitted project details in Je-S and awaiting a UKRI offer letter

Guidance if you have submitted 2022 or 2023 ERC or MSCA project details into Je-S and awaiting an offer letter from UKRI for guarantee funding.

The UK guarantee remains active to cover all successful projects under the 2022 and 2023 work programmes for the lifetime of the grants. Any MSCA or ERC guarantee applications will continue to be processed in Je-S and UKRI aims for offer letters to be issued within seven weeks of receiving all required information in Je-S.

In particular, please note that UK host organisations:

  • are not able to cease their guarantee grant and seek funding from the EC
  • are covered under the UK Horizon Europe guarantee will remain on bespoke UKRI terms and conditions for the entire duration of their grant

UK-based ERC guarantee grant holders are entitled to refer to their project as ‘selected by the ERC, funded by UKRI’ and can use the ERC logo and branding. Grant holders can also join the Association of ERC Grantees (AERG).

Projects funded by the Horizon Europe guarantee must acknowledge UKRI funding and include UKRI branding where appropriate. For more information on funding acknowledgement, please consult the UKRI guarantee guidance. For UKRI branding, see guidelines and download logos.

Please see the UKRI guarantee scheme guidance for more information on guarantee specific policies, which still apply to all guarantee grants.

If you have accepted a UKRI guarantee offer letter, but the grant has not started, or you have a live guarantee grant

Guidance if you have:

  • accepted a UKRI guarantee offer letter in Je-S, but your guarantee ERC or MSCA grant type has not started yet
  • a live UKRI guarantee ERC or MSCA grant type

Horizon Europe guarantee grant holders will remain on UKRI’s bespoke guarantee terms and conditions for the lifetime of the grant for all 2021, 2022 and 2023 work programme ERC and MSCA calls.

In particular, please note that UK based host organisations:

  • can acknowledge the project has passed the EC’s assessment process, but is now funded by UKRI and recognised as such
  • remain unable to lead consortia in collaborative grants
  • will need to submit the start confirmation document in Je-S back to UKRI to indicate the project has started

UK-based ERC guarantee grant holders are entitled to refer to their project as ‘selected by the ERC, funded by UKRI’ and can use the ERC logo and branding. Grant holders can also join the Association of ERC Grantees (AERG).

Projects funded by the Horizon Europe guarantee must acknowledge UKRI funding and include UKRI branding where appropriate. For more information on funding acknowledgement, please consult the UKRI guarantee guidance. For UKRI branding, see guidelines and download logos.

Please see the UKRI guarantee scheme guidance for more information on guarantee-specific policies, which still apply to all guarantee grants.

If you are applying to an ERC or MSCA 2024 work programme call

All ERC and MSCA calls with 2024 in the call ID will be able to access funding from the EC and will not be covered by the guarantee. UK-based beneficiaries will be able to apply to any 2024 Horizon Europe calls and beyond as coordinators to lead a consortium in collaborative grant types.

UK Research Office (UKRO) is UKRI’s Brussels -based team who is the UK’s National Contact Point (NCP) for MSCA and ERC schemes as part of Horizon Europe. They provide free information and advice to applicants applying to be hosted in the UK under MSCA and ERC calls. UKRO has specific guidance for UK-based organisations applying.

Current UKRI guarantee grant holders can apply for ERC or MSCA calls from the 2024 work programme onwards to undertake additional new projects. We advise applicants to consider the minimum and maximum time commitment requirements for the grant they are interested in applying for. Grant holders will need to adhere to both UKRI’s research conditions and the EC’s grant agreement conditions.

The EC’s eligibility criteria must be followed when applying to any Horizon Europe calls from 2024 onwards. Any UKRI-funded guarantee ERC grants do not count towards holding an ongoing ERC grant.

To apply for an ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) grant from the 2024 work programme onwards, only those that have an ERC grant funded directly by the EC are eligible to apply.

For further information about applying to MSCA and ERC funding opportunities, please refer to the EC’s web pages for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and European Research Council grants in the first instance.

All non-ERC, non-MSCA, and non-KICs grant types hosted on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS)

If your grant proposal is being prepared for or under evaluation by the EC for a 2023 work programme call

Guidance if you are:

  • preparing a proposal for a 2023 work programme call to submit to the EC
  • have a Horizon Europe proposal under evaluation for a 2023 work programme call

If successful, this will be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance.

In particular, please note that UK entities:

  • must apply as ‘Beneficiaries’
  • change to ‘Associated Partner’ status after the project has been assessed, at the point of preparing the EC grant agreement
  • cannot lead consortia

Please note that 2023 work programme calls with final deadlines in 2024 will be covered by the guarantee.

If your proposal was originally placed on the reserve list and you subsequently receive an invite to the grant agreement preparation process, you can apply for guarantee funding.

If you are about to or have submitted an application to the Horizon Europe guarantee for a 2022 or 2023 work programme call

Your grant will still be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance, which still applies to all guarantee grants.

In particular, please note that UK entities:

  • are not able to cease their guarantee grant and seek funding from the EC
  • cannot lead consortia

If you have accepted a UKRI guarantee offer letter in IFS but the grant has not started yet, or you have a live UKRI guarantee grant

Your grant will still be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance, which still applies to all guarantee grants.

In particular, please note that UK entities:

  • are not able to cease their guarantee grant and seek funding from the EC
  • projects covered under the UK Horizon Europe guarantee scheme will remain on bespoke UKRI terms and conditions for the entire duration of their grant

EIT-KICs grant types, hosted on IFS

If your Horizon Europe KICs proposal with deadline on or before 31 December 2023 is being prepared or under evaluation

Guidance if you are:

  • preparing a proposal for Horizon Europe
  • have a Horizon Europe proposal under evaluation

for a Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) call with a deadline on or before 31 December 2023.

If successful, project costs incurred during 2021, 2022, or 2023 will still be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance, which still applies to all guarantee grants.

If you are about to or have submitted an application to the Horizon Europe guarantee for a KICs call with a deadline on or before 31 December 2023

Project costs incurred during 2021, 2022, or 2023 will still be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance.

In particular, please note that UK entities are not able to cease their guarantee grant and seek funding from the EC.

If you have accepted a UKRI guarantee offer letter in IFS but the grant has not started yet, or you have a live UKRI guarantee grant

Project costs incurred during 2021, 2022, or 2023 will still be covered by the guarantee. Please follow UKRI’s guarantee scheme guidance, which still applies to all guarantee grants.

In particular, please note that UK entities:

  • are not able to cease their guarantee grant and seek funding from the EC
  • projects covered under the UK Horizon Europe guarantee scheme will remain on bespoke UKRI terms and conditions for the entire duration of their grant (that is eligible costs incurred during the 2023 calendar year)

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