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Preparing for EU Exit if you have submitted an 'in flight' bid

Are you an EU grant holder with a question? If so email EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org

On 8 August the government announced that UKRI will manage the independent assessment of UK bids to mono-beneficiary European Research Council (ERC), Marie Skƚodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) and European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator (formerly known as SMEi) that are submitted prior to EU Exit if the European Commission does not complete evaluation of bids.  

This page provides guidance for UK applicants who have submitted bids to these calls before EU Exit and are expecting to be notified of an outcome by the Commission after Exit.

What is an ‘in flight’ bid?

If we leave the European Union (EU) without a deal, the UK will not be eligible to participate in certain Horizon 2020 calls open to individual researchers or SMEs after Exit.

In this scenario, the European Commission may not continue to assess UK bids for mono-beneficiary ERC, MSCA and EIC Accelerator grants after point of Exit. UKRI refers to these bids that are undergoing assessment by the Commission at point of Exit as ‘in-flight bids’.

‘In-flight’ funding does not cover calls within ERC and MSCA that the UK can still access as a third country (for example ERC Synergy, MSCA RISE or MSCA ITNs).  Additionally, If you have sought EU funding from other schemes not open to third countries before we leave, UK Research and Innovation will not be able to assess your grant bid.

If the European Commission evaluates these ‘in flight’ bids and confirms that they are successful, the UK government will fund the projects through the guarantee. More information about the guarantee is available here.

However, if the European Commission does not evaluate these bids, the government will instruct UKRI to manage the independent assessment of in-flight proposals. Government ‘in-flight’ funding will be available to support successful projects for their duration.

Actions you need to take to prepare for Exit

Step 1: If you are considering submitting a bid to a mono-beneficiary element of ERC, MSCA or EIC Accelerator, make sure you submit the bid to the European Commission before EU Exit.

  • Bids submitted to these calls after Exit will not be eligible for resubmission to UKRI for assessment, and thus will not be covered by the Government’s in-flight commitment. To make sure your bid is eligible for ‘in-flight’ assessment, make sure you submit it to Horizon 2020 before we leave the EU.

Step 2: Ensure you have proof that your bid has been submitted before Exit

  • In order to qualify for the in-flight process, you will need to provide proof that you submitted your bid to Horizon 2020 before EU Exit. Make sure that you save a timestamped copy of the submitted proposal and any other correspondence confirming your submission. Further guidance on the documents that you will need to submit to UKRI as part of the in-flight process will be provided in due course.

Step 3:  Wait for a response from the European Commission

  • If the European Commission notifies you that you have been successful, please visit this page for information on actions that you need to take to access guarantee funding.
  • If the European Commission notifies that you that will not evaluate your bid, you will need to refer to UKRI guidance detailing the actions that you need to take to resubmit your grant application to UKRI for independent assessment. This guidance will be available in due course.

If you have any further questions, please e-mail UKRI at EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org