Frequently Asked Questions About Horizon Europe

What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is the main grant programme of the European Commission to support scientific research and innovation activities. The budget of the Horizon Europe grant programme covering the 2021-2027 period is 95,5 billion Euro.

Who finances the budget of Horizon Europe grant programme?

The budget of the Horizon Europe grant programme is determined by the European Commission and covered by the European Commission.

What is the purpose of Horizon Europe?

The aim of Horizon Europe is to increase the innovation capacity, competitiveness and growth of the European Union, to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to support the fight against climate change.

What is the structure of Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is structured around three main pillars:

Excellent Science: The aim of the excellent science pillar is to increase the scientific global competitiveness of the EU. To achieve this goal, Horizon Europe uses 3 main scholarships as its tool.

Through the European Research Council, it supports research projects developed and conducted by top researchers.

Through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, it provides fellowships for experienced researchers, doctoral training networks, exchanges between institutions for researchers, and encourages more young people to pursue careers in research.

Through Research Infrastructures, it invests in world-class research infrastructures.

Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness: This pillar supports research that addresses societal challenges and industrial technologies. This section is structured around 7 clusters: research in health; studies in culture, creativity and inclusive societies; civil security studies for society; digital, industrial and space studies; climate, energy and mobility studies; research in food, bioeconomy, natural resources; agriculture and the environment.  

 Innovative Europe: The purpose of this pillar is to promote groundbreaking and market-creating innovations and ecosystems that drive innovation. It achieves this goal with the grants through three main institutions:

Through the European Innovation Council, it aims to make Europe a pioneer with market-creating innovative projects.

Through the European Innovation Ecosystems, it supports ecosystem development across Europe.

Through the European Innovation and Technology Institute, it promotes integration of education, research and innovation.

Who can apply to Horizon Europe? 

  • Individual researchers,
  • Research centers,
  • All kinds of private and public institutions,
  • Universities,
  • Doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers,
  • Academics,
  • SMEs and start-ups,
  • NGOs, foundations and associations.

Can companies, SMEs and start-ups apply to Horizon Europe?

Yes, you can apply. With an original research project, they can choose a grant program from the Horizon Europe (for example, EIC Accelerator) that they meet the conditions and apply.

How to apply to Horizon Europe?

In order to apply to Horizon Europe, you should first decide the most appropriate grant program for your project. For example, if you are an individual independent researcher completing a PhD and have an original project idea, you might consider the Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSCA) Fellowship Programme. For MSCA, you must first find an experienced mentor (supervisor) from a European or non-European university (hosting university) who will agree to work with you. If you are an SME or start-up, then EIC Accelerator grant or similar grant programmes may be the most suitable for you.

After choosing the most suitable grant program for your conditions and project, you should follow the calls of this grant. You must also register and create an account on the European Commission’s FUNDING&TENDERS portal. Afterwards, you need to follow the announcements and notifications published by the European Commission regarding the call and grant program. Then, you should write a highly competitive project proposal. Through the published “Work Program (for example Horizon Europe Work Program)” of the grant informs about all the details such as all application conditions, rights, and details of the project. Such publications and announcements should be followed.

All applications must be made directly through FUNDING&TENDERS, the official portal of the European Commission, from the call opening date to the latest call closing date.

What are the grant amounts at Horizon Europe?

Grant amounts vary according to the grant and fellowships programs applied for. For example, in the MSCA, the scholarship amount is paid to the researcher as a monthly salary, while in the grant program that SMEs and start-ups can apply such as EIC Accelerator, this amount is up to 50,000 Euros for the first phase in order to the preparation of the feasibility report, and is paid in one go. In the second phase, the grant amount increases up to 2,5 million Euros. Since 2022, the European Commission has started to provide equity financing support to SMEs and start-ups under the name of “blended finance”, provided that the necessary conditions are met. Together with equity investments, the amount of financing within the scope of EIC Accelerator can increase up to 15 million Euros.