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The European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Horizon Europe is the European Union's current central funding programme for research and innovation. With a financial volume of approximately 95.5 billion euros over the period from 2021 through 2027, it is one of the largest research funding programmes world-wide.

With Horizon Europe, the European Commission aims to increase the attractiveness of the European Research Area, to strengthen Europe's competitiveness and economic growth as well as to support European policies and address current societal challenges. You can find all information concerning the European research funding on the central Funding and Tenders Portal.

Overview of Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe consists of three main pillars, which each have different goals, structures and application conditions:

Excellent Science

The pillar “Excellent Science” is meant to support the best researchers in Europe in all phases of their academic careers. Hence, projects that can be applied for within this pillar have no thematic restrictions and can also include basic research. ERC Grants help outstanding individual researchers to implement their innovative and high-risk project ideas. ERC Starting Grants are for researchers who obtained their doctoral degree two to seven years ago, ERC Consolidator Grants for those who obtained it seven to twelve years ago and ERC Advanced Grants for established researchers. ERC Synergy Grants, on the other hand, are for small teams of two to four researchers. Finally, there is the ERC Proof of Concept funding line: It is available only to those who already have an ERC award to establish proof of concept of an idea that was generated in the course of their ERC-funded projects. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions support the mobility and training of junior researchers. The Research Infrastructures  programme provide transnational access to large infrastructures.

Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness

The pillar “Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness” is geared towards applied research that is implemented in large interdisciplinary, transnational research networks. In six clusters, the following research areas are supported:

  • Health
  • Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
  • Civil Security for Society
  • Digital, Industry and Space
  • Climate, Energy and Mobility
  • Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

Since these research priorities are strongly policy-driven, the topics and objectives published in calls are defined by the EU. Additionally, for the first time so called Missions were defined under Horizon Europe as interdisciplinary instruments with ambitious goals for research and innovation. In line with the priorities of the European Commission, the aim is to support implementable solutions for pressing societal challenges by 2030, such as adaptation to climate change or cancer. 

Innovative Europe

The calls for proposals within the pillar “Innovative Europe” aim to accelerate the development of technologies and innovations for the benefit of Europe’s future. The main building block of this pillar, the European Innovation Council (EIC), can be seen as the innovation-driven counterpart to the research-driven ERC: Results of basic research should be developed further to promote breakthrough innovation with scale-up potential at the global level. Accordingly, the EIC comprises various funding instruments, such as Pathfinder funding (formerly Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)), in which advanced research is supported to develop future and emerging breakthrough technologies. Applicants are largely free to choose the topics of their projects themselves.


Preparing proposals in Horizon Europe

Data of the University of Konstanz for Electronic Proposal Submission

Participant Identification Code (PIC): 999866204
Organisation Short Name: UKON
Main Host Institution Contact: Anja Eisenbeiß,
LEAR: Stefanie Preuss,
Project Legal Signatory (PLSIGN): Stefanie Preuss AND Sebastian Vogt

Where can I learn about calls for proposals?

Open calls are published in the Funding and Tenders Portal of the European Commission. Here, you will also find all documents that are relevant for submitting a proposal, such as guidelines, regulations, and templates. Proposals are submitted electronically via this portal. As the preparation of a European grant proposal is usually rather time-consuming, you should inform yourself in advance about upcoming topics and calls. To this end, the European Commission publishes bi-annual Work Programmes, which contain information on thematic specifications, corresponding project funding types, evaluation criteria and the prospective publication dates of the calls. For longer-term planning, it is also worth looking at the novel Strategic Plan, which is valid in Horizon Europe’s first four years and ensures that its research and innovation actions contribute to EU priorities. In addition, Research Support regularly publishes a special issue of the newsletter “Forschungsnachrichten”, which is devoted exclusively to European funding opportunities. Current calls for proposals are also included in the regular “Forschungsnachrichten”.

How do I submit a proposal?

Proposals are submitted electronically via the Funding and Tenders Portal. For registering a proposal you need a personal account and the PIC (Participant Identification Code) of all participating institutions. The PIC of the University of Konstanz is 999866204. In addition, you have to fill in administrative forms on the portal, which look different for each programme. For more information please read the “instructions for completing part A of the proposal” in the “Information for Applicants”, which is available for each call. The Research Support team is happy to help you with the forms. You can give your contact person in the Research Support team access to your proposal by adding her as “coordinator contact” or “participant contact” on the portal. Depending on the programme you apply to, you might need additional documents, such as a host support letter or a consortium agreement. For these, please contact the Research Support at least 14 days before the deadline. The proposal, as well as all required documents, are uploaded as PDF-files to the portal. Please observe the strict page limits and deadlines. More information can be found in the Online Manual on Horizon Europe.

What can I apply for?

You can apply for all costs for staff, consumables, depreciation rates for equipment, travel, services and subcontracting that are required for implementing the project and that can be directly related to the project. When the total project costs of a partner exceed 430,000 euros, the European Commission requires a financial audit, which is carried out by an external auditor. Please remember to include about 6,000 euros for this audit in your budget. The Research Support will be happy to help you draw up the budget.

What is important for the implementation of the project?

When your project has been approved, you should familiarise yourself with the conditions set out in the grant agreement. Please contact the person in charge of your project in the "Forschungsverwaltung" (research funding administration), who will be happy to advise and inform you on all matters concerning the financial administration of your project.

Who can help me with preparing the grant proposal?

The Research Support and the EU Officer of the University of Konstanz are happy to assist you with all questions concerning the application process. We also offer regular workshops on applying for EU projects.

In addition, a number of support institutions offer advice on special questions as well as workshops on EU funding. These institutions include the National Contact Points (NCP), the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) and the EU Office of the BMBF.

Seed funding for EU projects

The University of Konstanz and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts (MWK) in Baden-Wuerttemberg provide seed funding for developing and preparing applications for EU projects. All proposals in Horizon Europe, in the structural funds (EFRE, ESF, INTERREG) as well as for Erasmus+ and in research programmes outside of the EU’s funding programmes, in which the EU is financially involved, though (e.g. COST, EUREKA, PRIMA), can be financially supported.

All project leaders at the University of Konstanz are eligible. You can apply for staff costs, consumables and travel costs as well as costs for external trainings on EU applications. Please note that consulting services from external agencies will not be funded. Your proposal must be submitted in the same year as the seed funding and all costs must have been incurred in the same year and before signing the grant agreement. Funds cannot be transferred to the following fiscal year.

At the beginning of each year, there will be an internal call for proposals for the seed funding. You will be informed about the call and its conditions on our News site and via our newsletter “Forschungsnachrichten”.

Please contact the EU Officer with any questions.