UK and Swiss Participation in Horizon Europe – Current state of play, and what it means for you

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On September 1, the UK government announced an extension of their Horizon Europe financial safety net, extending their guarantee scheme to cover all Horizon Europe calls that close on or before 31 December 2022. This scheme functions as a safety net for researchers based in the UK, allowing them to continue to apply to Horizon Europe calls during the ongoing negotiation process as the UK tries to formalize its association to the framework programme. In the event of continuing delays to in the association process, this scheme guarantees that eligible, successful applicants to Horizon Europe calls from the UK can receive the full value of their funding from the UK government.

While this scheme protects UK applicants, and helps them to participate in applications to Horizon Europe calls, it is important not to forget that the UK has currently not completed the association process. From the perspective of a researcher at Lund University, considering submitting a proposal together with a collaborator from the UK, you should keep in mind the following points:

  • Applications with UK partners are currently being assessed with the UK partner considered as a partner from an associated country;
  • However, if the UK has not completed its association process at the time of Grant Agreement Preparation (i.e. when you are informed that your proposal is successful), it will then be considered as a Third Country;
  • The eligibility of your proposal will then be re-assessed, and in the worst case, it could be found to be ineligible (depending on the rest of your consortium, and the specific requirements of the call). You could also be required to change the roles within your consortium in response to the change in status of your UK partner.

Research Services recommends that you do not submit a proposal whose eligibility is dependent on the UK associating to Horizon Europe. This will save you time and effort during Grant Agreement Preparation, and protect both you and your UK partners from the risk that the proposal may suddenly become ineligible. We also advise caution when joining a proposal coordinated by a UK Host Institute. This makes the proposal especially vulnerable to the results of the UK’s association process, and we recommend discussing the situation in advance of application with us at Research Services. Beyond this, the UK government’s Horizon Europe guarantee scheme allows you and your UK partners to continue applying for European research grants in relative normality.

For further information, you can download guidance on the guarantee scheme from the UK Research and Innovation website, and the UK Research Office in Brussels maintains a helpful and concise factsheet on UK Participation in EU Programmes.

The situation is clearer for Swiss participation in Horizon Europe. Switzerland is a non-associated Third Country, and is counted as such for all eligibility considerations. Like the UK, the Swiss government has provided a financial guarantee for researchers working in Switzerland wishing to participate in collaborative EU projects, to help cover the direct costs of their participation. More information is available on theSwiss State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation website.

If you are looking for guidance or clarification on what any of this means for your specific research proposal, you are welcome to contact John Phillips (john.phillips@fs.lu.se) at Research Services. 

september 13, 2022

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