Haz clic aquí para modificar.
A detailed review of the new Spanish Research Funding scheme can be found in Spanish here.

On March 14th the 2013 Marie Curie Fellowship calls have opened. The Marie Curie program is the name by which the People Work Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme is known. The deadline to these fellowships is August 14th. But don't be too confident. Completing a good Marie Curie proposal is complex business, and requires a lot of work on behalf of both the beneficiary, and both host institutions (local one and outgoing).
These fellowships, however, are very generously endowed, not only in the form of base salary, but also extra income for training needs, travelling expenses and if you have a family.
The three types of fellowship are:
If you are interested in requesting funding for these calls, make sure you read the basic documents:

Marie Curie dictionary:
  • "Experienced researcher": Basically it means you have completed your university degree at least 4 years before the call deadline, time which has been spent doing research, of course. Being a PhD is not a requirement.
  • "Mobility": Marie Curie wants you to move so you can advance in your career. By "move" it means, save for exceptions, that you must go to a place where, at the maximum, you have spent 12 of the last 36 months.
  • "Member State or Associated Country": You may have forgotten that Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom are still EU Member States. But it is natural that you may not know which the Associated countries to 7FP are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Faroe Islands, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. This status, basically, gives them free access (and responsibility) to the European Research Area in the form of Framework participation. Some of these (notably Israel and Switzerland), have been extremely successful participants.
  • "International Cooperation Partner Country": Annex 1.1 of the People 2013 Work Programme lists the International Co-operation Partner Countries. These countries can benefit, under certain conditions, from Framework Programme money.
  • "Other third countries": None of the above. In other words: Europe's competitors (China, Ukraine, United States of America, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Russia, etc.).

What are JPIs?

Joint Programming Initiatives are the European Union's attempt to do common research beyond the Framework Programme, a sort of back door to tapping the far greater resources allocated to national research. Thus, from 2008 to 2010 different JPIs established consortia consisting of national funding agencies, regarding different themes.
The first successful JPIs were approved by the European Council on October 2010. Among them: Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, A Healthy diet for a Healthy life; and Cultural Heritage and Global change. These were the first three of today's 10, which are listed and linked below:


Now that we have reviewed what JPIs are, the subject of this post is that recently Cultural Heritage became the third JPI to launch a call for proposals (Urban Europe closed its first call in September, and Neurodegenerative Diseases has been making calls since 2011).
The Joint Heritage European Programme is a 3-year support action which started with 2011, and is in charge of designing and implementing the JPICH research strategy.

JPI-JHEP Joint Pilot Call

As a result, on January 10 the JPI-JHEP Joint Pilot Call was launched with the following topics:

  1. Methods, tools (including non-invasive instruments) and modelling for understanding damage and decay mechanisms (including the effects of weathering and climate change) on tangible heritage (including buildings, sites and landscapes);
  2. Materials, technologies and procedures for the conservation of tangible cultural heritage;
  3. Use and re-use of buildings and landscapes, including the relationship between changes of use and public policy, including costs and added value (for example as a result of planning regulations and urban development);
  4. Increasing understanding of cultural values, valuation, interpretation, ethics and identity around all forms of cultural heritage (tangible, intangible and digital heritage).
The funded projects will last up to 36 months and require funding of up to 3 million EUR. They must be composed of a consortium consisting of, at least, 3 partners from 3 different countries.
There is an important issue to take into account, though. The nature of JPIs is that participating countries use national funds to fund their partners. Therefore, these calls follow strict national guidelines. These can be seen in Annex 1 of the Guide for Applicants. These guidelines include how much funding, and what activities will be funded. I have decided to summarize the key aspects (funding) by country, so all the information can come to light:

As you can see here, funding is not really what was expected. Also, if we consider that projects can request up to 3 million EUR, then you can imagine how many partners they have to include. In fact, if the national budgets are added, we see that only 3.27 million EUR have been allocated. Generous? In my opinion, if calls go like this, this JPI will soon be dead in the water.

But there is no need to be sad. After all, a new call has been opened! It will be easy to expect small consortia and 6 projects requesting less than 0.5 million EUR. Not too bad, considering it is a pilot call.

The call closes on April 5. It is important to review the guidelines in the Guide for Applicants, and fill the application form template.
The call for proposals for the new ERC Consolidator Grants has just opened. These is a scheme which has split from the "consolidator" evaluation panels of the Starting Grant up to now. Given that the differences between 3-year postdocs and 11-year postdocs are more than evident, ERC has decided to stop pretending that they could all enter the same call, which is why the Consolidator Grant has nudged in between the Starting and the Advanced Grants.
ERC Consolidator Grants can last up to 5 years, with up to a maximum of 400,000 € per year, with the traditional additional funds available for exceptional expenses. The Principal Investigator must have a PhD awarded from 7 to 12 years ago, not including possible justified extensions. The proposal submission deadline is February 21, 2013.
For more information download the following documents:

The call for the ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Science and Technology II (S&T II) has just opened. The deadline for requesting funding from the European Development Fund (reference EuropeAid/133437/D/ACT/ACPTPS) will be February 7, 2013.
The global objectives of this call for proposals are:
  • To address the scientific and technological divide between African-Caribbean-Pacific (henceforth ACP) member states and the most industrialised countries.
  • To strengthen Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in ACP countries to enable creation, update and use of scientific knowledge.
  • To enhance the use of STI as a key enabler for poverty reduction, growth and socio-economic development.
The specific objective of this call for proposals is to contribute to building and strengthening capacities in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in ACP countries.
The results that are necessary to achieve the specific objective are threefold:
  • Result 1 – STI goals and priorities are identified, formulated and mainstreamed in the national and regional strategies of ACP countries.
  • Result 2 – National and regional capacities to devise, manage, monitor, evaluate and disseminate STI programmes and their results are improved.
  • Result 3 – The importance of STI for development is acknowledged by decision-makers, mechanisms of innovation understood by policy-makers and a culture of science promoted among the general public.
In line with the ACP Group of States' priorities and the EU Agenda for Change, the Programme prioritises Actions in the fields of Energy Access and Efficiency as  well as Agriculture and Food Security. However, other sectors and/or interdisciplinary  approaches are not excluded as long as the foreseen actions and activities are in line with the objectives of the programme.
For more information you can download the following documentation:

Today the call for the Synergy Grant of the ERC has been opened. This type of project, which made its debut last year, are characterized for:
  • 2 to 4 PIs from any country (EU or Associated).
  • Maximum 15,000,000 € in 6 años (that makes 2.5 Mo a year).
  • Like all the Ideas program, themes are decided by the researchers themselves.
These projects are as ambitious in their scope as difficult to obtain: there may be only 10 funded projects this year in all scientific domains.
The deadline is January 10, 2013. In order to submit a project, pay attention to:

The ERC is innately flexible. It tends to change what it doesn't like, even eliminating whole programs. For that reason, whatever happened in last year's call, which is still unresolved, may be misleading. This compels the careful reading of this year's documents (including the Guide for Applicants which is still unavailable), to ward off unforeseen mistakes.

On July 10th the 2013 call of the Seventh Framework Programme has been opened.
For those of you who can't be bothered, here are a few simple steps to make things easier:
Step 1: Decide whether you want to find funding for a project you have in mind, or else you want to find funding first and then create a project for it. In other words, decide whether it is the chicken or the egg.
Step 2: Download the work programmes of Cooperation:
I strongly recommend that all work programmes, at least the table of contents, be reviewed. Sometimes there are specific calls for which something can be offered, even in other work programmes.
Step 3: Download the work programmes of Capacities:
Unlike CooperationCapacities doesn't revolve around research themes, but goals to be achieved in order to improve scientific capacity in different ways. In order to see these work programmes, therefore, much attention must be paid to the elegibility criteria of your institution, for sometimes they are calls destined for governmental organisations.
Step 4: Download the work programmes of People and Ideas:
If one sees that their research does not fit into any of the themes within Cooperation, the solution is to prepare a proposal for the ERC, which is the organisation which manages the Ideas programme. The basis of Ideas is that your curriculum is evaluated together with the proposal. The first must be outstanding, the other innovative. Notwithstanding, any study is potentially fundable. People is designed to respond to the mobility needs of the individual (scholarships, funded stays, etc.) and, on the other hand, training programmes requiring the mobility of students: the Initial Training Network (ITN). To summarize, both People and Ideas are programmes in which everyone can participate.
Step 5: If an interesting theme is identified, the corresponding Guide for Applicants must be studied thoroughly. These vary depending on the funding scheme, which follows general and specific principles, and then call-specific circumstances. Generally speaking, funding schemes are the following:
Cooperation Capacities
  • Collaborative projects (CP), which can be, as well, Large-scale Integrating projects (IP), Small and Medium-scale focused Research Projects (STREP or FP) or Targeted collaborative projects (TP).
  • Coordination and Supporting actions, which can be more coordinating (CSACA) or supporting (CSASA).
  • Combination of Collaborative project and Support Action (CP-CSA)


Step 6: If you are interested, and you are elegible, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of experts, and the support of National Contact Points (NCPs), in order to prepare a project proposal with the highest chance of success.para redactar los proyectos con la máxima posibilidad de éxito posible. 
The Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad has just launched the highly successful academic-industry partnership INNPACTO program. Within it, private companies can receive up to 95% of their expenses in the form of a low-interest loan. For more information click here. The deadline will end on July 17th.

The Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Office announces the next deadline for its open call. COST projects (known as Actions) cover the expenses related with network activities (meetings, scientific exchanges, training schools, workshops, publications and dissemination activities).
The 2013 deadline will be on September 28th. For more information click here or download the announcement from the Official Journal of the European Union, 20 June 2012.