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Main EU research programmes of interest to ophthalmologists and vision scientists


CORDIS (Community Research and Development Service)

If you’re looking for EU-funded research projects and project results, the European Commission’s information portal CORDIS (Community Research and Development Service) provides a good starting point.
Read more here


Horizon 2020 “Health, demographic change and wellbeing”


Horizon 2020 is the EU’s Research and Innovation programme, with €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). Horizon 2020 aims to support implementation of the Innovation Union and places emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.Under the headline “health, demographic change and wellbeing”, Horizon 2020 aims to support “better health for all”. Bi-yearly work programmes setting the overall strategic orientation for the ‘Health, Demographic Change and Well-being’ headline are published by the European Commission.They are implemented through calls for proposals, published on the European Commission website.

More information:
On Horizon 2020 and how to apply: click here
Work Programme 2014-2015 Download PDF
Draft 2016-2017 Work programme Download PDF
Your National Contact Point click here


European Research Council (ERC)


European Research Council grants support top individual researchers of any nationality and age who wish to pursue their frontier research. ERC places particular emphasis on innovative ideas and cross-disciplinary approaches.There are three ERC core funding schemes and one additional scheme:
• Starting Grant for researchers with 2 to 7 years of experience after their PhD
• Consolidator Grant for researchers with 7 to 12 years of experience after their PhD
• Advanced Grant for established independent researchers after their PhD
• “Proof of concept” grant for researchers who have already been awarded an ERC grant, in continuation of the project for which they received the grant
Ongoing calls for proposals: click here
– ERC Proof of Concept – deadline 1 October 2015
– ERC Starting Grant – deadline 17 November 2015

More information:
About ERC ERC website
Click here to access the 2016 work programme
Information about your National Contact Point click here


Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)


The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) programme is an instrument within the Horizon 2020 framework. Both MSCA and ERC activities aim to reinforce and extend the excellence of EU’s science base and to consolidate the European Research Area. The MSCA in particular aims to provide excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face societal challenges. The MSCA provide grants for researchers at all stages of their career. The MSCA programme is open to all domains of research and innovation and all levels of research, from doctoral candidates to highly experienced researchers. Mobility is a key requirement. Researchers receive funding on the condition that they move to another country to broaden or deepen their competences.

There are five types of Marie Curie actions:

1. Research networks (ITN): support for Innovative Training Networks
2. Individual fellowships (IF): support for experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries, optionally to the non-academic sector
3. International and inter-sectoral cooperation through the Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE)
4. Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes that finance fellowships involving mobility to or from another country
5. The European Researchers’ Night (NIGHT)

More information:
Full programme information click here
Pocket guide to MSCA click here
2014-2015 Work Programme click here


Third EU Health Programme


The Third Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health – Health for Growth (2014-2020) is the main instrument for the implementation of the EU Health Strategy. The total budget for the programme is €449.4 million. The programme has four overarching objectives, namely:
• Promote health, prevent diseases and foster supportive environments for healthy lifestyles taking into account the ‘health in all policies’ principle
• Protect citizens from serious cross-border health threats
• Contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems
• Facilitate access to better and safer healthcare

An annual work programme setting out priority areas and criteria for funding is adopted by the European Commission and followed by a call for proposals. Priorities for the work programme are based on the thematic areas included in Annex I of Regulation No 282/2014 on the establishment of a third Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health (2014-2020).

Ongoing call for proposals under the Third Health Programme click here 

More Information:
European Commission’s dedicated website
Information about Annual Work Plan 2015 click here
Information about your National Contact Point click here

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