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Business as usual in Horizon 2020

As you are aware Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has not yet been invoked by the UK Government and negotiations on the terms on which the UK will leave the European Union have not started.

Eligibility for UK institutions to apply for, and participate in, EU research and innovation funding is therefore unchanged for the 2017 Horizon 2020 calls.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation recently stated: “First, for as long as the UK is a member of the European Union, EU law continues to apply and the UK retains all rights and obligations of a Member State. This of course includes the full eligibility for funding under Horizon 2020. Second, Horizon 2020 projects will continue to be evaluated based on merit and not on nationality. So I urge the European scientific community to continue to choose their project partners on the basis of excellence”.

Furthermore, on 26th July, the EC updated their standard briefing for Horizon 2020 proposal evaluators to include the statement "Until the UK leaves the EU, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK, both when it comes to rights and obligations. This includes the eligibility of UK legal entities to participate and receive funding in Horizon 2020 actions. Experts should not evaluate proposals with UK participants any differently than before"

UKRO (the UK National Contact point for ERC) received the following statement from an ERC Project Officer which they have passed on to us: "Having checked with our hierarchy, we can assure you that the panel members are always and will continue to be briefed to evaluate each eligible project proposal and PI regardless of the host institution and country, on equal footing, as has always been done."

You will have seen Gill Wells’ email about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s undertaking that “where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.”

The press release on the Chancellor’s announcement is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-philip-hammond-guarantees-eu-funding-beyond-date-uk-leaves-the-eu and more details are on the EU referendum round up page on the Gateway to Europe webpages.  As Gill’s email said we can reassure European colleagues that it really is ‘business as usual’ for UK universities.