Horizon Europe: How to apply

Calling all Canadian researchers looking for international partnerships!

Participate in Horizon Europe, the world's largest research and innovation funding program. Join like-minded countries to address global challenges through science- and evidence-based solutions.

Review available Horizon Europe funding calls and submit your application today – (Link) EC's Funding and Tenders site.

In November 2023, the Government of Canada closed substantive negotiations with the European Commission (EC) to increase collaboration under Horizon Europe, the world's largest research and innovation program involving countries around the globe.

Now applications from Canadian researchers and innovators will be reviewed as fully-fledged members of consortia in Horizon Europe Pillar 2 calls. While Canadians can participate in all Horizon Europe calls that are open to international partners, as an associated country, Canadians can access a broader range of research opportunities in Pillar 2.

Association enables countries outside the European Union (EU) to pay into the Horizon Europe budget allowing their researchers and innovators to participate under similar conditions as EU Member States.

While historically, Canadians have participated in Horizon Europe projects as a third-party, this also required them to access other sources of funding or provide in-kind support. They were not able to lead consortia and they were also limited to which projects Canadian research organizations could join. As an associated country to Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe, Canadians can lead consortia and propose their projects.

Additionally, accessing funds will be quicker and more streamlined. To ensure Canadians do not miss funding opportunities, the European Commission has agreed to accept and review applications (as an associated country) as of December 5, 2023. Awards can only be issued once the treaty has been provisionally applied which is expected in mid to late 2024.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Under Pillar 1 researchers can apply for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships or a Mitacs Globalink Fellowship to come to work in European research groups or for European Research Council grants to establish a research group in Europe. They can be included as partners in research consortia submitting collaborative research proposals under Pillar 2. Finally, if they plan to establish a start-up or Small or Medium sized Enterprise in Europe, they can apply for funding from the European Innovation Council under Pillar 3.

The Canadian science, technology and innovation community can now apply to Horizon Europe Pillar 2 calls under association status. This includes academics, industrial researchers, small-to-medium sized enterprises, non-profit and charity sector entities, and other research and innovation actors in Canada.

You can search for suitable calls for proposals using the Horizon Europe Dashboard: Funding & tenders.

How do I find partners?

Most Horizon Europe Pillar 2 projects require at least three partners from three different EU member states or associated countries. Calls for proposals may require that partnerships include researchers and innovators from across the value chain. The EC has developed several instruments to help researchers and innovators find partners.

Submitting an application

All project proposals must be submitted through the Funding & Tenders Portal.

Follow these six steps: How to participate

  1. Find a suitable call for proposal: Search funding & tenders
  2. Search for a project partner (if required): Partner search
  3. Create an EU login account: To access the Portal register and get your account. This will allow you to participate in a call for proposals or tenders with eSubmission.
  4. Register your organization: Your organisation will need a 9-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC) as a unique identifier of your organisation. Your organisation may already be registered.
  5. Submit your proposal: Together with your consortium partners, select your topic and go to the Submission Service section of the topic page. Make sure that you select the correct type of action before you start drafting your proposal. The link to the submission system is available if the status of the call is 'open'. A login with your EU Login account is required.
  6. Follow up on your proposal: An evaluation committee with independent experts reviews the proposals. Following the evaluation, applicants receive a letter informing them about the outcome of their proposal and an evaluation report generally no later than 6 months after the call deadline.

Timelines and key deadlines

Each programme within Horizon Europe launches project calls based on a pre-established work programme under each thematic area. Most work programmes publish calls for proposals along with detailed information on the type of funding available, any eligibility conditions or restrictions, due dates, and timelines every two years.

Evaluating and awards

Each programme has its own selection criteria and evaluation process that is detailed in each call for proposals. Proposals are reviewed by external experts who are appointed by the European Commission (for more details, see: Work as an expert). Funds are awarded based on merit.

Within Horizon Europe, each programme has its own budget, and its own funding guidelines. Funds are awarded based on merit. Associate members receive a lump sum per project. Recipients must decide how funds will be spent among consortia partners. Overall funding amounts vary by project.

As a rough guideline, direct costs are often financed at a rate of 60% to 100%. Indirect costs (e.g. costs related to administration, communication, infrastructure and office supplies) are reimbursed at a flat rate of 25% of eligible direct costs.

You can see many results and performance metrics on the Horizon Europe Dashboard. The overall project proposal success rate in 2022 was 16%, while Canada's national success rate was 18%.