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European funding: Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the principal research and innovation programme from the European Commission. It succeeded the 7th framework programme and will run from 2014 until 2020.

General Introduction

The emphasis in Horizon 2020 is on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. International cooperation is an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020. In addition to Horizon 2020 being fully open to international participation, targeted actions with key partner countries and regions focus on the EU strategic priorities.

What happens after 2020?

The next research and innovation programme will run from 2021 until 2027 and is called Horizon Europe. The preparations for this programme have already started. We keep you up to date on important developments for Horizon Europe on our website.

How does Horizon 2020 work?

For every Horizon 2020 programme, the European Commission publishes a specific work programme that includes various calls for proposals. Most Horizon 2020 programmes fall under one of three pillars: Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges. In addition, there are several other programmes including Science with and for Society, and COST Actions.

Horizon 2020 includes the following types of actions:

  • Research & Innovation actions aim to establish new knowledge or explore the feasibility of a new technology, product, process, service or solution
  • ‚ÄčInnovation actions aim at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services
  • Coordination & Support actions involve measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies

Open and forthcoming calls

The Funding & Tenders Portal has replaced the participant portal as the central access point for all centrally coordinated EU funding programmes.

Registration as Expert

The European Commission is looking for experts to evaluate proposals for EU funding and for other activities such as monitoring, programme evaluation and policy development. Scientists can register themselves at the Expert Section of the Funding & Tenders Portal.

Social Sciences and Humanities in Horizon 2020

Integrating Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research across Horizon 2020 is essential to maximise the returns to society from investment in science and technology. The EU regularly publishes a monitoring report on the integration of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon 2020. In the Funding & Tenders Portal there is a possibility to search for calls flagged for Social Sciences and Humanities.

Societal Challenge 6

Of particular interest to Humanities researchers is Societal Challenge 6 in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. Its specific objective is to foster a greater understanding of Europe, provide solutions, and support inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies in a context of unprecedented transformations and growing global interdependencies. The scientific and innovation priorities under work programme 2018-2020 are focused around three major themes: migration, socio-economic and cultural transformations stemming from the fourth industrial revolution, and governance for the future.


Net4Society is the network that unites all National Contact Points for SC6 in Horizon 2020. Net4Society has its own website with a partner search facility, and publishes a e-newsletter for the SSH research community and the online magazine ISSUES. The network also helps SSH researchers to identify funding opportunities in Horizon 2020.

EU Login and UvA Participant Identification Code (PIC)

EU Login (previously ECAS) is the European Commission's user authentication service. It allows authorised users to access a wide range of Commission information systems, including the Funding & Tenders portal, using a single username and password.

The University of Amsterdam is known by the European Commission through a unique Participant Identification Code: 999985708. In your Horizon 2020 applications you should use this code.

HR Excellence in Research Logo

The EU requires compliance with Article 32 for contractors of Horizon 2020 projects. Article 32 stipulates the obligation to take measures to implement the European Charter and Code (C & C) for the benefit of all researchers and their institution. It means a good Human Resources policy needs to be maintained. UvA has such a policy and has a plan of improvement actions in place to take these measures. In recognition UvA was awarded the HR Excellence in Research Logo. In your Horizon 2020 applications you should refer to this logo.

logo HR Excellence