We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

Site search

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 (the successor to FP7) is the European Union’s largest ever research and innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020).


The Horizon 2020 programme consists of three core themes or 'pillars'. Each pillar comprises a number of different research funding programmes.

Research funding opportunities for the UK biomedical research community can be found across the breadth of Horizon 2020.

The choice of pillar and underlying programme depends on the nature of the research project for which funding is sought.

The schemes within the Excellent Science pillar are dedicated to funding the best new ideas, helping develop researcher careers, attracting talent from outside Europe, and providing improved access to European research infrastructures. 

The Industrial Leadership pillar focuses on making Europe's industries more competitive. Funding is available for the academic community to collaborate with industry in order to further develop Key Enabling Technologies such as advanced materials and nanotechnology.

The aim of the Societal Challenges pillar is to find solutions to identified societal challenges through research and innovation. Research projects will address problems identified by the Commission in call topics. Funding is predominantly for collaborative projects that bring together research teams from different EU Member States and Associated Countries. The Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing challenge call topics for 2019-2020 can be found in the updated work programme.

Several activities not included in the work programme will also be part of the Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing challenge, notably the Innovative Medicines Initiative, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), and the Active and Assisted Living Programme.

MRC's role in Horizon 2020

The MRC provides the National Contact Point for the Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing Challenge for UK academic (contact Jo Frost). The wide ranging scope of Horizon 2020 can make navigating and understanding the programme challenging for new applicants. Help and support is therefore made available for those who would like guidance on the programme’s structure, activities and themes through the UK National Contact Points.

The MRC also leads the UK delegation on the Horizon 2020 programme committee for the Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing Challenge. One of the committee’s roles is to input into and approve the final content of the calls published under the Health Challenge.

If you are interested in inputting into the content of future health calls, please fill in the following form and email to Jo Frost: joanna.frost@mrc.ukri.org

MRC input to Horizon 2020 form

Continued UK participation in Horizon 2020

The European Union’s (EU) Framework programmes covering research and development have always been a major source of funding for UK researchers and innovators. The UK remains the second highest recipient of funding from Horizon 2020.

UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in, bid for and lead projects in the European Union’s (EU) flagship programme Horizon 2020, as if the UK remained a Member State, even now the UK has left the EU. For further information please see the UKRI webpage on EU exit.

The UK Research Office (UKRO, which is the European office of UK Research and Innovation) also maintains a factsheet on 'BREXIT and Continued UK Participation in EU Programmes for Research, Innovation and Higher Education'. This factsheet contains the latest information on the current UK situation in relation to Horizon 2020 and other EU funding schemes. You are invited to disseminate the link to this factsheet within your institutions and to your European and international partners.