Brexit information for researchers

Brexit information for researchers on EU research funding

The UK is due to leave the Europen Union (EU) on the 31 January 2020 and it is likely that no deal will have been agreed by that date for participation in the current funding schemes. The UK Government is providing greater clarification on what this means for both the current grants we have with the EU Government and for UK-based academics who wish to apply for Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ funding in the future.

The UK Research Office (UKRO), which provides much of our EU funding advice, has produced a useful factsheet that summarises the various UK and EU statements.

The information below is based on the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 31 January 2020:

Currently funded Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ projects

For all currently funded ‘Horizon 2020’ and ‘Erasmus+: Key Action 2’ projects, the UK Government has committed to underwrite UK participation for all successful UK grant applications (contracted before the exit date) for the lifetime of the projects; this underwrite is known as the ‘Guarantee’.

For Erasmus+ 'Study Abroad' funding please see the Brexit section for students and applicants, as this covered by a different funding agreement.

Research Business and Innovation (RBI) have registered all Horizon2020 and Erasmus+ projects currently in receipt of European funding with the UK Government. If you would like to check that your project has been registered, please email Philippa Shelton at, stating your PASS reference and project end date.

Proposals currently 'in the system'

The UK Government has agreed to underwrite any proposals which have been submitted to the EU but are notified of success after the 31 January; how this is done will depend on the scheme being applied to.

For multi-beneficiary grants

If UWE Bristol is the lead or a partner on a grant application for which there are multiple partners, the application will be assessed by the EU as per normal. Should that project be successful, the UK participants will be able to access the UK Government's Guarantee funding and once the grant is approved, RBI will register it with the government to access these monies.

For mono-beneficiary grants

For European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) single-applicant grants submitted before 31 January 2020, please ensure you save a timestamped copy of the submitted proposal and any other correspondence confirming your submission on PASS. If the EU review your application and it is successful then it will be covered by the Guarantee funding as above. If the EU notifies you that it will not evaluate your bid, please contact refer to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) guidance detailing the actions that you need to take to resubmit your grant application to UKRI for independent assessment. This guidance will be available in due course.

Future applications: Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+: Key Action 2

The UK will take on ‘Third Country’ status if it leaves the EU without a deal. This automatically gives UK participants access to schemes in which Third Countries are eligible partners providing they self-fund. The Government has also announced a Post-EU Exit Guarantee Extension to cover UK participants' applying as 'Third Country' participants to multi-beneficiary schemes after 31 January, and for the remainder of the Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ funding agreements.

From 1 February 2020, UWE Bristol will no longer be able to apply for single-applicant schemes, such as the MCSA or ERC Fellowships; nor to schemes where Third Countries are ineligible. Therefore, the individual scheme guidance will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

However, this does mean UWE Bristol academics should be able to apply to the majority of Horizon 2020 calls which are looking for multi-partner solutions.

Future applications: HorizonEurope and Erasmus+: Key Action 2

HorizonEurope will replace the current research Framework Programme Horizon2020 on 1 January 2021. There is still no indication from the UK Government to suggest how UK organisations will be able to participate in this scheme.

The UK will become a “Third Party” on February 1 2020 (as above), and it would be safe to assume we will be able apply to any calls which allow Third Country partners; this eligibility covers most of the main research calls under Horizon 2020. However, we await a government announcement to agree to a further extension of the Underwrite Guarantee.

On 9 January 2020, MPs voted against Erasmus+ being considered a priority for Brexit negotiations. This refers to its priority in legislation, rather than preventing the respective government departments from negotiating a future access agreement. Every indication is that they are still discussing access to Study Abroad, however there is no information concerning the other areas of Erasmus+. Erasmus+ will be refreshed at the start of HorizonEurope.

Please do consider applying to European funding schemes, if you have any further questions about European funding opportunities or require clarification about eligibility please contact Philippa Shelton by emailing