Phase 1 - Identify Funding Opportunities

Where do I find open calls / funding opportunities?

All open calls and programmes are published on the European Commission’s Research Participant Portal. You further find all information and necessary documents on this website.

Link to Participant Portal

Link to H2020 Online Manual

Can a US researcher apply for H2020 calls?

Yes - Horizon 2020 is open to participation from across the world. In addition, in all of the relevant parts of Horizon 2020, topics have been flagged as being particularly suitable for international cooperation. Consortia here are encouraged to include international partners.

Find a list of H2020 calls with particular relevance to US researchers here.

Can US researchers receive funding through H2020?

US researchers[1] are not automatically eligible for funding through H2020.  One major exception to this are the Life Sciences / Health calls. Because of a bilateral agreement between NIH and the European Commission, US researchers ARE automatically eligible for funding on all Life Sciences-related calls.

Participants from industrialised countries and emerging economies are eligible for funding, if:

  • There is a specific provision in the call text
  • The participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action (case by case assessment)
  • As mentioned above, provided for under a bilateral scientific and technological agreement or any other arrangement (e.g. health)

Are there calls specifically flagged for US participation?

Yes. To find calls that encourage (/request) US participation, you have to check the respective call documents. In addition, the EU funded project BILAT USA 2.0 provides a list with calls flagged for US participation.

I found/ discovered a call I am interested in. What do I do next?

First step should be to contact your grant office. They might be able to provide you with additional information. Please also check the call text and the specific requirements. The H2020 Online Manual can be particularly valuable.

Remember evaluation criteria Excellence, Impact as well as Quality and Efficiency of the action for all H2020 activities.


Also, there are National Contact Points (NCPs) that have the aim to provide possible future EU framework programme applicants with information and support. Please find a list with NCPs here.

Where can I find a checklist to guide me in putting together a proposal?

You can find information in the H2020 Online Manual and specifically under the subcategory “Submit a proposal”.

What is a Marie Skolowska Curie Action (MSCA) or a European Research Council (ERC) grant, and how are they different from other H2020 calls?

MSCA: Marie Curie Fellowships are European research grants available to researchers regardless of their nationality or field of research. In addition to research funding, scientists have the possibility to gain experience abroad and in the private sector, and to complete their training with competences or disciplines useful for their careers. MSC actions are e.g. Initial Training Networks (ITN), Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development (IEF), Career Integration Grants (CIG), Co-funding of Regional, National, and International Programmes (COFUND), Industry Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP), International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF), International Incoming Fellowships (IIF), International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES).

Find all information on MSCA here.

ERC: The European Research Council grants support individual researchers of any nationality and age who wish to pursue their frontier research. The ERC encourages in particular proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.

Find all information on ERC here. On ERC Funding Schemes here.

As opposed to calls under the second or third Pillar of H2020, both MCSA and ERC grants are not restricted to specific topics. The actions can be found under the first Pillar “Excellent Science”.

How do I apply for a Marie Skolowska Curie (MSC) or a European Research Council (ERC) grant?

If you are interested in a MSC or ERC grant you should get in contact with the US EURAXESS Links office. This office is established by the European Commission to provide, among others, researchers in the US and Canada with information on those grant schemes.

MSCA Homepage

ERC Homepage


[1] The EC distinguishes between “Industrialized countries” (generally not automatically eligible for funding) and “EU enlargement countries & countries of the European Neighbourhood policy” as well as “Developing Countries” that are in general eligible for funding.