H2020 marie Curie Individual Fellowships


The goal of Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers wishing to widen their experience in terms of skill acquisition at multi- or interdisciplinary level through advanced training, international and intersectoral mobility.

Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research in a European context (EU Member States and Associated Countries) or outside Europe. The scheme particularly supports the return and reintegration of researchers from outside Europe who have previously worked here. It also develops or helps to restart the careers of individual researchers that show great potential, considering their experience.

Support is for individual, trans-national fellowships awarded to the best or most promising researchers for employment in EU Member States or Associated Countries, based on an application made jointly by the researcher and host organisation in the academic or non-academic sectors.

Fellowships are either European Fellowships or Global Fellowships. European Fellowships are held in EU Member States or Associated Countries and are open to researchers currently within and outside Europe.

Support to individuals to resume research in Europe after a career break, e.g. after parental leave, is ensured via a separate multi-disciplinary career restart panel of the European Fellowships. To qualify for the career restart panel, researchers must not have been active in research for at least 12 months immediately prior to the deadline for submission.

Researchers receiving an Individual Fellowship may opt to include a secondment phase in Europe, notably in the non-academic sector, within the overall duration of their fellowship. For a fellowship of 18 months or less, the secondment phase may last up to three months. For a fellowship of more than 18 months, the secondment phase may last up to six months. The secondment phase can be a single period or be divided into shorter mobility periods. The secondment should significantly add to the impact of the fellowship.

A Career Development Plan should be established jointly by the supervisor(s) and the researcher. In addition to research objectives, this plan comprises the researcher’s training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, planning for publications and participation in conferences.

Expected impact:

• Individual Fellowships are expected to add significantly to the development of the best and most promising researchers active in Europe, in order to enhance and maximise their contribution to the knowledge-based economy and society.

• Individual Fellowships are expected to strengthen the contact network of both the researcher and the host organisation.

• Individual Fellowships are expected to contribute the full potential of researchers and to significant development in their careers in both the academic and non-academic sectors.

• Some researchers will be resuming a research career in Europe after a break, or reintegrating within Europe after living abroad.

Deadline: 10-09-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)

Further details: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-msca-if-2015.html#tab2


The European Experience: A conference for Academics involved in EU funded projects

The European Experience: A conference for Academics involved in EU funded projects

Friday, 4 September 2015 from 09:00 to 17:00 (BST)

Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom


If you are, or have been, involved in EU funded projects, either as a partner or an observer, then this FREE event will interest you!

Staffordshire University is convening a one day meeting at their STOKE Campus, for other academics involved in EU projects.

We are targeting the event at academics that would like to either

  1. a) Tell other interested parties about the project they are involved in (and meet their dissemination targets)
  2. b) Learn from current or recent projects funded by the EU
  3. c) Network with experienced project coordinators for ideas and future collaborations.

Further details and booking information at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-european-experience-a-conference-for-academics-involved-in-eu-funded-projects-tickets-17309990648

Erasmus + Event


The External Projects Team led a workshop this week in the Ashley Centre, over 25 staff from across the institution attended to hear about the new EU funding programme for education and youth, ERASMUS+. This new programme replaces the old Life Long Learning Programme as well as Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Asia Link, Youth in Action and Edulink. The team were joined by our Erasmus Co-ordinator Deb Graddon who shared the latest news on our Key Action 1 bid (mobility of staff and student from SU) and Abdel Hamid Soliman who gave a great overview of a current Erasmus Mundus project PEACE.

If you are interested in this programme, there are a number of ways to find out more, you can access all of the current calls for proposals in the Programme Guide or if you would like access to the slides from the day, please email us at externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk





Horizon 2020 call calendar


Given the huge number of Horizon 2020 deadlines, we have not integrated these into our normal funding calendar.  Our colleagues at Greater Birmingham and West Midlands Brussels Office (GBWMBO) have put together a fantastic deadline calendar for Horizon 2020 which can be searched by theme or by deadline. Staffordshire University colleagues can download this here Horizon 2020 Final Deadlines 2014

For further information on Horizon 2020 and the opportunities and support available please contact externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk.



Over €400 billion agreed by the European Parliament

The European Parliament had a busy week last week approving over €400 billion support measures for regional development, research and innovation, lifelong learning, cultural and media European collaboration activities.  The legislative packages for the following programmes have now been agreed by the European Parliament for the 2014 – 2020 programme period:

Horizon 2020 – €70.2 billion for research and innovation (Draft Horizon 2020 work programmes are now available via the European Commission website at http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=h2020-documents. )

Cohesion Policy – €325 billion for growth and job creation through European Regional Development Fund; the European Social Fund; the Cohesion Fund; the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development; and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. 

Erasmus+ – €14.7 billion for lifelong learning, focussing on student and staff mobility through strategic partnerships.

Creative Europe – €1.4 billion for supporting European culture, media and arts sectors

For more information contact externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk for draft work programmes and help in matching funding to your project ideas.  Find out more about Horizon 2020 and Erasmus + in particular at our annual UKRO event on 11th December – the day the first calls of Horizon 2020 will be launched.

LEP Challenge Sessions

You may have seen a previous blog about the Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire LEP area being given an indicative allocation of €161.6m for the next EU funding phase 2014 – 2020.  This allocation is to cover ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), ESF (European Social Fund) and EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) priorities. Over the next few weeks the LEP is running a series of stakeholder challenge sessions to explore and define key elements to be included in their preparing a European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy, which will plan for how the €161.6m will be spent here in Staffordshire.

The following sessions have been arranged to date:

  • Business Development – Wednesday 7th August, 3:30 pm Staffordshire University
  • Sectors & Innovation – Friday 9th August, 9:30 am Keele Sustainability Hub
  • Inward Investment – Friday 16th August, 2:00 pm Staffordshire place 1
  • Skills – Monday 9th September, 9:30 am Rodbaston College
  • Quality of Life / Sites & Infrastructure – Wednesday 11th September, 2:00 pm CoRE

We are keen to get appropriate unviersity representation at these events, please contact externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk if you would like to attend.

News of funding for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP

This week has been an important week for preparation for the next generation of EU funding programmes for External Projects Team and also bought news of our local EU funding allocation. Our LEP has been given a notional allocation of €161.6m (£137m) of Structural Investment Funds 2014-2020, which equates to the 14th highest allocation out of the 39 LEP’s.

IMG00019-20130626-1500SIFIS socio economic framework meeting 250613

The Structural Investment Funds, formerly known as the Common Strategic Framework (CSF), bring together ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), ESF (European Social Fund) the Cohesion Fund, EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) and the EMFF (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund). Emma Davies presented at the first Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP EU Investment Strategy Working Group meeting on Monday. This group will be leading the preparation of the LEP’s Structural Investment Fund and Investment Strategy (SIFIS). It was agreed that a series of challenge groups over the summer will be run to allow stakeholders to input into prioritisation for the draft strategy required for Autumn.  Further information will be circulated on how university colleagues can input into this process.  Tuesday followed up with a review of the West Midlands Socio-Economic Framework, prepared by West Midlands European Service.  This will form part of the evidence base for our local SIFIS. 

Wednesday was the Universities UK conference Europe: at the heart of internationalisation. This conference was focussed on the opportunities and policy drivers the EU presented for internationalisation of UK HEIs, considering the Bologna Process and funding opportunities for research and teaching.  It was announced at this event that the Erasmus for All programme will be changing its name to Erasmus Plus!

For further information please contact externalprojects@staffs.ac.uk.  Details of the Structural Investment Funds and the West Midlands Socio Economic Framework can be found at http://www.wmemployers.org.uk/wmescsf.  Presentations from the UUK conference can be found at http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/events/Pages/EuropePresentations.aspx.

European Commission praises Staffordshire University Work Based Learning project



 Work Based Learning Qualifications (WBLQUAL) http://wblqual.com  examines how Employers, Learners and Higher Education Institutions can benefit from working together to provide quality and affordable bespoke workplace learning to employees to a curriculum that is negotiated by the learner, the employer and the university (a tri-partite relationship).  

 This innovative project funded by the EU’s ERASMUS programme with partners from Italy, Poland, Latvia and Denmark was led by Staffordshire University’s Rosie Borup. The project ran from October 2010 to November 2012. In evaluating the project the European Commission commented on the ‘high quality of the research results (which are) easily accessible via the webpage of the project.‘, and that ’The great care with which the project has been implemented is noteworthy.’

 It is accepted that there is a cultural gap between the worlds of academia and industry. Universities can see themselves as set apart from the commercial pressures that industry is accustomed to, and they can consider that their interaction is best kept to the theoretical context and research.

 However there is much to be gained from a closer collaboration between Universities and Industry, and especially the engagement of Universities in Work Based Learning.

In the main Universities have offered Work Based Learning ‘courses’ which are traditional in terms of content and delivery, with little or no recognition of the tri-partite relationship between learner, employer and Higher Education Institutions. Employers have criticised academia for not adapting to their needs, and being inflexible in their approach.

 This project explored the issues which  concern academic institutions.

 The project web site offers

 Information for employers regarding how Work Based Learning can be used as an affordable tool for staff training

  • Information for learners highlighting how Work Based Learning can be flexible enough to fit around their day job
  • Research for HEIs interested in   offering Work Based Learning courses and how they can be implemented
  • Video summarising key issues and results
  • Country-specific case studies