More UK success in latest round of EU R&D grants

01 February 2023

UK-based researchers continue to be one of the most successful groups of applicants for European Research Council (ERC) funding, securing 45 grants from the ERC’s Consolidator Grants programme in the latest round of funding announced on 31 January 2023. The strong performance of UK researchers underlines the strength of the sector and shows that Britain is still committed to full association to Horizon Europe and its associated programmes.

The announcement comes amid reports of progress towards ending the impasse between Britain and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which has held up the UK’s association to Horizon Europe. The Russell Group welcomes news of possible breakthrough and hopes UK association can be finalised as soon as possible.

Successful UK-based applicants will be covered by the UKRI Guarantee, which was recently extended by the UK Government by a further three months. Among the EU countries the highest numbers of grants were Germany (62 projects), France (41) and Spain (24).

Commenting, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

“This latest round of ERC grants sees UK-based projects amongst the highest number of successful applications. As well as underlining the strength of our R&D sector, and the benefit to all parties of the UK being part of Horizon Europe, Copernicus and Euratom, these numbers show that we are still serious about wanting full association.

“The British Government’s decision to provide a three-month extension to its Guarantee keeps the window for association firmly open. News of a breakthrough on the Northern Ireland Protocol is also encouraging and we hope politicians on both sides will use the time provided by the extension and momentum of potential agreement on the protocol to find consensus.

“Working with our friends in Europe and around the world to support the flow of people and ideaswill help us find solutions to the big challenges we face. Horizon Europe is bigger than the sum of its parts and UK association would be a win-win for everyone.”

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