"Horizon Europe" - The new EU-framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2021-2027

The EU's new framework programme for research and innovation "Horizon Europe" will be launched on 1 January 2021. With an anticipated total volume of 100 billion euros for the period 2021-2027, it is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever.

The first strategic plan covers the first four years of the programme, maintaining the flexibility to respond quickly to unexpected crises or justified political demands. The work programme of Horizon Europe will be prepared in collaboration with all relevant Commission services once the strategic planning process is completed.

The RSC wants to inform the scientists at the Goethe University as early and as comprehensively as possible about the new funding opportunities and provide them with the best possible support in the application processes. On this page we will provide basic information about funding opportunities in the new framework programme in the upcoming months and inform about current developments.

If you are planning to apply for funding and you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us! We will also be happy to provide you with up-to-date information on the current status of the work programme in your field of research.

Structure of Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe has three "pillars":

1. Excellent Science

The "Excellence in Science" pillar supports frontier research projects designed and implemented by the most excellent researchers and their teams through the European Research Council (ERC). It also funds fellowships and researcher mobility through Marie Curie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and invests in world-class research infrastructures.

2. Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness

The "Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness" pillar supports research addressing specific societal challenges, strengthens technological and industrial capacities and defines EU-wide missions with ambitious objectives to address some of the major current problems (health, climate change, clean energy, mobility, security, digital technologies, materials, etc.).

3. Innovative Europe

The "Innovative Europe" pillar supports innovations with breakthrough and market creating potential via the European Innovation Council (EIC). Further, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is expected to play an important role in the field of open innovation and to support the development of the European innovation ecosystems by integrating education, research and entrepreneurship.

Widening Participation and Strenthening the European Research Area

In the the "Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area" part of the programme, support will be given to actions aimed at integrating cross-cutting issues into European research and innovation policies and projects in this area. Researchers are in many cases not eligible for funding, but benefit indirectly from the measures financed.

Missions in Horizon Europe (2nd pillar)

As part of the second pillar, 5 mission areas have been identified, each with a dedicated mission board and assembly. The board and assembly help specify, design and implement the specific missions which will launch under Horizon Europe in 2021.

Mission area: Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation

Mission area: Cancer

Mission area: Climate-neutral and smart cities

Mission area: Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters

Mission area: Soil health and food

Clusters (2nd pillar)

The two previous pillars "Industrial Technologies" and "Societal Challenges" in Horizon 2020 will be combined into six thematic clusters, as outlined. These are to cover the entire range of the Sustainable Development Goals and have an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary orientation (including the humanities, social and cultural sciences).

I) Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society

II) Civil Security for Society

III) Digital, Industry and Space

IV) Climate, Energy and Mobility

V) Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

VI) Health

If you are interested in specific clusters, the EU advisor team at the Research Service Center can provide you with further information and documents. 

You can find information about current calls for proposals, access to online applications and information about ongoing projects in the Funding & Tenders Portal of the European Commission. 

Important documents for project application and realization are available in our Link List

Please note: This information is supplied without liability and may be subject to change.

Goethe Horizon – Initial Funding for EU-Research

Horizon Europe – the European framework for research and innovation – has been in effect since January 2021. The state of Hesse would like to increase the participation of hessian institutions by providing universities with additional funding, specifically starting grants for EU research projects, through the state specific programme Horizon Hesse. At the Goethe University, funding applications for the following purposes are being considered:

Project Type

Funcable Action

Grant Provided

Participation in European collaborative projects and doctoral networks as a partner institution, that is without coordination responsibilities (concerns EU Horizon applicants as well as proposals regarding research in connecting EU programmes)

Tangible means / non-personnel costs like:

  • travel expenses for consortiums meetings in preparation of the proposal
  • integration of external expertise
  • English language editorial support
  • structured peer review processes

Max. 2.000 EUR/project

Coordination of European collaborations within the Horizon Europe programme (collaborative research and doctoral networks)

see above, and additionally personnel costs (e.g. additional funding for existing postdoc positions by 50% for three months for the drafting process of the application)

Max. 10.000 EUR/project

ERC applications (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy grants)

Tangible means / non-personnel costs like:

  • English language editorial support
  • graphics design for the application
  • integration of external expertise
  • travel and participation expenses for interview training
  • support by assistant student staff
  • structured peer review processes

Max. 2.000 EUR/project

Incentive measures for coordinators of postdoctoral fellowship applications (mobility funding within European and Global fellowships programs with the Goethe University as the main institution)

The EU funding for postdoctoral fellowships provides postdocs from abroad with a visiting opportunity at the Goethe University for two years of research. Fellows receive guidance from Professors. Professors can apply for funding to cover the additional expenditures.

2.000 EUR/project

Preparatory measures like networking, participation in European working groups or organisations with the goal of building an EU consortium and applying for Horizon Europe

Tangible means / non-personnel costs like:

  • membership fees
  • travel expenses
  • event / workshop costs

Max. 5000 EUR yearly/action

All costs of the grant programme have to be included in the EU application beforehand (post-deadline costs for the proposal are not eligible for funding; exception: costs for ERC interview trainings).

Furthermore, the state of Hesse covers the financing for projects form the call of 2021 that have been awarded the Seal of Excellence, but cannot be funded through the EU due to budget restraints, with the funding programme “Postdoctoral European Fellowships”. If your proposal earned the Seal of Excellence, please contact the Research Support.

The funding by the state of Hesse also covers the costs of meetings and similar activities in Europe that build European networks and further Horizon Europe proposals (e.g. workshops in Brussels). For additional information concerning your personal project, please get in touch with the EU team of the Research Support.