For ResearchersHorizon 2020: Getting Started

Horizon 2020: Getting Started

Horizon 2020 is a research and innovation programme, administered by the European Commission (EC).

It runs from 2014-2020, and has a budget of €80 billion. There are three main pillars to Horizon 2020: Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership, and Societal Challenges.


To begin with, search for your area of interest.


When you’ve read a little about what the EC funds in your area, pick out the Work Programme that’s relevant to you. In terms of funding research, Horizon 2020 is mostly organised around two-year ‘Work Programmes’, which describe the various Topics the EC will fund during that two-year period.

Click to see all 2016-17 Work Programmes. Look at the Table of Contents in your chosen Work Programme and pick 2-3 topics that interest you. Each topic usually has no more than a page or two of details.

Look at projects funded previously by the EC to get an idea of the type of work they fund, the size of typical consortiums, budgets, project duration, etc. Click to search for previously funded projects in your area.


A contact network of peers across Europe is indispensable for success in Horizon 2020. You can build and enhance your network by attending information days, as well as conferences and events in your area.

Search for upcoming events you can attend and review previous events to identify key people in your area.

Enterprise Ireland has a Travel Support Grant to help pay the cost of your attending events. Contact Eimear Fitzpatrick (details below) in the Research Support Unit to discuss the one-page application form for this grant.

You can also build contacts via COST Actions. These are networks in various disciplines, which help support cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe. Click here to see all current COST Actions.

Here are All Upcoming Calls for Proposals, this link brings you to the Participant Portal and this is an Overview of the Horizon 2020 landscape.

Download a Sample Starter Pack of 5 straightforward actions to get you up and running in Horizon 2020.


Contact Eimear Fitzpatrick (EU Research Officer) to discuss any of the above. 

Email or Phone: 051-834042