Excellent Science

The “Excellent Science” pillar in Horizon Europe hosts the major bottom-up funding lines. These include the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The funding of research infrastructures is also part of this pillar.

European Research Council (ERC)

The European Research Council (ERC) supports innovative basic and pioneering research in Europe in five competitive programme lines. Outstanding scientists should be given the opportunity to carry out projects that are highly innovative or, in a positive sense, risky. The sole selection criterion is the scientific excellence of both the project and the Principal Investigator (PI).

KoWi service:

KoWi is part of the National Contact Point of the ERC. Together with colleagues from the EU office of the BMBF, we advise and support scientists in submitting applications and preparing the selection interviews in Brussels.

You can find detailed information on the ERC funding lines and the NCP ERC services on the joint NCP ERC website: www.nks-erc.de

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are the so called “European mobility schemes”. This programme exists already since 1997 and it promotes the mobility of researchers. The MSCA pursue the goal of strengthening researchers in research and innovation in Europe in a qualitative and quantitative manner, i.e. to promote individual career development towards innovative researchers.

Mobility plays a central role here: international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral science / projects are funded, whereby individual research skills are expanded and deepened and institutional structuring effects are achieved.

For the entire duration of Horizon Europe (2021-2027), the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions have a budget of EUR 24.9 billion. The funding lines are open to all research areas and support projects ranging from basic research to market development. There are a total of five specific funding lines:

  • Doctoral Networks (structured doctoral training)

  • Staff Exchanges (staff exchange program)

  • Postdoctoral Fellowships (individual research project)

  • COFUND (co-financing of postdocs and doctoral programs)

  • Citizens (high-profile outreach event)

KoWi service:

KoWi advises you as a scientist or as an EU officer and administrator at the host institution on all funding lines of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. We support you at all stages of the application and implementation (project management) process. In addition to advice, we also support you with information events.

As a free advisory service, we offer you the opportunity to have your applications read in advance. To ensure an optimal consultation process, please send us the complete application documents at least two weeks before the submission deadline so that we can give you feedback in good time. After that, we may not be able to guarantee detailed feedback, depending on how many applications we receive.

Research Infrastructures

Goal of the Research Infrastructure programme is the further development of the European research infrastructure landscape. On the one hand, this includes preparations for the establishment of new research infrastructures of pan-European interest, especially within the framework of the roadmap process led by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).

On the other hand, this includes the promotion of access to research infrastructures and their services along a more interdisciplinary approach. In addition, the programme supports the further development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

Of increasing importance in Horizon Europe is the stronger linkage of support measures in this area to societal challenges and priorities of the Commission, such as health, green and digital transformation, and improved crisis resilience.

A budget of approx. €2.4 billion is available in Horizon Europe for the calls and funding instruments of the Research Infrastructures part of the programme, which is around 3% of the total budget.

KoWi service:

KoWi advises you as a scientist or as an EU officer as well as an administrator on all funding areas within the Research Infrastructures part of the programme, from application to implementation (project management). In addition to advice, we also support you with information events at universities and research institutions as well as online seminars and other virtual information and advice services.