About the Grant Schemes

General European grant scheme information highlighting the main objectives, available funding and target audiences

Horizon 2020

Established by the European Commission, Horizon 2020 is the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). It is based on the idea of bringing together all of the previous EU's research and innovation funding programmes under one common strategic framework. Cancer is not a Horizon 2020 programme category of its own but may fit many grant scheme topics. The programme is subdivided into different sections and is open to everyone (many calls require a team of at least three partners). Its two-year work programmes outline very specific research areas to be funded. Projects that do not fall within these areas have little chance of being considered for funding.
Visit the Horizon 2020 website.

European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) is part of the Horizon 2020 programme. It has around €13 million available for funding schemes addressing young and senior individual researchers or small groups of individual researchers (no research consortia or networks). The objective is to promote excellence in research by funding frontier research, cross-disciplinary proposals and pioneering ideas in new and emerging fields which introduce unconventional and innovative approaches. There is one call per year per type of ERC grant.
Visit the ERC website.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) are part of the "Excellent Science" pillar of the Horizon 2020 programme and will award around €6 million over the period 2014-2020. MSCA aim at supporting career development and training of PhD candidates to highly experienced researchers in all scientific disciplines through worldwide and cross-sector mobility. Individuals and organisations working in any area of research can apply for funding. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training.
Visit the MSCA website.

3rd EU Health Programme

The 3rd EU Health Programme 2014-2020 is the only EU Commission programme exclusively dedicated to health and has a budget of around €450 million. The programme supports projects that promote health, prevent diseases and support healthy lifestyles, address serious cross-border health threats, contribute to innovative, efficient and sustainable health systems and facilitate access to better and safer healthcare for EU citizens. There is a specific section on chronic diseases, including cancer, with a focus on good practices for prevention, early detection and management, including self-management, and there are many other areas directly or indirectly related to cancer. Recipients of funding include legally established organisations, public authorities, public sector bodies (research and health institutions, universities and higher education establishments), non-governmental bodies and international organisations.
Visit the 3rd EU Health Programme website.

Innovative Medicines Initiative 2

The Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI 2) is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA with a total budget of around €3.3 billion. The EU funding for IMI 2 comes from Horizon 2020, the European framework programme for research and innovation. The aim of the IMI public-private partnership is to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients by bringing together companies, universities, public laboratories, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient groups and regulators in collaborative projects. Visit the IMI 2 website.

There are four major axes of research:

  1. Target validation and biomarker research (efficacy and safety)
  2. Adoption of innovative clinical trial paradigms
  3. Innovative Medicines
  4. Patient tailored adherence programmes

ERA-NET on Translational Cancer Research (TRANSCAN)

With the aim to contribute to the building of the European Research Area (ERA) through the coordination of activities, TRANSCAN is a European Research Area Network funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The collaborative network of ministries, funding agencies and research councils with programmes in translational cancer research is composed of 25 partners from 19 European and Associated countries. Calls are issued under the ERA-Net co-fund mechanism and implemented through a two-stage submission procedure: pre-proposals and full proposals. Researchers and/or national or regional research teams can apply for funding. Visit the TRANSCAN website.