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Researchers and Funding

Below are the responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the impact of Brexit on Researchers and Funding.

Please note, the answers provided are general advice for reference purposes and should not be taken as specific advice based on your individual circumstances. If you have questions not answered below, please contact euoffice@qub.ac.uk.

The Government has launched a website to help businesses, organisations, individuals and families check what they need to do to prepare for leaving the EU, currently scheduled to be no later than 31 January 2020.

  • 1. What does Brexit mean for EU research funding at Queen's now?

    Queen's researchers should continue to apply for EU funding. On-going EU projects continue as normal.

    The UK is a Member State until the date of EU exit and is eligible to participate in EU funding submissions until then. Furthermore, the Withdrawal Agreement confirms that UK participants are eligible to bid for EU funding until the end of 2020 with an uninterrupted flow of funding for the lifetime of successful EU funded projects.

    In a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK government will underwrite the UK component of all competitively bid for EU projects submitted before the EU exit date. This will be delivered through the Underwrite Guarantee, and is applicable to all Horizon 2020 and ERASMUS+ projects for the full duration of the projects.

    The EC explicitly provides guidance for expert evaluators: “Experts should not evaluate proposals with UK participants any differently than before.” As such, consortia including UK participants are not required to submit a Brexit contingency plan as part of their proposal.

    Queen's has submitted a list of its current EU funded projects to UKRI who will oversee the implementation of this underwrite. If the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified before EU exit, UKRI will ensure that UK collaborators receive funding for project delivery.

    Further certainty on EU funding for hundreds of British projects

    Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration

  • 2. What does Brexit mean for EU research funding at Queen's after the date of EU exit?

    UK researchers should continue to apply for collaborative research funding with EU partners after Brexit.

    The UK government and the EU are committed to ensuring that UK and EU researchers will be able to continue to collaborate after EU exit.

    The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU and terms for an implementation period. Ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement would mean that UK entities’ right to participate in Horizon 2020 will continue as normal from the date of EU exit until the end of 2020.

    Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration

    UK participation in Horizon 2020: government overview

  • 3. What is the impact on EU funding in a ‘no deal’ scenario?

    If the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified before the date of EU exit, the UK government has established the ‘Post EU Guarantee Extension to the Underwrite’, which will cover the funding of UK beneficiaries of all competitively bid for Horizon 2020 calls open to third country participants submitted from the date of exit until the end of 2020.

    The guarantee would cover the lifetime of a successful project, even when it lasts beyond 2020.

    UK government’s preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario

    The government’s guarantee for EU-funded programmes if there is no Brexit deal

  • 4. What does Brexit mean for individual research grants: ERC, MSCA IF, SME Instrument?

    If the UK leave the EU without a deal, the European Commission may not continue to assess UK bids for mono beneficiary ERC, MSCA and EIC Accelerator (formerly the SME instrument) grants after point of Exit (called 'in flight' bids). If they are assessed by the Commission and deemed successful, the government guarantee will fund projects for their duration. In the case where they were not evaluated by the EC, the UK government committed to ensuring that these 'in flight' bids were assessed in all Brexit scenarios (8 August announcement).

  • 5. Will UK researchers be eligible to participate in Horizon Europe?

    The UK government will explore the option of association to future research and innovation programmes, including Horizon Europe, 2021-2027, thus ensuring eligibility to participate in Horizon Europe.

    UK position paper on the ninth EU Framework Programme for research and innovation (FP9)

  • 6. What does Brexit mean for my existing EU funded grant?

    UK coordinators and partners of collaborative EU funded projects awarded before the date of EU exit can continue to participate as usual. Funding for the grant will continue.

  • 7. No-deal Brexit - FFG, Horizon 2020 Funding

    The Austria Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the national funding agency for industrial research and development in Austria. Please see link below regarding their position on consequences for calls and ongoing projects carried out under Horizon 2020 if there were a no-deal Brexit on 31 January 2020.

    No-deal Brexit - FFG, Horizon 2020 Funding

  • 8. What are the implications of Brexit for sharing data and information.

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all member states in the EU (and EEA states). GDPR restricts the free flow of personal data from locations within Europe to locations outside Europe without appropriate safeguards in place.

    When the UK exits the EU, GDPR will no longer be law in the UK.

    Whilst the UK government has confirmed that the UK will allow data flows from the UK to Europe to continue, transfer of personal data from EU countries to the UK will be restricted unless appropriate safeguards are in place.

    The UK Government, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the European Commission have each issued guidance on how to prepare for Brexit in the area of data protection in the event of a no deal.

    If you are currently in receipt of personal data from a country in the EEA* you may continue to receive this information provided “appropriate safeguards” in the form of signing up to the EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) are in place. If these are not in place, or you are not sure, please contact the Information Compliance Unit for advice.

    * The following countries are in the EEA: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


General information

Please email euoffice@qub.ac.uk or your EU team contact for further clarification.

This page was last updated on 8 November 2019.