CERN in Horizon Europe: a glance at 2022

With 2022 drawing to a close, it is appropriate time to look back at the participation of CERN in Horizon Europe during this year.

15 December, 2022


The Framework programme for research and innovation continues to be attractive for many CERN teams across the organization: 46 proposals with the participation of CERN were submitted to different Horizon Europe programmes. With 21 proposals, the ERC remains the most popular programme for the CERN research community. The ERC, together with the Research Infrastructure Programme (7 proposals) and the Marie-Curie Programme (4 proposals), compose the Excellence Science Pillar of Horizon Europe, which is the main EU source of funding for fundamental research, and hence has been the main focus of interest of the CERN community for nearly 10 years. In addition to the projects where CERN participates as a beneficiary, there were also 34 Marie-Curie post-doctoral fellowship applications, submitted by individual researchers (a record number).

Other programmes, to which several proposals have been submitted, include the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the Widening Excellence part of Horizon Europe.

As regards the success rates, 30 out of 46 proposals have been evaluated so far. Out of the 30 evaluated proposals, 9 have been funded, which gives a success rate of 30%. This is quite good, taking into account that the average success rate of Horizon Europe programmes is around 15%, and that most of the proposals were submitted to highly competitive programmes such as the ERC, Marie-Curie and EIC. And then 3 of the evaluated proposals are ranked on a reserve list, which means that they still have a chance of being funded, provided that some additional budget becomes available. The 34 individual Marie-Curie proposals are all still under evaluation.

Out of the 46 proposals, 19 have been submitted by CERN and 27 by other institutes. It is to be noted that 16 out of the 19 proposals submitted by CERN are ERC grant proposals. In other words, the number of projects where CERN took the lead of a consortium and submitted a proposal for a new EU project together with a number of other participants, has been quite low, and that has not been the case in previous years. 

Out of the 9 successfully evaluated proposals (so far), 1 is coordinated by CERN: HEARTS, a project for providing European industry with access to high-energy accelerators for radiation shielding and testing, which was funded under the Space programme of the Digital and Industry Cluster of Horizon Europe.

With 16 proposals under evaluation, there are still hopes for some other successful Horizon Europe projects among those that were submitted in 2022.

In 2023, the new cycle of Horizon Europe programmes (covering 2023-2024) will start. There will be multiple opportunities for EU support to CERN programmes and projects, including new initiatives such as the Green Village and the CIPEA programme. The EU Office welcomes for discussion and provides advice to everyone who has ideas for new projects and is looking for EU funding for this purpose.