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New calls under Horizon Europe for urgent research into coronavirus variants


The European Commission is mobilising €123 million and has launched four new calls under Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme, for urgent research into coronavirus variants. This first emergency funding under Horizon Europe, the successor of Horizon 2020, adds to a range of EU-funded research and innovation actions to fight the coronavirus and contributes to the overall action to prevent, mitigate and respond to the impact of coronavirus variants.

The new calls complement earlier actions to develop treatments and vaccines by organising and conducting clinical trials to advance the development of promising therapeutics and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. They will support the development of large scale, COVID-19 cohorts and networks beyond Europe's borders, forging links with European initiatives, as well as reinforce the infrastructures needed to share data, expertise, research resources and expert services among researchers and research organisations.

The calls were open on 13 April and the deadline for submission is 6 May 2021.

Please click the following links for more information on the new Horizon Europe calls:

  1. FAIR and open data sharing in support to European preparedness for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
  2. Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics
  3. Vaccines & therapeutic clinical trials to boost COVID-19 prevention and treatment
  4. Cohorts united against COVID-19 variants of concern

As a general principle, the calls are open globally including the participation from China. In particular, potential Chinese applicants can pay attention to the above call no. 2 Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics, which specifically highlights the participation of Chinese legal entities, among other countries, and the exceptional eligibility for funding under this topic as follows:

Considering the Union’s interest to make accessible to its researchers the most advanced research infrastructures, wherever they are in the world, legal entities established in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore and USA, which provide, under the grant, access to their research infrastructures to researchers from Member States and Associated Countries, are exceptionally eligible for funding from the Union under this topic.

Please read the call info carefully and submit the proposals by joining a European consortium in line with the requirements provided in the call before the deadline.

For more background of the new calls, you could refer to the Press Release by clicking here. You may also be interested in an information session organised for the new calls at this link.

COVID-19 Funding Horizon Europe