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European funding changes due to COVID-19 outbreak

The EU research funding organisations are adopting ‘flexible approaches’ to accommodate to the new coronavirus disruptions.

This note summarises the standpoint of some of the most critical funding programmes of interest, based on official communications. For running EU projects, the Grants Office advises the consultation of the ARMA-NL website or to get in touch with via

Horizon 2020 applications

We advise consulting the EC Funding & tenders Portal for most up-to-date information, now compiled in the new European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform (March 27).

In response to the extraordinary circumstances, some Horizon 2020 calls have already seen their deadlines postponed. Reacting to the Covid-19 crisis on March 26,  deadlines for calls under Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1 (Health section) are extended by initial  two months, to allow medical professionals to focus on their fight against the Coronavirus and to leave more time for preparing their applications. This concerns the following calls:

Deadline extended to 4 June:


Deadline extended to 18 June:


The situation is rapidly evolving also for other topics. Still, according to the latest updates, Horizon 2020 calls with original deadlines between 18 March and 15 April, extensions will be applied. Importantly, participants who have started the submission process in the European Commission’s Funding and Tenders Portal can expect automatic notifications of the moving deadlines.

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced its specific business continuity measures. Panel evaluations of proposals are currently being organised remotely. Specifically for the current ERC Starting Grant call, the ERC is confident “to finalise the ongoing Step 1 evaluations (…) by the end of this week” (update 16 March). The ERC further claims it does not anticipate any delays with upcoming evaluations or application deadlines. For grant holders, the ERC assures grant management activities are continuing as usual, with technical and/or IT access constraints possibly affecting response timeline.

EU officials have also stated this week that COVID-19 “may have implications for the implementation” also of the EU's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions researcher mobility grants. “There may be circumstances in which the current situation prevents the fulfilment of an obligation laid down in the grant agreement,” the Commission said. It promised the Research Executive Agency, which administers grants, would “adopt a flexible approach” and said projects “could also be exceptionally extended, if necessary”.


As for the Erasmus+ academic mobility programme, relevant information to the disruptions can be found directly on the Erasmus+ website.

more information 

If you have any questions about your funding acquisition efforts in connection with COVID-19 disruptions, please do not hesitate to contact

news item updated on 27-3-2020