This page contains updates from the UK Research Office collating updates from the European Commission on the impact of Coronavirus on research applications and awards.  

For Horizon 2020 and EU funded projects, in the absence of any instruction to the contrary from the EC, participants should continue to advise the Project Officer and/or (in the case of a collaborative project) the Coordinator in the case of any circumstance that is likely to affect the implementation of the project. 

EU Initiatives and Funding Opportunities

AI-ROBOTICS vs COVID-19 initiative

The European Commission has also launched an initiative to collect ideas about deployable Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics solutions as well as information on other initiatives that could help face the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The initiative aims to create a unique repository that is easily accessible to all citizens, stakeholders and policymakers and become part of the common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19.  It is seeking input on three main fronts:

  • You have developed an AI system or built a robotic tool that can be deployed either immediately or in the short to mid-term in the context of disease prevention, diagnosis or treatment.
  • You are an individual or part of an organisation that has already launched an initiative involving your community and other stakeholders in a discussion on the role that technology and AI in particular could play during the current healthcare crisis.
  • You have further ideas or would like to share relevant  Information (including other initiatives).

Update from UKRO 21st May 2020

Rapid Societal Challenge 1 Call on Covid-19 – Preliminary Information

The European Commission will shortly launch a second request for expressions of interest for 'innovative and rapid health-related approaches to respond to COVID-19 and to deliver quick results for society for a higher level of preparedness of health systems'.

This will be a second Covid-19 related rapid call under the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1. The focus will be not to develop new diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines, but rather to complete and deploy readily available compounds. The four expected topics would include:

  • Social and economic impacts of fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and its immediate consequences to contain and mitigate the outbreak;
  • Pan-European COVID-19 cohorts united against the pandemic;
  • Manufacturing adaptability and resilience to improve industrial systems response, recovery and preparedness; and
  • Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence analytics to improve surveillance and care.

The call should open imminently (as of May 19th) and remain open for a period of 4 weeks.  The European Commission is organising an information day on the call on May 20th and has released the Agenda - 2nd COVID call info day [pdf] which contains details of the event.


This call results from the ERAvsCorona Action Plan, agreed in April 2020 to enhance and coordinate EU research and innovation response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will complement the first rapid SC1 call, which funded 18 projects.


European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the European Commission has launched the European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform on its Funding & Tenders Portal to make information related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on Horizon 2020 grants available in a single place.

The page is still under construction, but already includes links to the COVID-19 FAQs, a list of Horizon 2020 deadlines that have been extended and links to other useful resources. In the future, it will also include links to the relevant pages of EU Member States and will be a one-stop-shop for applicants and beneficiaries of Horizon funds looking for information about the COVID-19 outbreak.

European Commission Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Horizon 2020 Projects

​The European Commission has published answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on Horizon 2020 projects and calls for proposals:

Project implementation/eligibility of costs

Project implementation/eligibility of costs - MSCA

Experts and proposal evaluations

Call deadlines

Confirmed New Deadlines for Horizon 2020 Calls

The following new deadlines have now been confirmed on the Funding and Tenders Portal:

 Deadline  Calls

Deadline extended to 22 September:

H2020-INNOSUP-2018-2020 (stage 2)

Deadline extended to 19 November:

​H2020-JTI-IMI2-2020-20-two-stage (stage 2)

Deadline extended to 16 February 2021:


All deadlines are at 17:00 CET (Brussels time) and are provided for information only. For legally binding information on call deadlines, please, visit the Funding and Tenders Portal.

Research Executive Agency 

On 27 March, the Research Executive Agency (REA), responsible for the implementation of several parts of Horizon 2020, updated its pages on business continuity measures. In addition to earlier messages about extended Horizon 2020 call deadlines, new information on remote evaluation, contracting expert evaluators, and grant management is now available.  Evaluations of ongoing and upcoming proposals are being organised remotely. Furthermore, grant management activities are continuing, however REA response time may be affected due to IT constraints. Finally, beneficiaries are encouraged to follow @REA_research on Twitter, as decisions may change anytime due to exceptional circumstances. 

European Research Council 

The ERC have posted a statement on their website stating that they are doing their upmost to remain fully operational during this period, that grant management activities continue as normal (although technical issues may slow some processes down) and that panel evaluations are currently being organised remotely. They do not currently anticipate any delays to evaluations or application deadlines. 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions 

The Research Executive Agency (REA) have released a statement advising grantees and fellows to follow the travel advice provided by national authorities and to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel where possible. REA will adopt a flexible approach towards projects, which fail to meet grant agreement obligations due to the COVID-19 containment measures, and may apply the rules on force majeure, or extend the duration of projects. Projects will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and grantees and fellows should speak to their Project Officer if they require support.