New opportunities for EU projects at CERN

In July 2009 the European Commission (EC) finalised how it will spend research funding for 2010, within its Framework Programme 7 (FP7). On 31 July the EC is expected to publish new calls for European project proposals, many of which are relevant to CERN.

In the first two and a half years of Framework Programme 7 (2007-2013), CERN has been very successful – the Organization is participating in around 30 EU projects, with total EC contribution of nearly 35 million Euros.

The now finalised 2010 Work Programmes for FP7 outline how the EC will allocate budgets within each research field. From these Work Programmes, a series of calls for proposals are published so researchers can apply for targeted funding within given deadlines. The first calls are expected to be launched on 31 July and closed later in the year.

The web-site of the CERN EU Projects Office contains a list of all new calls of potential interest to CERN, as well as the relevant Work Programmes and Guide for Applicants. For a complete list of the recently published calls, see the EC Cordis web-site

New calls of interest to CERN include those within FP7’s specific programmes entitled "Ideas", "Capacities" and "People":

The "Ideas" call is for European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants. These grants fund frontier research projects led by young researchers (with 3-8 years of post-doctoral experience) in all fields of science. For this highly competitive FP7 scheme, selection is made solely on excellence, of the proposal and of the researcher.

The "Capacities" calls include research infrastructures and e-infrastructures. One of the targeted topics will be Detectors for Future Accelerators, another will be Research Infrastructures for Nuclear Physics, both of primary importance for CERN.

Another activity that will be funded under the same call is the Preparatory Phase of new Research Infrastructures, primarily reserved for projects on the ESFRI Roadmap. The new call will contain a topic suitable for the preparatory phase of one project from the European Strategy for Particle Physics of CERN Council.

Under the ICT-based (e-Infrastructures) programme, a new call will fund projects for the development of the European Distributed Computer Infrastructure, new Simulation Software and Services, strengthening of Virtual Research Communities, and coordination actions supporting the development of e-Infrastructures.

In September a call is also expected for Initial Training Networks (ITNs) as part of FP7 "People" Marie Curie actions, overseen by HR Department. The ITN projects are built around a network of partners (with industrial involvement highly recommended) offering a joint research training programme for young researchers.

If you have an idea for an EU project and need information about FP7 programmes and the new calls, please contact the CERN EU Projects office. We can help you prepare and submit projects and give guidance for the CERN approval procedures. Please visit or email