European Commission - Research

FP7 in Brief illustration from FP7 in Brief brochure How to get involved in the EU 7th Framework Programme for Research

Who can apply?

Which types of participants?

Participation in FP7 is open to a wide range of organisations and individuals:

  • research groups at universities or research institutes
  • companies intending to innovate
  • small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • SME associations or groupings
  • public or governmental administration (local, regional or national)
  • early-stage researchers (postgraduate students)
  • experienced researchers
  • institutions running research infrastructures of trans-national interest
  • organisations and researchers from third countries
  • international organisations
  • civil society organisations.

The above list is only indicative, not exhaustive.

Different participation rules apply, depending on the research initiative in question.

From which countries?

As a general principle, FP7 is open to participation from any country in the world. The procedures for participation and funding possibilities vary for different groups of countries.

Quite naturally, the EU Member States enjoy the broadest rights and access to funding. The same conditions apply to Member States and to countries associated to FP7 (countries paying a share to the overall budget of FP7). In FP 6 these countries included EEA countries ( Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein), candidate countries (e.g. Turkey, Crotia), as well as Israel and Switzerland.

Another important group are the International Cooperation Partner Countries (e.g. Russia and other Eastern European and Central Asian states, developing countries, Mediterranean partner countries, Western Balkans countries). Participants from these countries are entitled to funding under the same conditions as EU Member States. The only restriction for them is that consortia must first have the required minimum number of participants from Member States or associated countries.

Participation from industrialised high-income countries is also possible on a self-financing basis, with EU funding granted only in exceptional cases.

Cooperation with “third countries” is explicitly encouraged in FP7.

Two key objectives apply here:

  • to support European competitiveness in selected fields through strategic partnerships with third countries, and initiatives that encourage the best third-country scientists to work in and with Europe;
  • to address specific problems that either have a global character or are commonly faced by third countries, on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit.

Finally, with respect to third countries, FP7 also provides for international outgoing and incoming fellowships to foster collaboration with research groups outside Europe.

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