Radboud University

Horizon Europe Stories – Strengthening Radboud research to solve societal challenges with the help of Horizon Europe funding opportunities, as told by prof. Lutgarde Buydens, former Dean of the Faculty of Science

Date of news: 30 November 2021

Within the Radboud University Support Programme EU, a joint initiative of grant advisors from the University and Radboudumc, we are promoting biweekly Horizon Europe stories from researchers, directors and grant support experts who benefitted from the Programme and can share their experience and tips with you.

Today’s story is by prof. Lutgarde Buydens, former Dean of the Faculty of Science.

  • Why do you think getting EU funding is important for researchers at the Faculty of Science?

Acquiring EU funding is very important for the faculty. We are very successful Horizon Pillar I, e.g. in the ERC funding scheme. For example, we are the most successful faculty in Europe to get ERC Synergy grants and we have many Starting Grants. Grant advisors on the central and faculty level are successful in coaching people to apply for individual grants and this is a work of many years.

Fundamental science is our strong point but applying for collaborative projects is challenging and we might lose opportunities in Pillar II. What we could improve is making use of these opportunities and funding to work together to solve societal challenges.

Radboud Innovation Science experts are trying to motivate people to apply for Pillar II and Pillar III opportunities, but some researchers are discouraged due to time and administrative constraints. We would need increase our success rates in collaborative projects.

  • In your opinion, what support is needed for researchers to be more actively involved in collaborative projects?

Showcasing opportunities, work-benefit ratio and societal involvement for researchers is very important. It is important to do research for societally relevant subjects, especially if you want to make a difference as a faculty. These are the main drivers for our Faculty to work on acquiring EU funding.

Another important question is to interfere at early stage and use available instruments to influence the calls before they are published officially.

Together with the Radboud EU Liaison Officer, researchers should be present in klankbord groups and provide feedback first-hand. Therefore, information about existing klankbord groups on the national level, the workload needed for the participation and the advantages of being part of such a group should be provided to all researchers.

Proposal writing workshops and trainings already help as well. We also need to increasingly use the new tools developed by the Programme aimed to help researchers with networking, partner search and consortium building.

  • What is your personal advice for researchers regarding the applications for EU funding?

Researchers should seize the numerous opportunities within EU programmes that might be overlooked at the moment. Researchers should be convinced that there is a system around them to help them apply as well as influence the future applications. If they want to get as much profit out of the system as possible , they should reach out to grant advisors more actively to better explain them what their needs are and on what aspects they need better support. In that way they can help shaping the support system to a really useful instrument.

Do you need help with applying for EU funding? Contact us: collaborate@ru.nl.