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Radboud Horizon Europe Stories - Liedeke Plate, director of Radboud Institute for Culture and History, on ways how Horizon Europe can enable researchers to acquire new knowledge, increase their expertise, and expand their international network.

Date of news: 12 May 2022

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

We have asked Liedeke Plate, director of Radboud Institute for Culture and History, to share her reflections on how Horizon Europe can enable researchers to acquire new knowledge, increase their expertise, and expand their international network.

  • Why EU funding applications are important for RICH researchers in your opinion?

RICH aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding of the changing place of Europe in the world, and to the changing world of which Europe forms a part. Our cultural, historical and literary experts are able to offer a much-needed wider perspective on today’s urgent societal challenges. A humanities point of view, so to say. Through Horizon Europe funding applications, both as coordinator or co-applicant, RICH can increase its impact and deepen existing knowledge. Especially if we look at the opportunities within Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society. There we can enrich new European research projects with long-term historical perspectives, digital humanities expertise, and insights on cultural and political representation. So, in addition to possibly acquiring substantial funding for research and innovation projects, getting involved in a Horizon Europe Cluster project will enable researchers to acquire new knowledge, increase their expertise, and expand their international network. With their knowledge and expertise, they can offer a valuable addition to European projects.

  • How did EU Support Programme help RICH researchers prepare for Horizon Europe? Have you noticed any changes in attitude of researchers towards potential applications compared to previous H2020 rounds?

First of all, the EU Support Programme provided much needed information on current and upcoming research topics within the Horizon Europe programme. I think the combination of broad information sessions, webinars zooming in on specific parts of the programme relevant for our institute, co-development sessions and grant writing trainings for individual researchers, will yield in the long run. It is very helpful that tools and formats for preparing proposal-paragraphs like management, ethics or governance have become available. The annotated templates make it possible for researchers to focus on the scientific content, in cooperation with their international colleagues. In this first round of Horizon Europe, the help offered by the EU Support Programme to search for partners proved very helpful. Although certainly not all connections lead to successful applications, it helped several researchers to further develop their European network. These new connections are also very valuable for other applications, e.g., COST Action, Citizens Equality Rights and Values or the national NWA-ORC programme.

  • What support for their proposals can researchers get at RICH? What advice would you give to researchers in view of available EU funding opportunities and available grant support at Radboud overall?

Most important is to start in time. The EU offers many relevant funding opportunities. However, researchers need to orient themselves early, so that there is sufficient time to develop their research ideas and search for relevant partners. Next to that, I urge them to contact their grant support officers, who can provide information but also brainstorm with them, even when their interest or idea is still very sketchy. We can support researchers by providing grant information, topic matchmaking, knowledge utilization paragraphs, budget development, proposal reviews, etcetera. We work closely together with the EU-grant experts at the overarching Radboud University level to do so.

Since March 2021, RICH offers researchers who wish to get involved in and write a proposal under one of the three destinations under Horizon Europe Cluster 2, extra research time in the form of a course release of one course (the Horizon Europe incentive grant). We realize getting involved in a Horizon Europe project is time-consuming, but it has so much advantages. We hope this course release provides an additional incentive for taking this new step in their career development and internationalization strategy.