Ghent University strongly commits to providing extra support for European research funding

Ghent University is ambitious to strengthen its European position, and endorses this ambition by expanding the EU-office with 12 new employees who will support all researchers in raising European funds.

Strengthening internal expertise and support for European funding

In 2019, the Research Council developed a renewed incentive policy for the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, to strengthen Ghent University’s internal expertise in European research and innovation funding and to support Ghent University’s ambitions to achieve a significantly higher position in the European ranking.

"Horizon Europe will be launched at the end of 2020. With this extensive central support, we lower the threshold to take part in the programme. I hope that many of our researchers will take advantage of this opportunity." (Mike Nachtegael, Chief academic administrator)

The Board of Governors followed the advice of the Research Council and decided to recruit 12 new employees who will strengthen the EU-office:

  • Seven employees will be employed as EU account managers, each covering a European theme, to strengthen Ghent University’s participation in Horizon Europe and other European and international programmes and to raise the quality of research proposals to a higher level.
  • Five central EU project managers will assist Ghent University coordinators in leading the consortium through the administrative, legal and financial aspects of Horizon Europe projects.

The vacancies for the new employees are online. Those who are interested can find the vacancies and information about the application procedure on the Ghent University vacancy website (in Dutch)

"With this extensive service, we will strengthen Ghent University’s European network, set a quality standard for research proposals and projects and contribute even more to European policy-making regarding research and innovation. This will allow us to help realizing the impact of Ghent University research in Europe and beyond." (Professor Ignace Lemahieu, Head of the Research Department)

Parallel to the decision to expand the EU-office, the IOF Council has decided to recruit new IOF Innovation Officers.

"Two of them will be employed at Ghent University TechTransfer to support proposals in the third pillar of Horizon Europe, "Innovative Europe", which includes the EIC and the EIT. Six others will be decentrally recruited to support various IOF valorization consortia in acquiring external funding with a valorization objective." (Professor Freddy Haesebrouck, Chairman of the IOF Council)
"The European Innovation Council (EIC) will start next year and is therefore relatively unknown, but will certainly offer opportunities for universities through the EIC Pathfinder program. EIC Pathfinder will be the successor of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) program focusing on radical breakthroughs in research which can form the basis of future innovations." (Wim Van Camp, Head of the TechTransfer Department)

The ambition: more budget and a higher Horizon 2020 ranking by submitting more applications and reaching a higher success rate

A higher success rate will lead to more resources for research, and an increase in Ghent University’s share in the BOF and IOF allocation keys, in which the weight of European research budget has increased since 2019.

With an average of 307 applications submitted annually and a 14.26% success rate in Horizon 2020, there clearly is room for improvement. The budget intake for Ghent University from Horizon 2020 was on average 26.2 million euros per year, which ranked Ghent University on 32nd place in the Horizon 2020 ranking.

Ghent University aspires to conduct more research through European funding, to enhance its social and economic impact. More efforts will be done to increase the participation in ERC and Marie S. Curie Actions, in which basic research can be conducted. If the acquired Ghent University budget rises to 32 million euros per year, this would put Ghent University in the top 20 of the Horizon 2020 ranking.

As from the end of 2020, the expanded EU-office will be able to offer more efficient support to more researchers. Ghent University therefore calls on all researchers to take advantage of this opportunity to submit strong applications together.