EU Funding themes and Proposal Writing Resources:

Horizon Europe aims to fulfill the European Commission’s priorities, ambitions and vision that strives for

  • A European Green Deal
  • An economy that works for people
  • A Europe fit for the digital age
  • Promoting a European way of life
  • A stronger Europe in the world
  • A new push for European democracy

Participating in the EU Funding mechanism requires adherence to several quality and transparent practices. Below are the elements that are mandatory to address in all EU finding application and some additional resources for more information.

Open Science: sharing knowledge, data and tools as early as possible in the Research and Innovation (R&I) process

Data Management Plan: This is a requirement for all EU funded projects to ensure quality and good practices for collection, curation, storage, management, retrieval, re-use, sharing, archiving, and access to EU-funded project data. The University of Galway runs training event  

FAIR Data: Ensuring your data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Resusable, so it can facilitate other researchers’ access to and knowledge facilitation to improve research transparency and longevity. Use this checklist and these resources to assess your data’s FAIRness.

Gender Equality Plans (GEP): This is a mandatory eligibility criterion in Horizon Europe. University of Galway is committed to supporting gender diversity, equality and inclusion (Gender Equality Plan) and has been an Athena SWAN Charter member since 2015.

As we are proud to have a diverse group of researchers in CÚRAM and we know English is not everyone's first language, here is a link to Horizon Europe in 23 languages

Be aware that budget approval and National Contact point reviews must be booked in advance. For the University of Galway, there are strict internal deadlines for the benefit of researchers. These allow time for budget review, proposal review and proposal preparation support. You can find lots more information on the University of Galway Research Office Site.


The University of Galway Researcher Development Centre also provides courses for students and staff on writing, presenting, communicating your research and more.

Early Career Researcher Funding Pathways

Writing a proposal is always worthwhile and can become the foundation of or an evolution of your thesis or research paper. No written word is ever a waste of time and there is no such thing as an unsuccessful grant: either you are successful in obtaining funding or you receive invaluable reviewer comments that will maximise your chances for getting funding next time by enhancing your application. Below is a useful comparison table on the current available funding opportunities based on years post PhD to establish yourself as an independent researcher. If your grant proposal is not funded in one programme it may be possible to flip it into another funding Proposals depending on the eligibility window, call timing, and finding requirements.


Post PhD Eligibility Window

How much/How long

Call Open/Close

IRC Postdoctoral Fellowship

Up to 5 years

€150,000, 1-2 years

Sep/Oct Annual

MSCA Individual Fellowship

Up to 8 years

€200,000, 2-3 years

May/Sep Annual

IRC Enterprise Partnership

Within 5 years

€100,000, 2 years (~20% cofund)

Oct/Dec Annual

SFI Industry Fellowship

Min +3 years post PhD

€100,000, 1 years  (~20% cofund)

Feb/May & Oct Bi-annual

Wellcome Trust Early Career Awards

Max +3 years post PhD

€400,000, 5 years

Oct/Feb Annual

Gaining Independence

Post PhD Eligibility Window

How much/How long

Call Open/Close

SFI Pathway Programme

Min +2 years post PhD

€425,000, 4 years

May/Jul Annual

SFI Frontiers for the Future

Min +3 years post PhD

€1M, 4-5 years


IRC Coalesce

Min +2 years post PhD

€200k-350k, 2-3 years

Sep/Nov Annual

HRB Emerging Investigator

Min +4 years post PhD

€300k + salary, 4 years

Jun/Aug Biannual

HRB Clinical Scientist Awards

Min +4 years post PhD

€50k + 50% salary, 4-5 years

Aug/Nov Biannual

Leading Research Teams

Post PhD Eligibility Window

How much/How long

Call Open/Close

ERC Starter

2-7 years post PhD


Jul/Oct Annual

IRC Laureate Starter

3-8 years post PhD

400,000, 2-4 years

2023 call pending

Royal Society Fellowship

3-8 years post PhD

400,000, up to 8 years (~20% cofund)

Jul/Sep Annual

Wellcome Trust Career Development Award

PhD + research lead

80% Salary

Nov/Feb Annual