The European Union (EU) is a major actor in research financing; its various schemes complement or  aim at fostering mobility of students and researchers around Europe, and to attract talents from all over the world in order to promote excellence in research and innovation.

Visit the website of the Delegation of the European Union to India to find out more about EU-India research and innovation cooperation.

On this page you will find information about EURAXESS, an information portal for international students and researchers looking for opportunities in Europe, Horizon 2020, a research and innovation funding programme, and the Erasmus student mobility programme.


EURAXESS India is a networking and information tool for European researchers working in India and Indian ones wishing to collaborate and/or pursue a research career in Europe. It was launched in 2011 and provides information about research in Europe, European research policy, opportunities for research funding, for international collaboration and for trans-national mobility. Membership is free.

Download the brochure or visit the website of EURAXESS India.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is a programme of the Commission of the European Union that provides financing to research and innovation in order to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. €80 billion have been made available for the period 2014-2020 to irrigate basic research, applied research, and innovation, with the aim of taking ideas from the lab to market.

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, including non-European researchers, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

It is structured in 3 pillars:

  • Excellent Science (which includes European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, see below)
  • Industrial Leadership
  • Societal Challenges

Find more information on the website of Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 and India

The Indian Department of Science and Technology and the European Commission have agreed to jointly fund India-EU collaborative research, technology development and deployment project proposal. Click here for more information about this programme.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (for individuals and organisations)

Awarding €6.16 billion in the period to 2020, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) support research training and career development focused on innovation skills. The programme funds worldwide and cross-sector mobility that implements excellent research in any field (a “bottom-up” approach).

There are MSCA grants for all stages of a researcher’s career, from PhD candidates to highly experienced researchers, which encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, financing 25,000 PhDs.

There are four main types of MSCA:

The MSCA also funds the European Researchers’ Night (NIGHT), public events involving researchers which take place every year across Europe on the fourth Friday of September.

European Research Council (ERC)

The European Research Council (ERC) is a body established by the European Commission to fund scientific and technical research, to be conducted within the European Union. The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. A total budget of 13 095 million euro is available for the implementation of the ERC funding schemes under Horizon 2020.

Grants are awarded to the principal investigator (PI) based on the sole criteria of scientific excellence of the research project, and the PI is given generous funding for a period of up to 5 years, with autonomy to manage the funds, hire collaborators, and orient the direction of his/her research work. All domains of research are eligible: Physical Sciences and Engineering, Social Sciences and Humanities, and Life Sciences.

ERC funding comes in 4 different types of grants:

  • ERC Starting Grant for young, early-career top researchers (2-7 years after PhD) -up to 1.5 million euro for a period of 5 years.
  • ERC Consolidator Grant for already independent excellent researchers 7-12 years after PhD) -up to 2 million euro for a period of 5 years.
  • ERC Advanced Grant for senior research leaders with significant research achievements in the last 10 years -up to 2.5 million euro for a period of 5 years.
  • ERC Proof of Concept Grants for ERC grant holders who want to check the market and/or innovation potential of research results from ERC-projects -up to 150,000 euro for a period of 12 months.

For more information, visit the website of ERC, or the ERC section of the H2020 website.

For students: Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees

An Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD), is a prestigious, integrated, international study programme, jointly delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions. EMJMDs award EU-funded scholarships to the best student candidates applying under annual selection rounds.

Students at Master’s level worldwide (including India) can apply.

Study must take place in at least two of the Programme countries. Part of the studies can also take place in a Partner countries if there is a partner-country institution involved.

You must have obtained a first higher education degree or demonstrate a recognised equivalent level of learning, according to national legislation and practices, in the degree-awarding countries.

Find more information on Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees website.