You are visiting the public pages on our employee web. Please log in to access content that is only for employees.

Människor som går på Drottninggatan i centrala Stockholm.

International funders

Information about international research funding streams in Europe and beyond.

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the European Union's latest framework programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion for the period 2021-27. Calls for projects are divided in three so-called "pillars" that have different puroposes and orientations, as well as a common "horizontal" section.

All calls can be applied for in the EU's Funding and Tenders Portal. External link.

The first pillar aims to make the EU a global leader in scientific research by funding excellence and attracting international talent. The main focus is placed on open research of the highest quality. To achieve these aims, Pillar one uses three different streams of funding:

The European Research Council (ERC)

ERC grants support researcher-initiated groundbreaking research of the highest quality in all areas for both early-career and more established researchers. Read more about ERC grants External link. (and see also the work programme for 2024 External link.). The competition for these grants is tough and a strong application requires careful preparation. There is an ongoing ERC initiative at Södertörn University that offers generous support to ERC applicants, which you can read more about here. Also read Södertörn University's guide to ERC grants:

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

MSCA promotes mobility, education, career development and the exchange of ideas for researchers at different career stages, as well as other actors who work with research and innovation. Among the five Marie Curie actions, you for instance find the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships External link., which provide very attractive opportunities for the career advancement of promising early-career scholars. Read more about MSCA External link. (and see the work programme for 2023-24 External link.)

Research Infrastructures (RI)

This final component of Pillar I supports the development, upgrading and consolidation of pan-European research infrastructures. Read more about RIs External link.

Pillar two uses research and innovation to tackle societal and global challenges and to support EU policy. In contrast to Pillar one, the calls for proposals in Pillar two are far more directed and predefined, with specific outcomes and impacts that proposals are expected to fulfill. they also require the constitution of an international consortium from at least three member states or associated countries to be able to apply.

There are three main components in Pillar two:


The calls in Pillar two are divided into six different clusters (or research areas), which in turn are divided in destinations (or sub-themes) which reflect the EU's policy priorities. Click on the links below to read more about each cluster and their most recent work programmes (as well as their associated destinations and calls for projects):

  1. Health External link. (see work programme 2023-24 External link.)
  2. Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Societies External link. (see work programme 2023-24 External link.)
  3. Civil Security for Society External link. (see work programme 2023-24 External link.)
  4. Digital, Industry and Space External link. (see work programme 2023-24 External link.)
  5. Climate, Energy and Mobility External link. (see work programme 2023-24 External link.)
  6. Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment External link. (see work programme 2023-24 External link.)

Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Some calls in Pillar two can suggest the involvement of the Joint Research Centre, an organ that supports EU decision making by giving independent scientific advice to the European Commission. Read more about the JRC External link..


Pillar two also includes the new Missions initiative, which are oriented research and innovation instruments that aim to meet a set of measurable goals in areas of key social importance before 2030.

The five areas that constitute missions are:

  1. Adaptation to Climate Change
  2. Beating Cancer
  3. Restoring our Oceans and Waters
  4. Developing Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities
  5. A Soil Deal for Europe

Read more about Missions External link. (see also work programme 2023-24 External link.)

Pillar three aims to make the EU into a leader in innovative businesses by stimulating and facilitating innovation, from the earliest idea to the late stage of commercialisation. Three complementary instruments are deployed for this purpose:

European Innovation Council (EIC)

EIC provides funding opportunities for identifying and developing innovations, especially when they involve high risks. The council provides support for commercialising existing innovations, but the Pathfinder External link. programme may be of greatest interest for academic researchers as it primarily funds projects in the pre-commercial innovation stage. Read more about EIC External link. (and see the 2023 work programme External link.)

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

EIT aims to build cross-border partnerships between business, education and research to work towards common goals and advance the EU's innovation capability and competitiveness. Read more about EIT External link.

European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE)

EIE work as a complement to the EIC, the EIT and other EU-funded innovation activities to improve the general European innovation ecosystem. Read more about EIE External link. (and see the work programme for 2023-24 External link.).

The three pillars rest upon a fourth cross-cutting research area that is relevant to all of them, called Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area (WIDERA). One part of this area involves actions that aim to widen participation and spread excellence External link., especially to help less competitive EU countries bolster their research and innovation capacity. The second part of the area aims to reform and strengthen the European research and innovation system External link.. The range of initiatives is broad, often involving various types of partnerships or mobility, but also include the funding of research and innovation networks through so called COST Actions External link., where widening countries are expected to make up a substantial share. For more information on this transversal research area of Horizon Europe, read the work programme for 2023-24 External link..

Interested in applying for Horizon Europe funding? Start by reading the EU commission's recommendations External link. for writing a competitive application.

Other international funding

Below you can find a list of other EU programs that provide research funding. You can also find a list of Most of these can also be applied for using the EU's Funding and Tenders Portal External link.. You can also find a list of other international research funders that publish calls that reserchers based in Sweden are eligible for. These are often stipends directed to early career researchers but also include funding for more experienced researchers. Beyond the examples below, you can find more such opportunities by using the research funding portal ResearchConnect.

Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) External link.
Provides funding for projects in the areas of migration, asylum and integration.

Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme (CERV) External link.
The CERV programme seeks to support and develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law.

Creative Europe External link.
The European Commission's programme for providing support to the culture and audiovisual sectors.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) External link.
Strengthens the EU’s economic, social and territorial cohesion by correcting imbalances between regions through programmes implemented by local authorities.

Programme for Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) External link.
Aims to achieve the shift towards a sustainable, circular and resilient economy, protect and restore the environment, halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

European Defence Fund External link.
The Commission's key initiative to support collaborative research and development of defence capabilities with the EU budget.

American Council of Learned Societies External link.
Provides various forms of funding for research in the humanities and social sciences independently of nationality.

Collaboration of Humanities and Social Sciences in Europe (CHANSE) External link.
This joint initiative of 27 research funding organizations from 24 countries is co-financed by the EU and publishes calls in the humanities and social sciences that can be applied for through a European consortium.

European Media and Information Fund External link.
Gives grants to researchers, fact-checkers, NGOs and other organisations in European countries working with disinformation research.

French Institute External link.
Provides grants for short research stays in Paris through Three programs: SFVE-A program External link., Eva de la Gardie program External link., and Sophie Germain program External link..

Fulbright Commission External link.
Beyond funding international students at American universities, the Fulbright commission even funds international early-career researchers who with to conduct research in the United States.

Humboldt Foundation External link, opens in new window.
Funds postdoctoral and more experienced researchers for research stays at a German university.

Fritz Thyssen Foundation External link, opens in new window.
Funds research in the humanities, social sciences and life sciences through a partnership with a German university.

NordForsk External link.
The cooperation organisation was founded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and funds Nordic cooperation in research and research infrastructures.

Russell Sage Foundation External link.
Provides grants independently of nationality and university of origin to social scientific research that aims to improve the social and living conditions in the United States.

Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland External link.
Funds 1-4 year projects on the Swedish language and literature in Finland. While the project leader should be tied to a Finnish research institution, project participants can be tied to universities elsewhere in the world.

Feel free to get in touch with us at Grants Office to discuss funding opportunities, receive suggestions for improving an ongoing application, or obtain other types of support in the application process.


Questions about page content? Use the contact in the relevant expander.

Want the page updated? - Fill in this form

For other questions, please email

2024-03-20 by Biörn Ivemark