Brexit – Impact on EU Funding

The University is committed to ensuring that staff are updated on developments directly affecting them. Updates will appear on this page and the For Staff pages.

The University also has a dedicated Brexit information page for current and prospective students.

Brexit Deal Reached

The UK has now officially left the EU as of 1 January 2021.

The EU and UK signed the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement (Brexit deal) on 30 December 2020. Provisionally applied since 1 January 2021, this agreement sets out the terms of the future EU and UK relationship.

Although Brexit will ultimately change the structural relationship between the EU and the UK, collaboration with our European partners will remain a priority.

Horizon Europe – UK to become an Associated Country

Horizon Europe is the next funding Research & Innovation programme (2021-2027). Pending ratification by all parties, the Brexit deal has ensured that the UK will be permitted to participate in this programme as an Associated Country.

Horizon Europe has now been officially established, with the entry into force of the Horizon Europe Regulation on 12 May 2021. This allows the European Commission to officially commence talks on association with the UK and other non-EU countries.

For further information about Horizon Europe including UK association, please consult our Horizon Europe page.

UK to participate in first Horizon Europe calls before Association Agreement is signed

Whilst the first calls for proposals are expected to be published before UK association enters into force, the EC has stated in a Q&A document on UK participation in Horizon Europe that ‘UK entities […] will have full rights to participate in the first calls for proposals of Horizon Europe as soon as they are published on the European Commission’s website.’

Please consult our Horizon Europe page for further information about the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe.

UK Participation in other EU Funding Programmes

Draft Protocol I of the Joint Declaration on Participation in Union Programmes states that the UK may also participate in:

  • Joint Research Centre (JRC) activities
  • European Partnerships in the form of Article 185 and 187 (Joint Programming)
  • The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
  • European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERICs)
  • European Research Area Committee (ERAC)

The UK has also reached agreement with the EU to associate to the next Euratom Research & Training (R&T) Programme 2021-2025. This agreement includes UK participation in the ITER fusion collaboration through membership of Fusion for Energy.

Turing scheme to replace Erasmus +

The UK will no longer participate in the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-2027). As a replacement scheme, the UK Government has announced the new Turing scheme. The scheme will be administered by the British Council and Ecorys which have previously been delivering Erasmus+ in the UK for a number of years.

With a budget of £100 million, the scheme will support thousands of students to study and work abroad, starting September 2021. For further information on the scheme, please consult the Turing scheme website and programme guide (published on 3 March 2021).

How does Brexit affect EU-funded research and proposals?

Horizon 2020: Continued UK participation

The UK has now officially left the EU since 1 January 2021. However, in terms of research funding, the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement allows continued UK participation in Horizon 2020 (as if a Member State) until the end of the programme. This includes the Green Deal call (deadline 26th January 2021) as this is still funded under H2020.

This means:

  • All current awards from these programmes will continue as normal;
  • All applications pending evaluation will follow the same process as previously;
  • Applications to remaining calls that involve UK partners are eligible for the remainder of the programme under the same terms and procedures, with funding received from the European Commission as normal;
  • Any project funded in H2020 that includes a UK Beneficiary will have its funding honoured until the end of the project duration, even when this falls well beyond 2020.

Horizon Europe: UK to become an Associated Country (AC)

Pending ratification of the Brexit deal and adoption of the Horizon Europe Programme regulations, the UK will have access to Horizon Europe as an Associated Country.
An Association Agreement to be agreed between the UK and the EU will determine to what extent and from when the UK will have access to the next Framework Programme (2021-2027).  The exact nature of our association will become clearer in the upcoming weeks. Association should now be much quicker than if it were to be negotiated outside of an overall deal. Updates will be provided on our Horizon Europe page in due course.

Concerns about collaborations in Horizon Europe

We advise that all discussions regarding collaborations continue. Now that UK participation is confirmed, the risk of the UK not being involved in any capacity has gone.

Brexit & EC evaluation of UK proposals

The Commission has gone to some length to ensure there is no bias or negative effect on evaluation processes. The first briefing slide for evaluators is to disregard Brexit from any judgement and the evaluation process includes independent observers to monitor that all such procedures are followed. The Commission has advised against including any risk mitigation of Brexit in applications as it is not a consideration to be evaluated and will not affect awarded grants.

In a speech delivered on 25 July at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2016 in Manchester, EU Commissioner for R+I, Carlos Moedasstated that:

As long as the UK is a member of the European Union, EU law continues to apply and the UK retains all rights and obligations of a Member State, including full eligibility for funding under Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 projects will continue to be evaluated based on merit and not on nationality.

Erasmus + and the Turing Scheme - FAQ

*Update as of 9 March 2021*

As we have received a number of queries about Erasmus+, we have gathered together some information below. Please note the EU Team does not deal with the Erasmus+ programme. If you have any queries, please contact the relevant department as per the information below.

As a replacement scheme for the next Erasmus + programme (2021-2027), the UK Government has announced on 26 December 2020 the brand new Turing scheme: The Turing scheme will be backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021.’

The newly set up Turing scheme website says:

‘The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s scheme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. It supports Global Britain by providing an opportunity for UK organisations from the higher education, further education, vocational education and training and schools sectors to offer their students,learners and pupils life-changing experiences to study or work abroad. ’

What will the Turing scheme look like?

The new scheme will be managed by the British Council and Ecorys, which have previously been delivering Erasmus+ in the UK.

To Turing Scheme has four main objectives:

In other words, the Turing scheme will:

  • be truly international, supporting mobility to ‘countries across the world’.
  • only support outward mobility.
    Funding has not been made available to support incoming mobility. Agreements will need to be reached with partner institutions, which will also need to provide their own funding to send students to UK institutions.
  • support widening opportunities by providing additional support to students, learners and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds

Schemes under KA2 and KA3 of the Erasmus+ programme will not be replicated under the Turing scheme.

For more information about the scheme, please consult:

Further details, updates and the opportunities for Leeds students will be provided on the Study Abroad website in the next few weeks, when more details on the scheme are known.

When will the University be able to apply to the new Turing scheme?

According to the Turing website, ‘eligible organisations can now apply. The deadline for Higher Education applications is Friday 9 April 2021, 12.00 noon.  The first funded placements will begin at the start of the 2021-22 academic year’.

Can the UK continue to participate in the current Erasmus+ Programme?

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the Erasmus+ (2014-2020). This means that the projects successfully bid for during the 2014-2020 programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project as usual, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period.

Erasmus + Funding for Staff – can I still apply for this academic year?

The withdrawal agreement ratified by both the UK and EU allows the University to fund Erasmus teaching and training visits in the 2020/21 academic year (and possibly into the 2021/22 academic year.)
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is not accepting applications for Erasmus+ funded teaching or training visits until further notice. Further information about the scheme can be found on the Student Education Service website. For any queries, please contact

Erasmus + Funding for Students – can I still apply for this academic year?
Academic year 2020-2021

If you are a 2020/21 University of Leeds study abroad student whose placement has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, please see the Study Abroad Office dedicated page about how your Erasmus+ grant may be affected and what you need to do. Please also consult the Study Abroad FAQ on Erasmus + for the year 2020-2021 and how it is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Academic year 2021-2022

The Erasmus+ programme is due to run until the end of the 2020/21 academic year. An extension request from the University has been approved which means we may be able to provide funding subject to Erasmus+ regulations and any other changes that affect the status of the extension or the funding level.

The University is still waiting for confirmation of the full details. The Study Abroad Office will provide an update via their Erasmus+ page  when more information is available.

For any queries, please contact

Why can the UK no longer participate in the next Erasmus+ programme (2021-2027)?

Whilst every attempt was made on securing agreement, the UK and the EU were unable to come to an agreement. The terms relating to the cost of participation was deemed to be too high for the UK.