30 June 2020

2020 European Research Funding Information Session

Presented by the UniSA Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise

The EU administers research and education funding programs to support activities not just within Europe, but across the globe. Of particular note are the Horizon 2020 Program, ERASMUS+ Jean Monnet Activities, European Research Council (ERC) Grants and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). These schemes offer opportunities to support the research, education and/or travel of Australian university staff. Each year the UniSA Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence hosts a European Research Funding Information Session, providing UniSA Staff with the key details related to these schemes. These sessions involve presentations by experts on European research and education funding and provide an invaluable opportunity for UniSA staff to learn about a significant source of funding that exists outside the standard Australian based schemes.

The European Research Funding Information Sessions are normally held on campus with experts travelling from the EU Delegation in Canberra. However, in the COVID-19 landscape of reduced travel and limited public gatherings, the 2020 European Research Funding Information Session is being held virtually with a pre-recorded keynote presentation by Mr Nishant Shandilya, Country Representative for Australia & New Zealand at EURAXESS Worldwide. In this presentation, Mr Shandilya focusses specifically on the European Research Council (ERC) Grants and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Mr Shandilya outlines the policy rationale, structure and key thematic areas of these grant programs. The presentation sketches the specific requirements and steps for Australian applications to be correctly made under each scheme. The key questions covered include:

  • What topics, themes, disciplines do these funding schemes cover?
  • What is the process to apply for funding under these schemes?
  • What extra requirements and conditions there are for Australian applicants?
  • Who can Australian applicants contact for advice regarding their applications?

Mr Nishant Shandilya

Nishant Shandilya Photo.jpg

Nishant is the Country Representative of Australia and New Zealand for EURAXESS Worldwide, an initiative of the European Commission that addresses barriers to the mobility of researchers and seeks to enhance scientific collaboration between Europe and the rest of the world. He has advised private and public sector clients in different areas, including innovation, R&D support mechanisms, economic development, SMEs development, evaluations and project management. He has prominently led strategy, innovation and international research projects – including European Commission funded grants (FP7 and Horizon 2020) and tenders, specifically in the fields of ICT, Internationalisation and Social Innovation. This included being actively involved in coordinating and writing grant and tender proposals, preparing strategic roadmaps, carrying out financial projections and budgeting, preparing communication, dissemination and exploitation plans, risk assessments and solutions planning. He has lead-wrote evaluation studies and impact assessment reports through tenders for several EC DGs.

In addition to helping run a few Centre of Excellences’, he has also managed workshops and exhibitions in different parts of the world. Prior to relocating to Sydney, he had been working as a Senior International Consultant at SPI – Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, Porto, Portugal, an international consulting group with offices located in Europe (Portugal and Spain), North America (USA) and Asia (China) and SPI Ventures. He seconded as a Project Manager at the European Business and Innovation Centres Network (EBN), a network of around 150 quality-certified EU|BICs (business and innovation centres) and 70 other organisations that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs.



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