On 1 April, the European Commission launched a new initiative to promote the objectives of the European Year of Youth and support young people to develop skills and discover opportunities useful for their professional development: the Horizon Europe calls Youth 2022 initiative. This initiative will allow Master’s students, from any discipline, to witness the evaluation and funding processes of Horizon Europe, the EU’s R&I funding programme. This may lead to an increase in the awareness of research and innovation career opportunities that students can use later in life, and bring more young people to research, innovation and knowledge valorisation career paths.
The Commission will support the selected students with various actions. They will be matched with a mentor from the Commission, who will accompany them throughout the process. They will follow dedicated briefings on the evaluation process, as well as on practical and ethical issues around their participation. While evaluations usually take place online, in some cases, onsite evaluation meetings in Brussels are scheduled. In case of onsite evaluations, the European Commission will cover the travel and accommodation costs and daily allowance of the Young Observers. Students that participate successfully will receive a ‘Young Observer’ certificate, awarded by the Commission.
Since this will be the first time young students will observe the evaluation process, these pioneers will help test the new initiative and provide feedback to the Commission regarding their experience, with a view to further develop the scheme.
Universities are important partners in this initiative and can encourage and support their students to apply. Universities with students participating in Horizon Europe evaluations as Young Observers may be invited to take part in follow-up activities at different levels (European, national, regional) to share their experience.
Who can apply? We are looking for students attending a Master’s course in any subject, in any University in the EU, who are interested in research & innovation and would like to learn more about EU funding for projects. Students from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds or belonging to vulnerable and marginalised groups are particularly encouraged to apply. The call opens on 1 April, and we strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible. This will maximise your chances since the selection process is continuous. The call will close on 14 December 2022.
Young people have been strongly affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their lives, education and careers. The European Year of Youth 2022 is dedicated to them. It will intensify efforts to include youth priorities in relevant EU policy areas and at every level of the EU’s decision-making process. Special emphasis is placed on the need to support young people with fewer chances, to acquire relevant knowledge and experiences to be active and engaged citizens. At all levels, EU, national, regional or local, the European Year of Youth aims to support young people to engage in opportunities that can boost their personal and professional development.