Cluster 2 – “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society” aims to meet EU goals and priorities on enhancing democratic governance and citizens participation, on the safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage, and to respond to and shape multifaceted social, economic, technological and cultural transformations.

Text relating to Cluster 2 call topics is published here.

EU exit and Horizon Europe

The government has announced that the UK will associate to Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme that will run from 2021 to 2027. Association will give UK scientists, researchers and businesses access to funding under the programme on equivalent terms as organisations in EU countries. We therefore strongly encourage researchers, businesses, and innovators in the UK and worldwide to continue to work together in establishing global consortia to bid for funding.

For more information, please see the UKRI EU Exit pages, the UK government Horizon Europe guidance, the UKRO factsheet on UK Participation in EU Programmes for Research, Innovation and Higher Education (if you are an UKRO subscriber), or contact the relevant NCP.


Destinations can be understood as a theme within the broader challenge.

In the first destination, Innovative research on democracy and governance, actions will reinvigorate democratic governance and improve trust in democratic institutions. They will help safeguard fundamental rights to empower active and inclusive citizenship. By doing so, they will also strengthen accountability, transparency, effectiveness and trustworthiness of rule of law-based institutions and policies. Activities will protect liberties and the rule of law, and shield democracy from multidimensional threats. They will aim to expand political participation, social dialogue and social inclusion, civic engagement and gender equality.

In the second destination, Innovative research on European cultural heritage and the Cultural and Creative Industries, activities will promote better access and engagement with cultural heritage and improve its protection, enhancement and restoration. Research and innovation will support sustainable growth and job creation through the cultural and creative industries and contribute to integrate them into the European industrial policy as drivers for innovation and competitiveness.

Through the third destination, Innovative research on social and economic transformations, actions will help tackle social, economic and political inequalities, support human capital development and contribute to a comprehensive European strategy for inclusive growth. This also involves understanding and responding to the impacts of technological advancements and economic interconnectedness with a view to social resilience.


Each broad “call area” contains specific “topics” – these “topics” correspond more closely to what ESRC normally refers to as a “call”. Each Cluster 2 call topic starts with HORIZON to indicate Horizon Europe, CL2 to indicate Cluster 2, followed by the year in which the topic closes; it then has the name of the “call” within which it is found (Democracy, Heritage or Transformations); followed by its own topic number (unique within each of the three Cluster 2 Destinations). After this shorthand unique identifier for each topic, the title is given.

Budget and funding rates

The budget and funding rates for topics within Cluster 2 can be found in the work programme, which are published here.


The evaluation criteria for Cluster 2 proposals can be found in the General Annexes, which can be found here.