EU research mobility with Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (H2020-MSCA)
Within the “Excellent Science” pillar of Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fund training, employment opportunities and career development for researchers by promoting transnational mobility and by sharing knowledge across the sectors and disciplines.
This should increase the numbers of highly qualified and innovative researchers within the European research community. At the same time, this provides opportunities for the organisations involved to enhance their international and cross-sectoral collaborative work. Applicants are free to choose their research topics, and grants will be awarded to a wide range of projects from fundamental research through to identifying new markets. Researchers’ eligibility is primarily dependent on their transnational mobility and research experience. Financial support is given to fellows and to host institutions. Researchers submit proposals for Individual Fellowships in liaison with their prospective host organisation. When preparing further actions, the host organisations submit a joint proposal and recruit or appoint researchers during the project.
There are four actions in total with some additional sub-actions:
Researchers undertake an individual research training project at a host organisation abroad. A tailored programme of training and interdisciplinary and intersectoral research activities will develop researchers’ creative and innovative potential, thereby boosting their future career prospects.
To be eligible, researchers must demonstrate that they have a PhD or more than four years’ full-time equivalent research experience following their Master’s degree at the time of submission. They must not have spent more than 12 months of the preceding three or five years living or studying in the host country. The proposal is jointly submitted by the researcher and the host organisation’s scientific mentor.
In the case of the European Fellowship, researchers either go to a host organisation in one of the other EU member states or H2020-associated countries for 12 to a maximum of 24 months, or come to a host organisation in Europe, irrespective of their permanent country of residence. In the case of the Global Fellowship, researchers initially go to a host organisation in a third country for 12 to a maximum of 24 months and then complete an obligatory return phase at a host organisation in Europe, which may include the researcher’s home country and own organisation.
An international network of public and/or private research institutions recruits young researchers to participate in a joint research training programme. The scientific and additional training, as well as their transnational, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility, should lead to better employment and career prospects in the (non-)academic sector for these researchers.
The training programme must correspond with the n EU principles for innovative doctoral training to ensure that it improves the structure and quality of similar programmes in Europe.
A proposal for a project lasting no more than 4 years is submitted by representatives from the host organisations (universities, non-university research institutions, companies, stakeholders from the socio-economic sector). At the time of recruitment, researchers must be able to demonstrate that they have no more than 4 years of research experience (full-time equivalent) following their Master's degree, and that they have not yet completed a PhD. Moreover, they must not have spent more than 12 months of the preceding 3 years living or working in the host country. Vacancies for current ITN projects are published on EURAXESS , which is a European Commission initiative.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network sub-actions (H2020-MSCA-ITN):
A minimum of three organisations from different EU member states and/or H2020-associated countries. In addition, institutions from non-EU/H2020-associated countries may be permitted to participate and their eligibility will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is vital that the consortium includes partners from the non-academic sector (industry, NGOs, international organisations, etc.)
A minimum of two organisations from different EU member states and/or H2020-associated countries and different sectors. At least one organisation must come from the non-academic sector, ideally from industry.
Young researchers must enrol on a doctoral programme, be employed on a minimum 50% basis by the non-academic organisation and receive joint mentoring and training from the academic and non-academic partners.
A minimum of three organisations from different EU member states and/or H2020-associated countries. At least three organisations must be entitled to award doctorates, two of which must be based in different EU member states and/or H2020-associated countries.
The young researchers must be enrolled on a doctoral programme. There must be a joint governance structure and common policies for the admission and supervision of researchers. Double or joint degrees are usually awarded.
Within RISE, research institutions in the academic and non-academic sectors based in EU member states, H2020-associated countries and other countries participate in joint research and innovation projects. Staff exchanges, networking activities and joint workshops and conferences involve participants in knowledge transfer and contribute to their skills acquisition and career development.
The objective is to develop new or enhanced intersectoral and/or international collaboration by harnessing the complementary skills of the participating institutions. This establishes an innovative culture supporting creativity and entrepreneurial approaches and aims to incorporate creative ideas into innovative products, services or processes.
Within Europe, funding is available for intersectoral staff exchanges involving researchers and administrative/technical staff. In countries beyond Europe, international staff exchanges may involve employees from any sector of the organisation. The usual Marie Skłodowska-Curie rules do not usually apply to seconded staff.
Representatives from the host organisations submit a proposal for a project lasting no more than 4 years. The consortium must consist of at least three partners from different countries, with a minimum of two EU member states or H2020-associated countries. If host organisations are from the same sector, at least one organisation must be based in a non-EU/non-H2020-associated country.
COFUND facilitates the co-financing of new or pre-existing regional, national or international doctoral programmes and post-doctoral fellowships. It is primarily designed to fund international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training for researchers with a transnational, cross-sectoral mobility element.
The objective is to develop excellence in the training, mobility and career development of researchers within the European research community.
Organisations which finance or operate doctoral programmes or post-doctoral fellowships and are based in an EU member state or H2020-associated country submit a proposal for a multi-year project lasting no more than 60 months. Collaborative projects with partner organisations are viewed favourably.