Changes to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Since 2014, Innovayt has assisted in more than 120 proposals for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme under Horizon 2020, with an overall success rate significantly higher than the general average. MSCA strives to help attract and support the best researchers in Europe and has become the reference programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training. Universities, companies and individuals within all themes and industries can apply for MSCA funding and support. However, the turn of the year brought Horizon 2020 to its end and set another seven-year EU programme for research and innovation in motion. The new Horizon Europe involves important changes to MSCA, and Innovayt is here to help.

One major change is the name of the actions, through which MSCA achieve the interventions. MSCA involves the following five intervention areas: training and mobility of researchers, strengthening human capital across the European Research Areas (ERA), facilitating synergies, and promoting public outreach. Each intervention is achieved through certain actions, which previously and respectively were called Innovative Training Networks (ITN), Individual Fellowships (IFs), Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), COFUND, and Researcher’s Night. But are now respectively called Doctoral Networks, Postdoctoral Fellowships, Staff Exchange, COFUND, and MSCA and Citizens.

Notably, for the full proposal work in the ITN programme between 2014 and 2020, Innovayt was very successful. 12 out of total 16 proposals were funded, and many more done by researchers but with Innovayt assistance for project scoping and quality control.

Other major changes are found within the actions. The Doctoral Networks, which is an international research training programme with participation from both universities and businesses, now enrol all fellows in doctoral training and has reduced the number of eligible fellow-months in projects to 360 (or up to 540 in case of industrial or joint doctorates) as well as restricted the number of resubmissions below quality threshold. The Postdoctoral Fellowships involves support for transnational recruitment of experienced researchers and has also restricted resubmissions below quality threshold. Additional changes include replacing panels with incentives and issuing destinations as European and Global. Lastly, the Staff Exchanges gives support for knowledge-sharing and collaboration through staff exchange between interdisciplinary sectors, where interdisciplinary secondments within Europe now are possible and the number of person-months has been reduced to 360 to make projects more manageable.

In 2021, applications to the Doctoral Networks opens May 4 and closes November 16 whereas applications to the Postdoctoral Fellowships opens April 15 and closes September 15. Important to remember, these dates are subject to change but applicants are recommended to start the application process sooner rather than later.

Do you have questions about the MSCA programme or need assistance with the upcoming application process? Do not hesitate to contact Reinaldo Ramos, Partner and Director of Academic Services at Innovayt.

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