Maria Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
Researcher training schemes operating on a ‘bottom-up’ basis where the applicant proposes the research topic in all research and innovation domains and from basic research to market take-up.
The schemes cover everyone from PhD students to established researchers. Mobility (cross-border and cross-sector) is a key requirement with participation across sectors (non-academic sectors such as SMEs/industry or museums/libraries etc.) strongly encouraged and sometimes required. The focus of all the MSCA schemes is on training, to aid in developing new knowledge and enhance skills of people behind research and innovation. Dissemination and public engagement, through public outreach activities, and gender balance (equal opportunities but also gender dimension in the research content) are vital components of any MSCA proposal.
There are five schemes within Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions:
- Individual Fellowships (IF) support for experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries, optionally to the non-academic sector.
- IFs are an Individual grant for experienced researchers to support their mobility, research project and training. They provide an apportunity to gain new knowledge in and outside academia, work on research projects in or outside Europe. They are Fullyfunded fellowships (salary, travel, research costs) hosted by academic or nonacademic organisation and have no nationality, age or career stage restrictions for applicant fellows. Specific support for return of researchers to Europe (RI) and career restart for individuals with high potential who have been out of active research (CAR) in the form of dedicated panels.
- Innovative Training Networks (ITN) support for research networks training early stage researchers (<4 years research experience without a PhD)
ITNs are multi-partner training networks developed with the aim of training a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative researchers, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.
There are three types of ITN:
European Training Network (ETN) – the most popular. Joint research training, implemented by at least three partners from in and outside academia.
European Joint Doctorate (EJD) - A minimum of three academic organisations form a network with the aim of delivering joint, double or multiple degrees. Joint supervision of the research fellow and a joint governance structure are mandatory.
European Industrial Doctorate (EID) - Joint doctoral training delivered by at least one academic partner entitled to award doctoral degrees and at least one partner from outside academia, primarily enterprise.
- Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) International and inter-sectoral exchange of research staff.
- Cofunding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND) regional, national and international programmes that finance fellowships involving mobility to or from another country.
- European Researchers’ Night (NIGHT) a Europe-wide public event to stimulate interest in research careers, especially among young people.