Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)​ in Horizon Europe

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are part of the 'Excellence' Pillar 1 within Horizon 2020 and continuing in Horizon Europe. They operate on a completely bottom-up basis, with no pre-defined priority areas. MSC actions are open to all research areas and support fundamental research through to near market activities. In Horizon Europe, MSCA will continue to provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers - be they doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers with a strong emphasis on encouraging international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility (the '3 I's').

The new programme also responds to the challenges sometimes faced by researchers by offering attractive working conditions, a career development plan and the opportunity to move between academic and other settings. Some of the schemes within the MSCA are aimed at individual researchers and others are aimed at institutions. 

MSC Actions

Doctoral Networks (formally Innovative Training Networks) fund doctoral programmes designed to respond to well-identified needs in various research and innovation areas. The Doctoral Programme is set up by partnerships of universities, research institutions and research infrastructures, businesses including SMEs, and other socio-economic actors from different countries across Europe and beyond. The Doctoral Programme will be designed to develop entrepreneurial, innovative doctoral candidates and equip them with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences. There by enhancing their career perspectives in both within and outside academia. The funded Doctoral Networks will hold open recruitment procedures thought out the course of the maximum 48-month project and the recruited candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria outlined in the MSCA Work Programme. The EC provides a contribution to the salary costs of the doctoral candidate, and the research, training and networking costs as well as a contribution to the overall management of the project. The full EC contribution is listed in the MSCA Work Programme.

Postdoctoral Fellowships (formally Individual Fellowships) are aimed at individual fellows who already have a doctoral degree and wish to enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD, wishing to acquire new skills through further research. Postdoctoral Fellowships can either can take place in Europe (i.e. in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country, known as European Postdoctoral Fellowship) or in a Third Country not associated to Horizon Europe (Global Postdoctoral Fellowship). The fellowship last for 12-36 month depending the type of fellowship one is applying for. The Postdoctoral fellows can undertake research trips, such as visits to other laboratories, archives or field work, as well as undertaking, secondments. There is also an option to undertake an additional period of up to six months at the end of the project to spend time in a non-academic organization established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country (placement). The Post-doctoral researcher must meet specific eligibility criteria as outlined in the MSCA Work Programme. The EC provides a contribution to the salary costs of the doctoral candidate, and the research, training and networking costs as well as a contribution to the overall management of the project. The full EC contribution is listed in the MSCA Work Programme.

Staff Exchanges (formally RISE) fund collaborative research and innovation projects which involve organisations from the academic and non-academic sectors (including SMEs) from across the globe. The Staff Exchanges promote international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility of research and innovation staff leading to the sharing of knowledge and best practices. The mobility will take place through secondments within a joint research and innovation project, and secondments can be undertaken by research, technical, administrative and managerial staff both based in Europe (EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries) and outside of Europe (third countries). The Staff Exchange projects run for a maximum of 48 months and the individual secondments must last at least one month and cannot be longer than 12 months for the same staff member and can be split into several stays with one or several beneficiaries or associated partners. The EC provide a top-up allowance to contribute towards the cost of the secondment as well as a contribution to the research, training and networking costs and the overall management of the project as detailed in the MSCA Work Programme.

Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND) co-fund new or existing regional, national or international doctoral or postdoctoral programmes to support international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary research training. The funded programmes will hold open recruitment procedures thought out the course of the maximum 60-month project. The recruited candidates must meet specific eligibility criteria outlined in the MSCA Work Programme. Though a mono beneficiary action, the programmes can include implementation partners who are able to recruit candidates.  The EC contribution covers the minimum remuneration as outlined in the MSCA Work Programme.

MSCA and Citizens (formally Researchers Night) is a coordination and support action which aims to bring research and researchers closer to the public and large through the organization of the European Researchers Night that takes place every year on the last Friday of September. Supported events can last up to two days as well as pre-events and related post-events, such as wrap-up meetings or small-scale follow-up events. Partnerships and coordination at regional, national or cross-border levels is strongly encouraged. The EC contribution is based on a lump sum funding model and details are provided in the MSCA Work Programme.