MSCA and Mobility

The Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) are based on the principle of physical mobility: researchers who receive funding must move from one country to another to acquire new knowledge, skills and competences, and develop their research career. Researchers are also strongly encouraged to move between sectors and disciplines.

MSCA and the UK

The UK is an active participant in MSCA and has hosted many grant recipients from this sub-programme under Horizon 2020. During the UK’s non-association period with Horizon Europe, the UK continued to host researchers through the UKRI Guarantee. As of 1 January 2024, the UK can once again host MSCA researchers as EU beneficiaries.

If these recipients are non-UK nationals, they may need a visa to visit, study or work in the UK. The UK has several visa routes for researchers who wish to visit/do research in the UK.

The UK’s association to Horizon Europe

On 24 December 2020, the negotiations on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded, confirming the UK’s intention to associate to Horizon Europe.
As of the 1 January 2024, the UK associated to the Horizon Europe programme. This includes full participation in the programme (except for the EIC Fund), including all MSC Actions.
This means that, from the 2024 Work Programmes and onwards, UK entities can participate in/coordinate Horizon Europe projects and receive funding directly from the European Commission as beneficiaries, with the same rights and obligations as EU Member States. This includes any 2024 calls that opened/closed in 2023.

For MSCA, this means UK institutions:

  • are eligible as a host for the European Fellowships
  • are eligible as an incoming host for Global Fellowships
  • are eligible as a host for secondments and non-academic placements
  • are not eligible as an outgoing host for Global Fellowships

UK participants who have received a UKRI grant under the Horizon Guarantee will remain on it for the lifetime of the project, subject to UKRI’s bespoke terms and conditions. You can read about the transitional arrangements for ongoing projects and applications to 2023 Horizon Europe calls for proposals here.

Visa options

This gives information on potential visa options for researchers coming to the UK on MSCA schemes. Please note this document gives general information on available visa routes into the UK and is not designed to give immigration advice to individuals. UKRO is not legally permitted to provide immigration advice on individual cases.

Paying tax

UK universities and institutions can continue to hire overseas staff for MSCA actions or send staff abroad as part of MSCA actions under the same legislation as in previous years. To work out what is best for you and your organisation, the following information is available:

There is also a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) customer helpline for those living abroad, or intending to live abroad, and who have queries about UK tax issues:

03000 533 148

Outside UK:
+44 3000 533 148

Last updated: 20 May 2024

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