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Marie Curie Research Programmes


Marie Curie Research ProgrammesInvesting in innovative research is investing in Europe’s future.  The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) help to fund career development opportunities for researchers at all stages of their careers.  They encourage the development of skills for innovation in all scientific disciplines, through worldwide and cross-sector mobility.  The scheme offers high-quality and innovative research training and knowledge sharing opportunities in the academic and non-academic sectors.  A strong emphasis is given to the employability of researchers and the enhancement of transferable skills, entrepreneurship, management and financing of research activities and programmes, management of intellectual property rights, ethical aspects and communication.

The MSCA ensure attractive employment and working conditions for researchers. For instance, funded research projects must promote gender balance and equal opportunities in order to counteract previous barriers in these areas.

Funded beneficiaries are also required to undertake public outreach activities to bridge the gap between science and society, raising awareness of the impact of researchers’ work on citizens’ daily lives.


As of January 2014, with the move to Horizon 2020, the Marie Curie Actions are now called the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA).  This change better reflects the Polish roots of this extraordinary scientist who inspired and inspires the programme.

Awarding €6.16 billion in the period to 2020, the MSCA support research training and career development focused on innovation skills. The programme funds worldwide and cross-sector mobility that implements excellent research in any field (a "bottom-up" approach).

There are MSCA grants for all stages of a researcher's career, from PhD candidates to highly experienced researchers, which encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, financing 25,000 PhDs.

Endowing researchers with new skills and a wider range of competences, while offering them attractive working conditions, is a crucial aspect of the MSCA. In addition to fostering mobility between countries, the MSCA also seek to break the real and perceived barriers between academic and other sectors, especially business. Several MSCA initiatives promote the involvement of industry etc. in doctoral and post-doctoral research.


There are four main types of MSCA:
  • Research networks (ITN): support for Innovative Training Networks that develop new researchers
  • Individual fellowships (IF): support for experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries, with the option to work outside academia
  • Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE): for international and inter-sectoral cooperation
  • Co-funding (Cofund): of regional, national and international programmes that finance research training or fellowships involving mobility to or from another country

The MSCA also funds the European Researchers' Night (NIGHT), public events involving researchers which take place every year across Europe on the fourth Friday of September.


How to apply?

You will find all information necessary to prepare and submit a proposal for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions call on the call page of Participants Portal.

The Participant Portal contains the essential information to guide you through the process of preparing and submitting a proposal, including the Guide for Applicants. Proposals are submitted electronically via the Commission's Participants Portal - Electronic Proposal Submission Service (EPSS) before a strictly-enforced deadline.

Work Programme 2016-17 [PDF] provides a detailed description of the action, its objectives and scope, the eligibility criteria, the EU contribution and the evaluation criteria.

Guides for Applicants and Work programmes are revised each year, so make sure you refer to the latest version before preparing your proposal.

The Guide and the Work programme are essential reading. However, you may also wish to consult other reference and background documents, particular those relating to negotiation and the grant agreements, which are available from the 'How to manage my project [LINK]' page.

How to apply for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions research fellowship programme: LINK


Who Decides?

REA evaluates all eligible proposals in order to identify those whose quality is sufficiently high for possible funding.  The basis for this evaluation is a peer-review carried out by independent experts.  The results of the evaluation will be made available on the call page of the Participant Portal.

REA then negotiates with some or all of those applicants whose proposals have successfully passed the evaluation stage, depending on the budget available.  If negotiations are successfully concluded, grant agreements providing for an EU financial contribution are established with the participants.


Open Calls?

Proposals are submitted in reply to a call for proposals.  Calls can be found on the “When to Apply Page” of the Marie Curie Actions website, which also contains all useful information about the actions:

Open calls - Apply now for Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions research fellowships by viewing this LINK