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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) 2018-2020

On 27 October 2017, the European Commission has published the new Work Programme for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under Horizon 2020. It covers the budget as well as calls for proposals for all funding schemes under 2018-2020.

The new Work Programme focusses on the career development of researchers and includes the following modifications with regard to all funding schemes: now experienced researchers are allowed to work part-time, in order to work on other research projects, to set up a company or for individual advanced studies. In addition, researchers can henceforth be active in teaching, whether as tutors or in student support, provided that this takes place in an appropriate manner. Furthermore, the European Commission offers an online "Introductory Training" for further training and has introduced a "MSCA Special Needs Allowance" for researchers with disabilities, which can be requested retroactively for all ongoing projects. Moreover the Living Allowance was increased and the country correction factors were adjusted.

Proposals under all MSCA must be submitted on the specific deadline date via the Electronic Submission System of the European Commission. In order to use the system, you must register with ECAS via the Participant Portal first.

The Work Programme 2018-2020 includes the following funding schemes:

Individual Fellowships (IF)

European Fellowships (EF) for a research stay in an EU Member State or Horizon 2020 Associated Country (MS or AC) of 12 to 24 months.

Global Fellowships (GF) for a research stay in a Third Country of 12 to 24 months plus an obligatory return phase of 12 months to an MS or AC.

Additionally new for IF are Widening Fellowships, which will be implemented through the Work Programme Part 15 (Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation) in order to decrease discrepancies between European countries in their ability to attract excellent researchers. Additionally the eligibility for applicants to the Career Restart Panel has been changed. Now researchers must not have been active in research during a continuous period of 12 months within the 18 months prior to the deadline for submission.

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Innovative Training Networks (ITN)

Innovative Training Networks (ITN) offer financial support for structured doctoral training for four years. Three implementation modi of ITN in Horizon 2020 are possible:

European Training Networks (ETN), which have to consist of at least three institutions in different MS or AC and should also build a consortium of academic and non-academic partners for the training of early-stage researchers.

European Industrial Doctorates (EID), which have to consist of at least two institutions in different MS or AC and different sectors (academic and non-academic).

European Joint Doctorates (EJD), which have to consist of three legal entities situated in different MS or AC, all of which have to be able to award a doctoral degree.

A new aspect for ITN is, that at least two-thirds of the supported early-stage researchers within an EJD must be enrolled in a joint, double or multiple degree within Europe.

Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)

RISE supports international and cross-sectoral collaboration through the exchange of scientific, technical or management staff on the basis of a joint research and/or innovation project of at least three legal entities from different MS/AC and/or different sectors including third countries.

A new aspect for RISE is, that from now on one month of full-time activity in research at the sending institution is sufficient for staff members to be eligible for a secondment.

Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND)

COFUND provides co-financing funds for new or existing regional, national or international postdoc or doctoral programmes. Such programmes fund transnational and cross-sector mobility of researchers and offer interdisciplinary training.

One new aspect for COFUND is, that trainings on Open Science should be offered in the scope of the programmes.

Researchers’ Night (NIGHT)

Researchers’ Night is an event dedicated to public science and outreach activities. It aims to bridge the gap between research and society by highlighting the work of scientists and its impact on people’s daily lives. Participants can be any legal entity in the Member States and Associated Countries.

A new aspect here is, that the duration of the main event can now be up to two full days with optional pre-events earlier in the respective year.