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What’s it all about?

The Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND) programme supports existing as well as new regional, national and international programmes that aim to strengthen the international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary training, mobility and career development of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.

What needs to be considered?

Co-financing is provided for either doctoral programmes or post-doctoral programmes:

Doctoral programmes

These should aim to develop and expand research competences and comply with the "EU Principles on Innovative Doctoral Training". Partner institutions, including those from the non-academic sector, can be included in the programme so that doctoral candidates have the opportunity to spend time there for training purposes. PhD students have to be enrolled in a doctoral programme and should be fully supervised.

Post-doctoral programmes

These are intended to promote individual training of post-doctoral researchers and their career development. In line with the standards of the European Charter for Researchers, the positions have to be advertised internationally and the candidates selected via a peer review process. The research topic and host institution should be chosen freely by the researchers. Researchers should have the opportunity for inter-sectoral mobility in addition to transnational mobility. The researchers must be employed for at least three months.

In principle, the MSCA mobility rule applies to all co-funded researchers: they must not have lived or worked in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the 36 months prior to recruitment or prior to the application deadline. In justified cases, ongoing programmes may deviate from this.

What is funded?

The maximum duration of the funded programmes is 60 months (including the recruitment phase). Post-doctoral researchers and doctoral candidates must be employed in principle by the respective host institution on a full-time employment contract.

The funding involves co-financing of personnel costs and is issued in fixed lump sums per applicant person-month. If necessary, there is also a contribution to the costs of the institution should the researcher be absent for a longer period of time and a lump sum for researchers with special needs.

Costs for research, travel, mobility, overhead etc. must be financed from other funds. Funding from other EU programmes is permitted, with the exception of Horizon Europe. The maximum EU contribution to an institution is EUR 10 million per Call.

Who is eligible?

This funding is targeted towards institutions in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries. 

When will the calls be published?

Applications can be submitted online via the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal at set annual Call deadlines. Further information on eligibility can be found in the documents of the respective Call and in the Work Programme.


COFUND applications can be submitted online in the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal. Applications must comply with the template and cannot be longer than 30 pages.

The review for both types of programmes takes place with two separate panels for doctoral programmes and for post-doctoral programmes. The applications will be assessed by the experts of the panels with a maximum of 5 points by experts in each of the three criteria "Excellence", "Impact" and "Quality and efficiency of the implementation". "Excellence" accounts for 50% of the overall rating, "Impact" for 30% and "Quality and efficiency of the implementation" for 20%. If a programme has already been funded under COFUND, it must be explained how the new application relates to, and goes beyond, the already funded programme.

A time frame of eight months can be expected from the end of the submission period to the start of the project.

Possible synergies in the funding

Synergies in the funding are desirable, especially with the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF).

Seal of Excellence

The Seal of Excellence is awarded to applications with an overall score of 85% or more that cannot be funded by MSCA due to insufficient budget.