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MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships

What’s it all about?

The aim of the Postdoctoral Fellowships is to equip postdoctoral researchers with complementary professional skills for their future careers through the implementation of a personalised research project. International, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility is the central element here.

What needs to be considered?

The Postdoctoral Fellowships are divided into two different programmes:

  • European Postdoctoral Fellowships are available at a host institution in an EU Member State or at a host institution in a Horizon Europe Associated Country.

  • Global Postdoctoral Fellowships include an "outgoing phase" and thus a host institution in a non-European and non-Associated Country and a mandatory return phase to a host institution based in an EU Member State or in an Associated Country of Horizon Europe.

The mobility rule applies to all beneficiaries: they may not have lived or worked in the host institution’s country for more than 12 months in the 36 months prior to the submission deadline (for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships, the reference is the host institution of the "outgoing phase").

What is funded?

Funding is provided for European Postdoctoral Fellowships with a duration of 12 to 24 months and Global Postdoctoral Fellowships with a duration of 24 to 36 months, consisting of a 12 to 24-month outgoing phase and a 12-month return phase. An additional period of up to six months at a non-academic institution based in an EU Member State or in a Horizon Europe Associated Country may be requested in both Fellowship programmes in justified cases.

Postdoctoral researchers will receive an employment contract (usually full-time) from the host institution and a monthly salary consisting of living and mobility allowances and, if applicable, a family allowance. A contribution to the costs of longer absences of researchers and a lump sum for researchers with limited mobility can be applied for if necessary. The host institution will receive a monthly lump sum for each employed postdoctoral researcher for costs related to research and training/networking activities, as well as management and indirect costs.

Who is eligible?

Researchers of any nationality and from all scientific disciplines with a doctoral degree and a maximum of 8 years of full-time post-graduate research experience at the time of the submission deadline are eligible to apply. However, periods spent away from research, career breaks (e.g. parental leave) and periods spent in a non-European and non-Associated Country (for researchers who wish to reintegrate into an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country) can be deducted from the 8 years of full-time research experience. Nevertheless, applicants for a Global Postdoctoral Fellowship must be nationals or long-term residents of an EU Member State or an Horizon Europe Associated Country.

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 application eligibility can also be found in the Guide for Applicants of the respective Call and in the MSCA Work Programme.


Applications are submitted electronically by the researchers together with the host institution via the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal. The application should follow the structure of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Template and may not be longer than 10 pages (excluding attachments). Applications submitted in the previous years under Horizon Europe (same host institution and same researcher) that received less than 70% of the possible points may not be resubmitted in the following year.

The applications will be assessed by experts in one of eight scientific 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%. As the programmes have separate budgets, each of the eight panels will generate two ranking lists, one for European Postdoctoral Fellowships and one for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships.

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

Seal of Excellence

The Seal of Excellence will be awarded to applicants with an overall score of 85% or more who cannot be funded by MSCA due to insufficient budget.

Researchers @ Risk

Researchers who are refugees in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country, regardless of their nationality, may also apply for a Postdoctoral Fellowship, provided they fulfil the general other requirements.