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MSCA Staff Exchanges

What’s it all about?

The Staff Exchanges programme promotes intersectoral, international and interdisciplinary collaborations through the mutual exchange of staff and knowledge. Projects can also build on preliminary work from already existing scientific networks, but should be deepened and/or (further) established. 

What needs to be considered?

The collaborations are applied for on the basis of a joint research or innovation project by a consortium consisting of at least three partners from three different countries. At least two of these countries must be EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries. Should the participating institutions come from the same sector, then at least one participant must be established in a Third Country.

Secondments

Eligible secondments are clearly defined:

  • secondments between institutions in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries should be inter-sectoral as far as possible

  • secondments in the same sector within EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries are only possible at interdisciplinary level

  • secondments to or from institutions from Third Countries are possible both inter-sectorally and in the same sector

Secondments between institutions that are both located in Third Countries or in the same EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country are not eligible.

Secondments must last at least one month (30 days) and can last a maximum of 12 months. During this time, the seconded staff has to work full-time on the project. The minimum of 30 days can be split into several stays. The prerequisite is that a total of at least 30 days are spent at the same organisation.

What is funded?

The exchange of scientists at all career levels as well as administrative, technical and management staff is promoted. The prerequisite for a staff exchange is an active engagement of the seconded staff in research activities of at least one month prior to the first secondment. The exchange programme will be rounded off by a range of joint networking activities and the organisation of workshops and conferences, with the aim of exchanging knowledge and developing new innovative approaches to specific research or innovation topics. The seconded staff should receive a comprehensive training program, which contributes to further qualification and thus promotes individual career development.

The project finances a lump sum to compensate the seconded staff for their expenses. Furthermore, there are institution unit costs for research, training and networking activities, conferences, coordination and management costs and a lump sum for indirect costs. The salary of the seconded staff is not financed by the programme and must be paid by the seconding institution during the secondment.

The amount and duration of the funding is a maximum of 360 person-months for a maximum of 4 years.

Who is eligible?

Applications are open to all research disciplines and are submitted by a consortium of at least three institutions from different states. The consortia must meet certain minimum requirements, depending on the structure of the exchanges:

  • International exchange: at least one institution outside Europe & two institutions from different EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries.

  • Inter-sectoral exchange: at least two of the three institutions from different sectors located in different EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries.

  • Exchanges in the same sector within Europe would be possible up to a maximum of 1/3 of the total person-months, provided that these secondments are on an interdisciplinary basis.

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.

Application

These applications have a predefined structure and consist of a maximum of 30 pages. The details of the application structures can be found in the Work Programme and the Guide for Applicants. These documents as well as the template are available in the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal under the respective Call.

There are eight main evaluation panels in which the proposals are evaluated by individual reviewers using the evaluation criteria, with a maximum of 5 points for each criterion: "Excellence" (50%), "Impact" (30%) and "Quality and efficiency of the implementation" (20%). To be eligible for funding, a proposal must reach at least an overall threshold of 70%.

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

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