Applications for any funding scheme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions can only be submitted to the European Commission electronically following a call for proposals. Eligible parties are specified in the relevant call for each scheme and the respective Work Programme. The deadlines for the submission of proposals also vary for the different schemes.
Proposals must be submitted at the respective date of the deadline before 5 p.m. Brussels time via the Funding & Tenders Opportunities Portal of the European Commission. In order to submit a proposal, you have to have an ECAS account, which you can register for via the Participant Portal.
The structure of the proposals is also specific to the relevant funding scheme and call. For each proposal type there is a strict page limit, which must not be exceeded. The details for structure, layout, page limits and contents of the respective proposals are specified in the Work Programme and the relevant Guide for Applicants for each funding scheme. These documents can be downloaded from the Funding & Tenders Opportunities Portal.
In the administrative forms (A-forms) of the application, applicants are asked to provide keywords in order to describe the research area of their proposal. Based on these keywords the proposals are allocated to one of the evaluation panels.
There are eight main evaluation panels, which cover all research areas: : Chemistry (CHE), Social Sciences and Humanities (SOC), Economic Sciences (ECO), Information Science and Engineering (ENG), Environment and Geosciences (ENV), Life Sciences (LIF), Mathematics (MAT), Physics (PHY).
Separate multidisciplinary panels are created for the European Industrial Doctorates (EID) and the European Joint Doctorates (EJD) as well as for the Career Restart Panel, the Reintergration Panel and the Society and Enterprise Panel under the European Fellowships (EF). The evaluation for COFUND will be organised in two separate panels: one panel for doctoral programmes and one panel for fellowship programmes.
In a first step, the proposals are evaluated remotely by the individual reviewers on the basis of the evaluation criteria. The criteria can be found in the respective Work Programme and are divided into three main categories with different weightings: excellence (50%), impact (30%) and implementation (20%). Evaluation scores are awarded for each of the categories and range from 0 to 5, 5 being the highest score. For each funding scheme there are several sub-criteria specific to the aims and requirements of the scheme. In order to be funded, a proposal has to reach a threshold level of 70%.
Subsequently, the proposals are discussed in a panel meeting and a total score for each proposal is determined. According to these total scores a rank list of proposals is established in each panel. In order to be funded, a proposal has to reach the threshold and also lie above the budgetary cut-off of the respective evaluation panel. The distribution of the panel budgets is proportional to the number of applications in each panel. Thus, the success rates will be similar in each research area.
After the panel evaluations, the panel chairs establish an overall rank list for all proposals from all panels.
The evaluation of proposals will be completed five months after the call deadline. Applicants will then be informed about the outcome of the evaluation process. If the project is recommended for funding, applicants will receive a letter of invitation by the Commission announcing the official start of the negotiation procedure for the Grant Agreement. These negotiations must be completed after another three months have passed. All in all, the time elapsed between the deadline for the relevant call and the start of the project will be between eight and nine months.