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MSCA-Net publishes first three MSCA Policy Briefs

28. Apr 2023

To help MSCA applicants and advisors better understand the policy areas of Gender, Missions and Open Science, MSCA-Net (a network of National Contact Points for MSCA) has published three Policy Briefs. They provide suggestions on how to include these topics in applications.

To ensure gender equality specific measures were formulated, applicants are for example encouraged to use gender inclusive language as well as not to think in gender binary categories. They are also motivated to ask themselves, in relation to their project, how gender and other social categories affect their research question. A novelty in Horizon Europe is the obligation to have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) at institutional level.

With regard to the Missions, the Policy Brief wants to show where links have already been established between the MSC actions and the Missions and suggests ways MSCA participants can become more involved in the Missions. Under Horizon Europe, five EU Missions have been introduced to provide stronger support for specific research topics. These topics of relevance to society as a whole are cross-sectoral and include adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation; Cancer; Healthy Ocean, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters; Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities; Soil Health and Food. Applicants could, for example, justify the relevance and timeliness of their project by referring to the Missions.

The third Policy Brief deals with Open Science (OS). All MSC actions are encouraged to use OS practices. The specific measures must be explained in the application, having in mind the general rule "as open as possible, as closed as necessary." Applicants should think beyond the mandatory OS practices and include aspects such as early and open sharing of research. Another obligation is to create a Data Management Plan (DMP). This sets out how data will be collected, processed, generated and stored.