A Deep Dive into Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) – APPLY NOW

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is a testament to the European Union’s commitment to advancing research and innovation. These actions, part of the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programs, offer researchers from around the world an exceptional opportunity.

A Deep Dive into Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
A Deep Dive into Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

In this article, we will delve into the MSCA program, discussing the funding available, the application process, and the eligibility criteria that make it a leading force in scientific exploration.

Background and History

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) originated from the European Union’s dedication to promoting research, innovation, and scientific cooperation. Inspired by the renowned physicist and chemist Marie Curie, the program honors her commitment to scientific exploration. Initially established within the Horizon 2020 framework, the MSCA have since developed further under the Horizon Europe program, highlighting the EU’s acknowledgment of the crucial impact research has on shaping the future.

Objectives of MSCA

The objective of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are as follows:

  • MSCA promotes international collaboration, breaking barriers and encouraging researchers to collaborate across institutions, sectors, and countries to bring diverse perspectives and amplify research impact.
  • MSCA supports researcher mobility across sectors, disciplines, and countries, enhancing skills, broadening perspectives, and contributing to a dynamic research community.
  • MSCA focuses on career development and training, providing comprehensive training, mentorship, and exposure to nurture the next generation of researchers and equip them with the skills for successful careers.
  • MSCA promotes scientific excellence, supporting high-quality, investigator-driven research across disciplines to advance knowledge and address societal challenges.

Grant Funding Amount

The MSCA provides researchers with attractive funding opportunities, including a yearly living and mobility allowance of approximately €74,327 (after employer oncosts). Researchers with spouses or dependent children can also receive a monthly family allowance of €500. Furthermore, there is a monthly allowance of €800 for research, training, and networking expenses, with no restrictions on its use.

Different Funding Opportunities

  • Individual Fellowships (IF): This funding scheme is designed for postdoctoral researchers or those with equivalent experience. It provides funding for mobility, living allowances, and research costs.
  • Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE): RISE supports staff exchanges between institutions, promoting international and intersectoral collaboration. It covers personnel costs, travel expenses, and research costs.
  • Innovative Training Networks (ITN): ITN focuses on early-stage researchers and offers funding for collaborative and cross-disciplinary training programs. It aims to enhance research skills and employability.
  • Co-funding of Regional, National, and International Programs (COFUND): COFUND supports existing or new fellowship programs by providing additional funding. It aligns them with MSCA objectives to maximize their impact.
  • European Researchers’ Night (ERN): This initiative promotes the role of researchers in society through outreach and public engagement. It supports events and activities that bring researchers closer to the public, fostering dialogue and understanding.

Application Process

The application process for the MSCA aims to be thorough and transparent, ensuring that deserving researchers have the chance to contribute to cutting-edge projects. Although specific details may differ depending on the action, the general process includes the following steps:

  • Identifying the Action: Researchers choose the MSCA action that suits their career stage and research objectives. This could be an Individual Fellowship, a Research and Innovation Staff Exchange, or an Innovative Training Network.
  • Choosing Host Institution and Supervisor: Researchers collaborate with a host institution and supervisor to define the research project, its goals, and the expected impact. The host institution provides crucial support throughout the project.
  • Submitting a Proposal: Researchers prepare and submit a comprehensive research proposal that outlines the project’s scientific excellence, methodology, training and career development aspects, and potential societal impact. Expert panels rigorously evaluate the proposals.
  • Evaluation and Selection: Proposals are evaluated based on criteria like scientific excellence, impact, and implementation. Successful applicants are chosen to receive MSCA funding.
  • Grant Agreement: Once selected, researchers enter into a grant agreement with the European Commission. This agreement defines the funding’s terms and conditions, including reporting requirements and project deliverables.

Eligibility Requirements

MSCA offers opportunities for researchers from around the world to collaborate and promote diversity. The eligibility criteria generally take into account factors such as:

  • Individual Fellowships: These fellowships are available to researchers of any nationality. They are designed for postdoctoral researchers or those with similar experience. To be eligible, the researcher should not have lived or conducted their main activity in the host country for more than 12 months in the past three years.
  • Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges: This program is open to institutions and researchers globally, aiming to foster collaboration between academia and industry. The specific eligibility criteria for each call may vary.
  • Innovative Training Networks: ITN supports early-stage researchers within a network of institutions. The eligibility criteria consider the researcher’s experience, nationality, and mobility.

Impact and Benefits of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) have had a significant impact on research and innovation. They are as follows:

  • MSCA promotes international collaboration, scientific excellence, interdisciplinary research, and knowledge transfer between academia and industry.
  • Researchers benefit from career development, international mobility, networking opportunities, and research independence.
  • Institutions hosting MSCA projects experience enhanced research capacities, internationalization, and knowledge transfer and innovation.
  • MSCA projects often focus on addressing societal challenges such as healthcare, climate change, technology, and education.
  • Public engagement initiatives like European Researchers’ Night promote a better understanding of the value of research and science communication.
  • Successful projects include ECOLEAD, which aimed to develop sustainable coastal and marine governance, and ViroFight, which focused on understanding and targeting Hepatitis C Virus cellular entry.
  • MSCA continues to drive positive change in the scientific landscape by fostering collaboration, promoting excellence, and addressing global challenges.


The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions program is a vital part of the European Union’s dedication to research, innovation, and international cooperation. It offers substantial funding, and a transparent application process, and promotes diversity, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in scientific knowledge on a global scale.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can non-European researchers participate in MSCA projects?

Yes, MSCA is open to researchers from around the world. The program encourages international collaboration, and researchers of any nationality can participate in MSCA projects. The goal is to create a diverse and globally connected research community.

How does MSCA contribute to knowledge transfer and innovation?

MSCA actions, such as Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE), facilitate knowledge transfer by encouraging collaboration between academia and industry. This engagement aims to apply research findings to practical solutions, fostering innovation and societal impact.

How can institutions benefit from participating in MSCA projects?

Institutions hosting MSCA projects benefit by enhancing their research capacities, internationalizing their profiles, and participating in cutting-edge research. The collaboration with talented researchers contributes to institutional excellence and promotes connections with the broader scientific community.



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