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Europe boosts budgets of national fellowship programmes

Brussels, 04 December 2009

Transnational mobility opens up new horizons for researchers. The attractiveness of Europe for the best researchers and their career development has become a major concern for European competitiveness.

The €140 million, injected by the European Commission during 2008 and 2009 as part of a new action will generate about 3.400 fellowships for researchers. By 2013, the end of the Seventh RTD Framework Programme, it is expected that 14.000 researchers will have benefitted from this action.

The Marie Curie COFUND action offers additional funding to existing or new regional and national fellowship programmes for research training and career development. COFUND is funding for funders. Applicants should be public or private bodies that are responsible for funding and managing fellowships or research training programmes for experienced and advanced researchers. They may be ministries, research academies or agencies, international organisations or other public or private bodies with a public mission.

Until now 50 programmes have been selected for funding (36 national, 6 regional and 8 international). The Community covers 40% of the fellowship costs, up to a maximum of € 5 million. Support is for up to 4 years, with the possibility to re-apply. There is no thematic limitation for COFUND, like in all Marie Curie Actions. Programmes are either bottom up, covering all scientific fields, or concentrate on a specific domain. The website of co-funded calls provides information on 22 programmes in which more than 100 fellows have already been selected.

The Marie Curie Actions have a long tradition of promoting and supporting the mobility of researchers in Europe and worldwide. The strategy of the Marie Curie Actions is to focus on people, making Europe more attractive to the best researchers. COFUND is a turning point in the Marie Curie Actions as the implementation of the fellowship programmes is not done directly by the Commission but by actors of the Member States and Associated Countries. This new way of funding will substantially increase the number of international training opportunities for researchers in Europe and will contribute towards a Europe more attractive to researchers. Martin Hynes, Director of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, said that "COFUND award empowered us to expand our existing programmes to help them build stronger mobility links with top class research institutions worldwide; a development contributing strongly to the ERA mobility strategy".

There are annual deadlines to submit proposals to COFUND. Currently there is an open call with a budget of €75 million (closing date the18th February 2010).
More information on this call

Contact:
Rosanna D'Amario: rosanna.d'amario@ec.europa.eu
Tonia Jimenez:  maria-antonia.jimenez-nevado@ec.europa.eu

More information about co-funded calls

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