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Developing talents, advancing research
Published:  22 Jun 2021

MSCA announces €822 million for researchers and organisations in 2021

The European Commission has announced new calls to support researchers’ training, skills and career development and organisations under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

Abstract science banner MSCA News item

The European Commission has announced new calls to support researchers’ training, skills and career development and organisations under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, MSCA are the EU’s flagship funding programme under Horizon Europe for doctoral education and postdoctoral training. To learn more about the calls, follow the link to the Funding & Tenders portal.

€6.6 billion funding running to 2027

The funding calls follow the adoption of the Horizon Europe 2021-2022 work programme. With a budget totalling €6.6 billion over 2021-2027, the MSCA support researchers from all over the world, at all stages of their careers and in all disciplines. They also benefit organisations with support for excellent doctoral, postdoctoral programmes and collaborative research and innovation projects. This helps to boost their global attractiveness and visibility and foster cooperation beyond academia, with industry and SMEs, for example.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, says

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted once more the importance of Europe’s reliance on highly skilled researchers able to detect and tackle upcoming challenges, and communicate scientific evidence to policy-makers and the public, and to work across disciplines. In this context, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are a crucial instrument. Since its beginning 25 years ago, the programme has been encouraging more women and men into research careers, promoting Europe’s attractiveness for top talents from around the world, helping Europe to keep its most talented researchers and reintegrating those working elsewhere.

Collaboration and supervision

Under Horizon Europe 2021-2027, MSCA places stronger emphasis on inter-sectoral collaboration, notably between academia and business. There is also renewed emphasis on effective supervision and career guidance through the new MSCA Guidelines on Supervision. Sustainable behaviours, research activities and management are also promoted through the MSCA Green Charter, in line with the European Green Deal.

The MSCA funding of around €822 million in 2021 covers the following five main actions of the work programme.

MSCA Doctoral Networks

With a budget of €402.95 million, this call supports doctoral programmes training doctoral candidates in academia and other sectors, including industry and businesses. The 2021 call is open from 22 June 2021 with a deadline on 16 November 2021.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships

With a budget of €242 million, this call enhances the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD and wishing to acquire new skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility. The funding is available to researchers ready to pursue frontier research and innovation projects in Europe and worldwide, including in the non-academic sector. The 2021 call is open from 22 June 2021, with a deadline on 12 October 2021.

MSCA Staff Exchanges

With a budget of €72.5 million, this call supports the development of international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaborations in research and innovation through exchanging staff. The scheme helps turn ideas into innovative products, services or processes. The 2021 call is open from 7 October 2021, with a deadline on 9 March 2022.

MSCA COFUND

With a budget of €89 million, this call co-finances new or existing doctoral programmes and postdoctoral fellowship schemes in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries. The aim is to spread the best practices of the MSCA. This includes international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary research training, as well as international and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers at all stages of their career. The 2021 call is open on 12 October 2021, with a deadline on 10 February 2022.

MSCA and Citizens

With a budget of €15.5 million, this call brings research closer to students, families and the public at large mainly through the European Researchers’ Night. The action increases awareness of the impact of researchers’ work on citizens’ lives, society and economy. It also boosts public recognition of science and research and raises the profile of science and research careers among young people. The 2022 call, covering the 2022 and 2023 editions of the European Researchers’ Night, is open from 22 June 2021 with a deadline on 7 October 2021.

For more information

Published:  22 Jun 2021