As of January 2014, with the move to Horizon 2020, the Marie Curie Actions are now called the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). This change better reflects the Polish roots of this extraordinary scientist who inspired and inspires the programme.
Awarding €6.16 billion in the period to 2020, the MSCA support research training and career development focused on innovation skills. The programme funds worldwide and cross-sector mobility that implements excellent research in any field (a "bottom-up" approach).
Spanning a researcher's career
There are MSCA grants for all stages of a researcher's career, from PhD candidates to highly experienced researchers, which encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, financing an estimated 25,000 PhDs.
Endowing researchers with new skills and a wider range of competences, while offering them attractive working conditions, is a crucial aspect of the MSCA. In addition to fostering mobility between countries, the MSCA also seek to break the real and perceived barriers between academic and other sectors, especially business. Most MSCA initiatives promote the involvement of industry in doctoral and post-doctoral research, via full employment or secondments.
There are four main types of MSCA:
- Research networks (ITN): support for Innovative Training Networks that develop new researchers
- Individual fellowships (IF): support for experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries, with the option to work outside academia
- Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE) for international and inter-sectoral cooperation
- Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes that finance research training or fellowships involving mobility to or from another country
The MSCA also funds the European Researchers' Night (NIGHT), public events involving researchers which take place every year across Europe on the fourth Friday of September.
Further useful and practical information about Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowships, including testimonials from an MSC grant holder, can be found in a series of podcasts on the Careers Service website