Call HE – MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships

The goal of MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD and who wish to acquire new skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility. MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships will be open to excellent researchers of any nationality. The scheme also encourages researchers to work on research and innovation projects in the non-academic sector and is open to researchers wishing to reintegrate in Europe, to those who are displaced by conflict, as well as to researchers with high potential who are seeking to restart their careers in research.

Through the implementation of an original and personalised research project, MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships aim to foster excellence through training and mobility and to equip researchers with new skills and competences in order to identify solutions to current and future challenges. Postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to reach out to society at large to make the results of their research visible to citizens.

Expected impact

Proposals under this Action should contribute to the following expected impacts:

  • Enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD and wishing to diversify their individual competences and skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility while implementing excellent research projects across all sectors of research;
  • Strengthen Europe’s human capital base in R&I with better trained, innovative and entrepreneurial researchers;
  • Enhance the quality of R&I contributing to Europe’s competitiveness and growth;
  • Contribute to Europe’s attractiveness as a leading destination for R&I and for good working conditions of researchers;
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and brain circulation across the ERA;
  • Foster the culture of open science, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Expected Outcome:

Project results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

For supported postdoctoral fellows

  • Increased set of research and transferable skills and competences, leading to improved employability and career prospects of MSCA postdoctoral fellows within academia and beyond;
  • New mind-sets and approaches to R&I work forged through interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and international experience;
  • Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase and broaden the research and innovation impact.

For participating organisations

  • Increased alignment of working conditions for researchers in accordance with the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers;
  • Enhanced quality and sustainability of research training and supervision;
  • Increased global attractiveness, visibility and reputation of the participating organisation(s);
  • Stronger R&I capacity and output among participating organisations; better transfer of knowledge;
  • Regular feedback of research results into teaching and education at participating organisations.

 

Scope:

Fellowships will be provided to excellent researchers, undertaking international mobility either to or between EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries, as well as to non-associated Third Countries. Applications will be made jointly by the researcher and a beneficiary in the academic or non-academic sector.Postdoctoral Fellowships either can take place in Europe (i.e. in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country) or in a Third Country not associated to Horizon Europe:

  • European Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to researchers of any nationality who wish to engage in R&I projects by either coming to Europe from any country in the world or moving within Europe. The standard duration of these fellowships must be between 12 and 24 months.
  • Global Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to European nationals or long-term residents[1] who wish to engage in R&I projects with organisations outside EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries. These fellowships require an outgoing phase of minimum 12 and maximum 24 months in a non-associated Third Country, and a mandatory 12-month return phase to a host organisation based in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country.

Specific eligibility conditions apply to MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships in the research areas covered by the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025[1].

Secondments

Researchers receiving a Postdoctoral Fellowship may opt to include a secondment phase, within the overall duration of their fellowship in any country worldwide. The secondment phase can be a single period or be divided into shorter mobility periods.

For European Postdoctoral Fellowships, secondments cannot exceed one third of the standard fellowship duration and should be in line with the project objectives, adding significant value and impact to the fellowship.

For Global Postdoctoral Fellowships, optional secondments are permitted for up to one third of the outgoing phase. A maximum of three months can be spent at the start of the project at the beneficiary (or any other organisation mentioned in the description of the action), allowing the researcher to spend time there before going to the associated partner in the Third Country. Secondments cannot take place during the mandatory twelve-month return period to the host organisation in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country.

Placements in the non-academic sector

Postdoctoral Fellowships can provide an additional period of up to six months to support researchers seeking a placement at the end of the project to work on R&I projects in an organisation from the non-academic sector established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country[3]. While this possibility is also available to fellows recruited in the non-academic sector, such a placement must be implemented at a different non-academic host organisation established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country[4]. The request for such a placement must be an integral part of the proposal, explaining the added-value for the project and for the career development of the researcher, and will be subject to evaluation. It must be substantiated by a letter of commitment from the European non-academic organisation where the placement takes place[5]. This incentive aims at promoting career moves between sectors and organisations and thereby stimulate innovation and knowledge transfer while expanding career opportunities for researchers.

Training activities

The training activities implemented under the Postdoctoral Fellowships should include training for key transferable skills[6], foster innovation and entrepreneurship, (e.g. commercialisation of results, Intellectual Property Rights, communication, public engagement and citizen science) and promote Open Science practices (open access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, etc.).

Career Development Plan

In order to equip MSCA postdoctoral fellows with skills that enhance and expand their career opportunities inside and outside academia, a Career Development Plan should be established jointly by the supervisor(s) and the researcher. In addition to research objectives, this plan should comprise the researcher’s training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, teaching, planning for publications and participation in conferences and events aiming at opening science and research to citizens. The Plan will have to be submitted as a project deliverable at the beginning of the action and can be updated when needed.

Euratom

Aiming to enhance nuclear expertise and excellence as well as synergies between Programmes, organisations active in nuclear research established in one of EU Member States or countries associated to the Euratom Research and Training programme 2021-2025[7] , are eligible to participate. MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships in this area of research will be supported by the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025 through an indicative annual financial contribution of EUR 1 million to the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships call[8].

ERA Fellowships

The ERA Fellowships implemented through Work Programme Annex 11, Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area, provide specific support to researchers to undertake their fellowship in a widening country[9]. This will help spread excellence and contribute to fostering balanced brain circulation in widening countries.

[1]See eligibility conditions at the end of this Work Programme part.

[2]See eligibility conditions at the end of this Work Programme part.

[3]For proposals in the research areas covered by the Euratom Research and Training Programme, the organisation from the non-academic sector must be established in an EU Member State or a country associated to the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025

[4]idem

[5]In the grant agreement, these non-academic organisations must be identified as associated partners.

[6]As an illustration, Eurodoc published a list of such transferable skills at: http://eurodoc.net/skills-report-2018.pdf

[7]See eligibility conditions at the end of this Work Programme part

[8]As indicated in the Euratom Work Programme

[9]These countries are aligned with Work Programme part 11, Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Are

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Dates clefs de l'appel à projet

  • 22 June 2021 - Opening date
  • 12 October 2021 - Deadline date