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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF)

The grants support individual research stays (1-2 years) connected with international mobility. Here you can find the basics about the rules, application process and links to more information.

Introduction Types of fellowships and other mobility options – Internal guidelines – Useful links 


MSCA-PF is continuation of MSCA Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF) that was part of the Horizon 2020 programme (last MSCA-IF call took place in September 2020). MSCA-PF is part of the programme Horizon Europe.

The MSCA-PF grant supports an individual research stay (1-2 years) connected with international mobility (the project must take place in a country different from where the fellow has currently worked or studied). The applicant-fellow must possess a PhD degree and have less than 8 years of full time research experience since obtaining it. The project can be in any research field. The grant should support career development of the fellow and help him/her to reach or re-enforce a position of professional maturity or independence. The host institution can be from academic or from non-academic sector. Deadline is once a year, ca. in mid-September. The project can, at the earliest, start ca. in May of the following year. Usually, the projects begin in September of the year following after the deadline.

MSCA-PF is an opportunity for:

  • researchers who want to go on a postdoctoral research stay abroad,
  • researchers who have been doing research abroad (for at least 2 years) and are returning,
  • researchers who have recently come (or returned) from abroad,
  • leaders of research teams who want to bring to their research group a postdoc from any foreign country.

Eligibility conditions for the fellow:

  • He/she must at the date of the call deadline hold the PhD degree (he/she doesn’t need to have the certificate itself, but successful defence of the PhD thesis must have taken place.)
  • New: At the call deadline, the fellow must have a maximum of 8 years full-time equivalent experience in research since obtaining the PhD degree. Years of experience outside research and career breaks, e.g. due to parental leave, won’t be taken into account; nor will years of experience in research in “third countries” (neither EU member state nor a Horizon Europe associated country), for nationals or long-term residents of EU member states or Horizon Europe associated countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe.
  • In the country, where the fellowship takes place, the fellow must fulfil the mobility rule: He/she must not have carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in this country for more than 12 months in the 3 years before the call deadline.

The fellow should prepare the proposal in close collaboration with the potential supervisor at the host institution. The proposals are submitted online via the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal. Formally, the applicant is the host institution, usually represented by the supervisor (exception: in case of Global Postdoctoral Fellowships, the applicant is the institution in Europe where the reintegration would take place, see below).

In the last call of the preceding funding scheme MSCA-IF, 1 630 grants were awarded, success rate was ca 14%.

New: Restriction of proposal resubmission
Since 2022, it won’t be possible to resubmit a proposal that has received evaluation score below threshold (less than 70%) in the previous call.

Supervisors! Would like to host an MSCA-PF postdoc in the future? Do you want to learn what makes the difference between good and bad MSCA-PF project? Register in the European commission’s expert database and become an evaluator of these projects.

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Types of fellowships and other mobility options

European Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • 12-24 months research stay at a host institution in an EU member state or a country associated to Horizon Europe.
  • The fellow must fulfil the mobility rule in the host institution country and can be of any nationality.

Global Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • 12-24 months research stay at a host institution in a “third country” (neither EU member state nor a Horizon Europe associated country) where the fellow fulfils the mobility rule.
  • This outgoing phase must be followed by a compulsory 12 month reintegration phase at a “sending institution” in an EU member state or a Horizon Europe associated country (the mobility rule doesn’t have to be fulfilled in this “reintegration country”). The reintegration phase must be already described in the proposal and is covered by the grant.
  • At the beginning of the project, the fellow can spend up to 3 months at the “sending institution”.
  • Formally, the applicant is the “sending institution”. 
  • The fellow must be of nationality of an EU member state or a Horizon Europe associated country or a long-term resident of such country.

Secondments

  • Secondment is a short-term (e.g. several months) stay at an institution different from the main host institution and under different supervisor. It is possible but not compulsory to include such stay(s) in the MSCA-PF project.
  • The secondment(s) must be already planned in the project proposal and bring reasonable added value to the project regarding both the research goals and the career development of the fellow.
  • Total duration of secondment(s) can’t exceed one third of the fellowship duration in case of the European Postdoctoral Fellowship, and one third of the outgoing phase in case of the Global Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • New: Secondment can take place in any country. (In case of Global Postdoctoral Fellowship, secondment(s) to “third counties” aren’t allowed during the “reintegration phase”.)

New: Placement in non-academic sector

  • ​An additional period of up to 6 months at the end of the project can be funded; during which the fellow is placed at an institution from the non-academic sector.
  • This placement must be already planned in the project proposal and bring reasonable added value to the project regarding both the research goals and the career development of the fellow.
  • The non-academic institution must be in an EU member state or a Horizon Europe associated country.
  • All institutions that are neither universities nor research organisations are regarded as non-academic sector (for the purposes of Marie Skłodowska-Curie projects). Therefore, these non-academic institutions can be not just private companies, but also e.g. museums, national parks, hospitals, non-governmental organisations etc.

ERA Fellowships

  • The ERA Fellowships are continuation of the Widening Fellowships which were part of the Horizon 2020 programme.
  • The best ranking MSCA-PF proposals with host institution in one of the “Widening countries” (e.g. Czechia) that aren’t funded due to lack of finances (are just under the “cut-off-score”) will be funded from budget of the part “Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence” of Horizon Europe.
  • In the application for MSCA-PF, the fellow indicates that if unsuccessful, he/she wants to apply for the ERA Fellowship.
  • After the MSCA-PF evaluation is completed, then, if the proposal is not selected for funding, but is eligible for ERA Fellowship, it is automatically “resubmitted” to the ERA Fellowship call (which uses the score the proposal received in the MSCA-PF evaluation).

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Internal guidelines for the Faculty of Science

Contact points for MSCA-PF grants at the Faculty of Science:
Klára Sobotíková and Tomáš Palatý.
If you have any questions about MSCA-PF, please do not hesitate to ask.

Please, follow the funding opportunities news for up-to-date internal guidelines and deadlines.

Do you want to apply for MSCA-PF grant with the Faculty of Science as your host institution?

  • Firstly, the applicant (fellow) must get in touch with a potential supervisor who works at the Faculty of Science and would be willing to host him/her as an MSCA fellow. (See e.g. the list of research groups – though it’s not always perfectly up-to-date.)
  • Secondly, the potential supervisor should contact the Project Management Department (see the contact points above) and put us in touch with the fellow. The sooner you contact us, the better support we’ll be able to give you. (With the deadline in September, you should contact us in June at the latest.)
  • According to Rector’s Directive n. 21/2021, the Rectorate must be informed by 1 August about every MSCA-PF proposal to be submitted with Charles University as the host institution. Therefore, please, contact well ahead of time the Project management department (Klára Sobotíková, klara.sobotikova@natur.cuni.cz), so that we fulfil this requirement.
  • 2 weeks before the deadline at the latest, send draft version of the full proposal at klara.sobotikova@natur.cuni.cz to be forwarded to the Rectorate.
  • When submitting the proposal via the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal, please fill in:
    ► Organisation: CHARLES UNIVERSITY, PIC: 999923434
    ► Contact Person: Tomáš Palatý, tomas.palaty@natur.cuni.cz
                                      Klára Sobotíková, klara.sobotikova@natur.cuni.cz
                                      Adéla Jiroudková, adela.jiroudkova@ruk.cuni.cz

Do you want to apply for MSCA-PF to go abroad?

If you currently work or study at the Faculty of Science and want to apply for an MSCA-PF grant to be carried out at a foreign institution, we also encourage you to contact the Project Management Department (see the contact points above) to learn about the support we offer.

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Useful links


Faculty of Science webpage on Horizon Europe.

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Did you find a mistake? Please, please, please, let me know at ludmila.souckova@natur.cuni.cz.

Last update 20. 7. 2021.

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