MSCA Individual Fellowships
The goal of the Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers, wishing to diversify their individual competence in terms of skill acquisition through advanced training, international and intersectoral mobility.
Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to researchers of any nationality to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research and innovation in Europe (EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries) and beyond. The scheme particularly supports the return and (re)integration of European researchers from outside Europe and those who have previously worked here, as well as researchers displaced by conflict outside the EU and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. It also promotes the career restart of individual researchers who show great potential.
Support is foreseen for individual, trans-national fellowships awarded to the best or most promising researchers of any nationality, for employment in EU Member States or Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. It is based on an application made jointly by the researcher and the beneficiary in the academic or non-academic sectors.
Only one proposal per individual researcher per call will be evaluated.
Fellowships take the form of European Fellowships or Global Fellowships. European Fellowships are held in EU Member States or Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and are open to researchers either coming to Europe from any country in the world or moving within Europe. The researcher must comply with the rules of mobility in the country where the European Fellowship is held.
Direct return to and long-term reintegration of researchers in Europe, including in their country of origin, is supported via a separate multi-disciplinary reintegration panel of the European Fellowships. For the reintegration panel, there must be direct mobility to the country of the beneficiary in Europe from a third country (compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account).
Support to individuals to resume research in Europe after a career break, e.g. after parental leave or due to recent migration, is ensured via a separate multi-disciplinary career restart panel of the European Fellowships. To qualify for the career restart panel, researchers must not have been active in research for a continuous period of at least 12 months within the 18 months immediately prior to the deadline for submission.
Researchers seeking to work on research and innovation projects in an organisation from the non-academic sector will be supported via a separate multi-disciplinary society and enterprise panel of the European Fellowships. The objective of this panel is to facilitate career moves between the academic and non-academic sectors, to stimulate innovation, and to open attractive career opportunities for researchers outside academia.
The Widening Fellowships implemented through Work Programme part 15, Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation, provide specific support to researchers to undertake their fellowship in a widening country. This will help spread excellence and close the still apparent research and innovation gap within Europe.
Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a mandatory 12 month return period to a European host. The researcher must comply with the rules of mobility in the country where the Global Fellowship secondment takes place, not for the country of the return phase.
Researchers receiving an Individual Fellowship may opt to include a secondment phase in Europe, notably in the non-academic sector, within the overall duration of their fellowship. For a fellowship of 18 months or less, the secondment phase may last up to three months. For a fellowship of more than 18 months, the secondment phase may last up to six months. The secondment phase can be a single period or be divided into shorter mobility periods. The secondment should significantly add to the impact of the fellowship. In the Global Fellowships, such a secondment can also take place at the start of the action at the beneficiary or a partner organisation in Europe for a maximum of 3 months, allowing the researcher to spend time there before moving on to a partner organisation in a third country.
A Career Development Plan should be established jointly by the supervisor(s) and the researcher. In addition to research or innovation objectives, this plan comprises the researcher's training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, teaching, planning for publications and participation in conferences.
Researchers participating in the Individual Fellowships may opt to work part-time in order to pursue supplementary activities. These might include creating a company, or engaging in advanced studies not related to the MSCA grant. Any supplementary activities carried out part-time in parallel with the MSCA action must be agreed upon by the researcher and the beneficiary.
At researcher level:
- Increased set of skills, both research-related and transferable ones, leading to improved employability and career prospects both in and outside academia
- Increase in higher impact R&I output, more knowledge and ideas converted into products and services
- Greater contribution to the knowledge-based economy and society
At organisation level:
- Enhanced cooperation and stronger networks
- Better transfer of knowledge between sectors and disciplines
- Boosting of R&I capacity among participating organisations
At system level:
- Increase in international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility of researchers in Europe
- Strengthening of Europe's human capital base in R&I with more entrepreneurial and better trained researchers
- Better communication of R&I results to society
- Increase in Europe's attractiveness as a leading destination for R&I
- Better quality research and innovation contributing to Europe's competitiveness and growth
These countries are aligned with Work Programme part 15, Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation.