The 'Marie Curie Actions' have long been one of the most popular and appreciated features of the Community Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. They have developed significantly in orientation over time, from a pure mobility fellowships programme to a programme dedicated to stimulating researchers' career development. The 'Marie Curie Actions' have been particularly successful in responding to the needs of Europe's scientific community in terms of training, mobility and career development. This has been demonstrated by a demand in terms of highly ranked applications that in most actions extensively surpassed the available financial support.
In the Seventh Framework Programme, the 'Marie Curie Actions' have been regrouped and reinforced in the 'People' Specific Programme. Entirely dedicated to human resources in research, this Specific Programme has a significant overall budget of more than € 4,7 billion over a seven year period until 2013, which represents a 50% average annual increase over FP6.
Rationale of the 'People' Programme
'Abundant and highly trained qualified researchers are a necessary condition to advance science and to underpin innovation, but also an important factor to attract and sustain investments in research by public and private entities. Against the background of growing competition at world level, the development of an open European labour market for researchers free from all forms of discrimination and the diversification of skills and career paths of researchers are crucial to support a beneficial circulation of researchers and their knowledge, both within Europe and in a global setting. Special measures to encourage young researchers and support early stages of scientific career, as well as measures to reduce the 'brain drain', such as reintegration grants, will be introduced.'
The 'People' Specific Programme acknowledges that one of the main competitive edges in science and technology is the quantity and quality of its human resources. To support the further development and consolidation of the European Research Area, this Specific Programme's overall strategic objective is to make Europe more attractive for the best researchers.
Objectives of the 'People' Programme
'Strengthening, quantitatively and qualitatively, the human potential in research and technology in Europe, by stimulating people to enter into the profession of researcher, encouraging European researchers to stay in Europe, and attracting to Europe researchers from the entire world, making Europe more attractive to the best researchers. Building on the experiences with the 'Marie Curie' actions under previous Framework Programmes, this will be done by putting into place a coherent set of 'Marie Curie' actions, particularly taking into account the European added value in terms of their structuring effect on the European Research Area. These actions address researchers at all stages of their careers, in the public and private sectors, from initial research training, specifically intended for young people, to life long learning and career development. Efforts will also be made to increase participation by women researchers, by encouraging equal opportunities in all 'Marie Curie Actions', by designing the actions to ensure that researchers can achieve an appropriate work/life balance and by facilitating resuming a research career after a break.'
The 'People' Specific Programme will be implemented through actions under five headings:
- 'Initial training of researchers to improve mostly young researchers' career perspectives in both public and private sectors, by broadening their scientific and generic skills, including those related to technology transfer and entrepreneurship.
- 'Life-long training' to support experienced researchers in complementing or acquiring new skills and competencies or in enhancing inter/multidisciplinarity and/or intersectoral mobility, in resuming a research career after a break and in (re)integrating into a longer term research position in Europe after a trans-national mobility experience.
- 'Industry-academia pathways and partnerships' to stimulate intersectoral mobility and increase knowledge sharing through joint research partnerships in longer term co-operation programmes between organisations from academia and industry, in particular SMEs and including traditional manufacturing industries.
- 'International dimension', to contribute to the life-long training and career development of EU-researchers, to attract research talent from outside Europe and to foster mutually beneficial research collaboration with research actors from outside Europe.
- 'Researchers' Night' is an event bringing together the public at large and researchers. It occurs annually on the fourth Friday of September all over Europe. Its main objective is to reveal scientists and science in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Last updated on: 2012-07-23