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Marie Curie Fellowships - FAQ

Marie Curie Fellowships

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Marie Curie Fellowship Schemes

2. Marie Curie Individual Fellowship Scheme

3. Industry Host Fellowship Scheme

4. Stays at Marie Curie Training Sites

5. Development Host Fellowship Scheme


1. Marie Curie Fellowship Schemes

- How many Marie Curie Fellowship Schemes exist?

 

Pre-
doctoral

Post-
doctoral

Experienced
Researchers

Individual Fellowships

 

X

 

Return Fellowships

 

X

 

Experienced Researchers Fellowships

   

X

Industry Host Fellowships

X

X

 

Development Host Fellowships

 

X

 

Marie Curie Training Sites

X

   

- What are the scientific fields covered by the Marie Curie fellowship activity under the Human Potential Programme?

Marie Curie Fellowships offered by the Human Potential Programme are open to all fields of scientific research that contribute to the Community's objectives in research, technological development and demonstration. These objectives are reflected by the aims of the Fifth Framework Programme. General information on the Fifth Framework Programme can be found on Internet at /fp5 .

Applications to the Human Potential Programme must meet the general objectives of the Fifth Framework Programme, which is directed towards strengthening the scientific and technological bases of Community industry. This encourages it to become more competitive at international level, while promoting all the research activities deemed necessary by virtue of other Chapters of the Treaty. In addition, the Programme aims to contribute to promoting the quality of life of the Community's citizens, to improving the employment situation and to the sustainable development of the Community as a whole, including the ecological aspects.

Proposals for funding under the Fifth Framework Programme are selected on the basis that the Community shall take action only if proposal objectives can not be sufficiently achieved by the Member States. This reflects the pursuit of a cost-benefit approach dictated by the concern for optimum allocation of European public funding and in accordance with the subsidiarity principle.

For the Human Potential Programme there will be no pre-established targets in terms of the scientific discipline or topic that will be chosen by the applicants themselves. The selection of projects will be made on the criteria of scientific excellence and relevance to the objectives.

Proposals will be studied case by case and if there is no relevance to the above-indicated objectives of Fifth Framework Programme, they will be considered scientifically non-eligible.

- Do Marie Curie Fellowships exist only in the “Human Potential Programme”?

No. The “Thematic Programmes” offer certain Marie Curie Fellowship schemes (see table below). For further information on deadlines for submission of Marie Curie Fellowships, please see the Guides for Proposers.

- Which are the Community Less-Favoured Regions?

Community Less-Favoured Regions for the period 2000-2006

- What are the deadlines for Marie Curie Fellowships ?

2. Marie Curie Individual Fellowship Scheme

- I am about to finish my PhD. Can I apply for a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship?

Yes. The qualification requests are typically a PhD or four years of research experience. As a guideline, you should have completed your PhD within a reasonable period (no more than 3 months or so) from the deadline of the date of application. The evaluation experts will judge the appropriateness of the qualifications/experience on a case-by-case basis.

More detailed information on the assessment of research experience can be found in the "Special rules for the initial evaluation of proposals" section in the Guide for Evaluators.

- If I am awarded a grant, when can I start the project?

In principle, you can start the project about six months after the deadline. The actual procedure is as follows: after the Commission has decided which proposals are to be funded the programme staff prepare a contract setting out the forms and conditions of European Commission support.

Please note that this contract is between the Commission and the Host Institution. Contracts are sent out two weeks after the Commission’s selection and must be signed and returned to the Commission by the Host Institution within one month of receipt.

The Host Institution must then conclude an agreement with the fellow, determining the conditions for the implementation of the project and their respective obligations. The fellow must commence the project no later than six months after the signature of the contract.

Minimum time to start contract: about 6 months after deadline.

Maximum time to start contract: about 12 months after deadline.

- What is the financial contribution of the Commission?

The Marie Curie Individual Fellowship scheme takes into account all the necessary legal, financial and social conditions in the host country. The Community contribution consists of the following components:

a) a gross amount aimed at covering the subsistence expenditure of the researcher and all compulsory charges applicable under the legislation of the host country. A table with the monthly gross rates paid by the Commission and indicative net amounts received by the fellows in the various countries can be found in the Guide for Proposers;

b) a mobility allowance of 400 euro/month, granted to compensate, at least partially, for the costs incurred by them as a consequence of being away from their country;

c) a flat-rate reimbursement of return travel expenses, calculated on the basis of a scale which takes into account the distance between the country of their nationality and the host country (see table in the Guide for Proposers);

d) a contribution of 1200 or 900 euro per month as a contribution to the research and administrative costs of the host institution. The higher figure is paid if the research is of an experimental / laboratory-based nature.

- What does the contribution to research & management costs cover?

The fellowship includes a contribution towards the research and management costs that includes:

  • research material (consumables);

  • publication of research results;

  • participation at conferences or other scientific events deemed necessary or useful;

  • inscription fees;

  • management costs and overheads associated with the fellowship.

There is no strict rule regarding the percentage that can be used towards central administration costs. The guideline is that no more than 20-25% per fellow-month should normally be allocated to general administration. Any greater amount should be mentioned to the Commission and needs to be duly justified. Although the exact use of the allowance is not required within the intermediate and final reports, the institution must keep all records and must make them available to Commission staff in case of an audit or monitoring exercise. The institutions could be held accountable if funds are used for reasons outside of the scope of this guidance and if it was felt at any stage that the fellows's training was being hindered because of incorrect use of the funds.

However, irrespective of the amount of this contribution, the host institution must cover all the research and management costs connected to hosting the fellow and the implementation of the project (Article 12(2) of the general conditions).

- Whom should I invite to become the Independent Referee filling in page B3 of my application?

The independent referee should know well the work and the profile of the applicant and should not have any direct link with the proposal:

- he/she should not be working in the host institute/group where the project will take place;

- he/she should not be a relative of the fellow.

- What qualifications are necessary when applying for a Marie Curie Individual postdoctoral-level fellowship (B30)?

Applicants must have the necessary research experience to embark on postdoctoral research. The typical level required is a PhD or equivalent degree, or at least four years of full time research experience at postgraduate level, other than doctoral studies. Taught Masters degrees or equivalent taught courses are not considered as full time research activity.

While this is not a strict eligibility criterion, applicants who do not meet the indicated requirements at the deadline for submission will have this taken into account in the evaluation. For any applicant, where these requirements are not met, and whom the panel intends to recommend for funding, there must be a statement by the experts having evaluated the proposal justifying this recommendation.

- What qualifications are necessary when applying for Marie Curie Individual Experienced Researcher fellowship (B40)?

The research qualification required for category 40 is that applicants must typically have ten years of research experience at postdoctoral level or 14 years at postgraduate level.

While this is not a strict eligibility criterion, applicants who do not meet the indicated requirements at the deadline for submission will have this taken into account in the evaluation. For any applicant, where these requirements are not met, and whom the panel intends to recommend for funding, there must be a statement by the experts having evaluated the proposal justifying this recommendation.

Please also note that, to be eligible, applicants must be established staff members at, or retired from, an institution active in research, at the relevant deadline for submission of proposals. An established staff member is defined (i) as having been working at his or her institution continously for the last 3 years, or (ii) as holding a work contract of at least 3 years with his or her institution.

- When can I start my fellowship ?

The actual fellowship does not start until the agreement/contract between the fellow and the host institution is in place. This means that neither the Commission nor the host institution are under any obligation to make any payments to fellows who unilaterally decide to start at an earlier date to that established in the agreement, and that fellows who take such steps do so at their own risk.

May we remind you that the results published on the web shortly after the evaluation and before the final Commission Decision are only preliminary, and should be taken as purely informative.

To summarize, the sequence is as follows:

1.Negotiation between the Commission and the Host Institution
2.Signature of the contract between Commission and the host institution (typically 2 months from negotiation).
3.Signature of an agreement/contract between the fellow and the host institution.
4.Start of the fellowship.

Our advice is:
Stay in touch with your host institution in order to follow the status of contract signature between the Commission and the host institution. Following this you can then agree on the best possible dates of commencement of the fellowship.

Do not travel to the host country/institution, make any permanent arrangements or start work until the agreement between you and the host institution is in force, unless agreed otherwise between you and the host institution independently from the Commission.

3. Industry Host Fellowship Scheme

- Who may apply for funding?

Only registered companies whose principal activity is industrial or commercial are eligible to receive funding from this scheme. The objective of the scheme is to provide research-training opportunities for young researchers in an industrial or commercial environment, particularly for those without previous industrial research experience in such an environment. In the case of quasi-public research organisations (which are also registered companies), these should be able to prove that their principal activity is of an industrial / commercial nature.

- How are the fellows selected?

The companies that have been selected by the Commission advertise their vacancies both on the Commission homepage and by their usual method of advertising. They then organise a selection based on the scientific ability and the compatibility of the research experience of the candidate with the proposed research area. Equal opportunities to all candidates (particularly male/female) must be stated in the advertisements. The Commission confirms administratively the selection.

- Can SMEs participate?

Yes. SMEs are particularly encouraged to participate. There is a special SME measure allowing SMEs to place fellows with their research partners (e.g. universities). However, the research partnership (collaborative research arrangement) must be in force at the time of application.

4. Stays at Marie Curie Training Sites

- What is the objective of this scheme?

The scheme will support short stays for young researchers pursuing doctoral studies at Marie Curie Training Sites. This provides them with the possibility of undertaking part of their doctoral studies in a country other than their own, and allowing them to benefit from working with an internationally recognised group in their specialised research area.

- Who may apply for funding?

Research groups in universities, industry, research centres or any organisation active in research and PhD training may apply. The research group should have an outstanding international reputation in its area of specialisation and have a strong history of hosting postgraduate researchers from abroad.

- How are the fellows selected?

The groups that have been selected by the Commission advertise their vacancies both on the Commission homepage and by their usual method of advertising. They then organise a selection based on the scientific ability and the compatibility of the doctoral studies of the candidate with the expertise of the Marie Curie Training Site. Equal opportunities to all candidates (particularly male/female) must be stated in the advertisements. The Commission confirms administratively the selection.

5. Development Host Fellowship Scheme

- Who may apply for funding?

Only research groups / organisations located in a Community Less Favoured Region (Objective 1) may apply. This includes universities, industry, research centres or any organisation active in research.

- What is the objective of the scheme?

To aid the transfer of research competence / knowledge to research institutions in Community Less Favoured Regions with a need to develop new areas of research competence.

- Who will transfer the technology / knowledge?

Young researchers with the necessary research experience from another Community/Associated country.

- How are the fellows selected?

The groups that have been selected by the Commission advertise their vacancies both on the Commission homepage and by their usual method of advertising. They then organise a selection based on the scientific ability and the compatibility of the doctoral studies of the candidate with the expertise of the Marie Curie Training Site. Equal opportunities to all candidates (particularly male/female) must be stated in the advertisements. The Commission confirms administratively the selection.

- Are there any other technology / knowledge transfer funding possibilities in the Human Potential Programme?

Yes, the Experienced Researchers Fellowship Schemes allow such opportunities. In this case, the technology transfer is carried out by experienced researchers.




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