Human resources and Mobility in the specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration "Structuring the European Research Area" under the Sixth Framework Programme 2002-2006
With a view to the successful creation of the European Research Area, the Human Resources and Mobility activity involves a coherent set of actions, largely based on the financing of structured mobility schemes for researchers. These are essentially geared to the development and transfer of research competencies, the consolidation and widening of researchers' career prospects, and the promotion of excellence in European research. All actions under this activity are named "Marie Curie" actions.
The activity will be open to all fields of scientific and technological research that contribute to the Community's RTD objectives. Equally so, all actions are open to organisations active in research or research training. It should be noted that this includes industrial research participants, amongst others SMEs.
Within this activity, particular attention will be paid to:
- The participation of women within all actions, and toappropriate measures to promote a more equitable balance between men and women in research, the target being at least 40 % selection of women.
- The personal circumstances relating to mobility, particularly with respect to the family, career development and languages.
- The development of research activity in the less-favoured regions of the EU, the new member states and the associated candidate countries.
- The need for increased and more effective co-operation between research disciplines and between academia and industry, including SMEs.
With a view to further reinforcing the human potential for European research, this activity will also aim to attract the best and most promising researchers from third countries, promote the training of European researchers abroad and stimulate the return of European scientists established outside Europe.
The overall strategic objective of the Human resources and Mobility is to provide broad support for the development of abundant and dynamic world-class human resources in the European research system. The aim is to promote trans-national mobility for training purposes, develop expertise, promote scientific excellence and transfer of knowledge between different sectors and to make Europe more attractive to third-country researchers.
Human resources and Mobility activity has four main strands of action:
1.) Marie Curie host-driven actions
These actions are aimed at supporting research networks, research organisations and enterprises, in particular SMEs, in the provision of structured global schemes for the transnational training and mobility of researchers, and the development and transfer of competencies in research. The actions concerned are intended to have a strong structuring effect on the European research system, in particular by encouraging junior researchers to pursue a research career.
a) Marie Curie research training networks
These networks provide the means for research teams of recognised international stature to link up in the context of a well-defined collaborative research project. The aim is to formulate and implement a structured training programme for researchers in a particular research field. Networks will provide a cohesive, but flexible framework for the training and professional development of researchers, especially in the early stages of their research career. Networks also aim to achieve a critical mass of qualified researchers, especially in areas that are highly-specialised and/or fragmented and to contribute to overcoming institutional and disciplinary boundaries, notably through the promotion of multidisciplinary research.
b) Marie Curie host fellowships for early stage research training
These fellowships will be targeted at higher education and research institutions, training centres and enterprises, with a view to reinforcing their training capability. The scheme is directed at researchers in the early stages of their professional career. It focuses on the acquisition of specific scientific and technological competencies in research, as well as of complementary skills.
c) Marie Curie host fellowships for the transfer of knowledge
These fellowships will be directed at European organisations (universities, research centres, enterprises, etc.) which need to develop new areas of competencies. Another target is to promote the development of research capabilities in the less-favoured regions of the EU and the associated countries.
d) Marie Curie conferences and training Courses
These conferences and training courses will enable junior researchers to benefit from the experience of leading researchers. Support will be given to specific training activities (including virtual ones) that highlight particular European achievements and interests.
2.)Marie Curie individual-driven actions
These actions are aimed at supporting the career development of individual researchers who are in the process of reaching positions of professional maturity and independence. They aim to respond to researchers' particular needs with a view to complement individual competencies in particular in terms of inter/multidisciplinarity, research management skills and intersectoral mobility. They also address the linkages between European and third countries' researchers.
a) Marie Curie intra-European fellowships
These fellowships will allow the most promising researchers from EU and the associated countries to undertake training through research in the European organisations that are the most appropriate to their individual needs. The topic will be freely chosen by the researcher in collaboration with the host, with a view to completing or diversifying his/her expertise.
b) Marie Curie outgoing international fellowships
These fellowships will be awarded to researchers from EU and associated countries to work in established third country research centres, thereby widening their international experience in research.
3.) Marie Curie Excellence Promotion and Recognition
These actions focus on the promotion and recognition of excellence in European research, thereby increasing its visibility and attractiveness. They aim at promoting European research teams, especially in new and/or emerging areas of research, and at highlighting personal achievements of European researchers.
a) Marie Curie excellence grants
These grants aim at providing support for the creation and development of European research teams which are considered to have the potential to reach a high level, in particular in the leading edge or interdisciplinary research activities.
b) Marie Curie excellence awards
These awards are scientific prizes which aim to give public recognition to excellence achieved by researchers who have in the past benefited from training and mobility support by the Community.
c) Marie Curie chairs
These chairs will be awarded for the purpose of making top-level appointments, in particular to attract world-class researchers and encourage them to resume their careers in Europe.
4.) Marie Curie return and re-integration mechanisms
a) Marie Curie European re-integration grants
These grants are directed at researchers from the EU and associated countries who have just completed a Marie Curie fellowship of at least two years. The mechanism will assist the professional reintegration of the research worker, the priority being given to reintegration in his or her country or region of origin.
b) Marie Curie international re-integration grants
A similar mechanism than the Marie Curie European re-integration grants, but covering a longer period, up to two years, will apply to European researchers who have carried out research outside Europe for at least 5 years, with or without having benefited from a Marie Curie action, and who wish to return to Europe.