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MSCA4Ukraine Fellowships

As part of the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine and the need for rapid action, this grant will be awarded without a call for proposals in accordance with Article 195(b)[[ Article 195(b) of the Financial Regulation 2018/1046 “Grants may be awarded without a call for proposals only in the following cases: […] (b) in other exceptional and duly substantiated emergencies”.]] of the Financial Regulation. The use of a grant awarded without a call for proposals is justified by the exceptional emergency faced by displaced researchers from Ukraine and the specific expertise of the beneficiaries, which are key players with extensive experience in supporting researchers at risk. The grant will ensure support to displaced researchers (both doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers) from Ukraine through dedicated fellowships, putting into practice the EU’s core principles of academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

Expected outcomes:

Through the provision of fellowships to displaced researchers from Ukraine, the grant is expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:

  • Protection of displaced researchers from Ukraine to continue their research in academic or non-academic organisations[[ See definitions at the end of this Work Programme]] in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries through dedicated fellowships and facilitate their reintegration to Ukraine when safe conditions for return are met.
  • Strengthened integration between the EU and Ukrainian research and innovation communities.

At the level of individual researchers to be supported, the following outcomes are expected:

  • New research and transferable skills and competences, leading to improved employability and career prospects within and outside academia.
  • New knowledge allowing the conversion of ideas into products and services, where relevant.
  • Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase and broaden the research and innovation impact.

Expected impact

  • Allow the EU to respond to the emergency faced by displaced researchers from Ukraine in line with its core values, and academic freedom in particular.
  • Sustain Ukrainian research and innovation capacities by allowing displaced researchers from Ukraine to continue their research activities.
  • Reinforcement of the EU research and innovation cooperation with Ukraine.

Scope

The objective of the grant is to provide rapid support in the form of fellowships to displaced researchers from Ukraine to resume their research activities at host organisations established in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries

Requests for support from displaced researchers from Ukraine are expected to increase in the coming months. With the view to responding to this inflow of requests, the grant will be awarded to legal entities that are beneficiaries in grants awarded under the calls H2020-MSCA-RR-2018 or HORIZON-MSCA-2021-RR-01.

A consortium of 10 organisations[[ Scholars at Risk Europe, hosted at Maynooth University, Ireland (Project Coordinator); Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Germany; European University Association; Jagiellonian University, Poland; University of Oslo, Norway; University of Gothenburg, Sweden; French national PAUSE programme, hosted by the Collège de France; Stichting voor Vluchteling-Studenten UAF, Netherlands; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; Scholz CTC GmbH, Germany.]] is currently funded through a Coordination and Support Action under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions in Horizon2020[[ Inspireurope | Maynooth University]], with the aim to facilitate transnational cooperation across Europe in support of researchers at risk. The partner organisations involved are all key institutions gathering collectively a unique experience in assisting researchers at risk. This includes providing direct financial support to researchers, giving them access to a large network of host organisations in Europe and direct insights into the administrative and legal procedures linked to this type of situation.

Support to individual researchers should be open to all domains of research and innovation and aligned with the general objectives and principles of the MSCA, including scientific excellence, skills and career development, inter-sectoral mobility, equal opportunities and inclusiveness, attractive working conditions, work/life balance, while fostering open science, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Support will include training activities that should respond to well identified needs in various research and innovation areas, with appropriate references to inter- and multidisciplinary fields. They should be primarily focused on developing new scientific knowledge through original research on personalised projects. Complementary training should also be provided to develop key transferable skills and competences common to all fields, foster innovation and entrepreneurship, and promote and (where appropriate) reward Open Science practices (open access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, public engagement and citizen science, etc.).

Short-term secondments of researchers to other organisations than those recruiting them, including in third countries non-associated to Horizon Europe, are encouraged when relevant, feasible and beneficial for the researchers and in line with the research objectives. Inter-sectoral secondments are encouraged in particular to increase the employability of the researchers outside academia.

Particular attention will be paid to the quality of supervision and mentoring arrangements as well as career guidance.

Supported researchers can be either doctoral candidates (i.e. enrolled in a doctoral programme leading to the award of a doctoral degree) or postdoctoral researchers (i.e. in possession of a doctoral degree). They must be either Ukrainian nationals, stateless persons, or nationals from third countries other than Ukraine, residing in Ukraine, who have been displaced on or after 24 February 2022, or who are ready to be displaced.

The beneficiaries will provide financial support to third parties in the form of unit contributions, as stipulated in Decision of 11 March 2021 authorising the use of lump sum contributions and unit contributions for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions under the Horizon Europe programme. The same unit contributions as in MSCA Doctoral Networks and MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships, under the same conditions, will be applied for doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers respectively. Eligible third parties that will recruit researchers include any academic or non-academic organisations established in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. Other organisations, including those established in non-associated third countries can host researchers for short-term secondments.

The invitation and the conditions for third parties to apply for funding will be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal and on the beneficiaries' websites. The beneficiaries will ensure the calls and their evaluation adhere to Horizon Europe standards with respect to transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality.

The duration of each individual fellowship is to be determined by the beneficiaries in agreement with the recruiting organisations, with a maximum duration of 2 years. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 2.00 million (covering the recruitment of several researchers). This amount is justified by the need to act rapidly in the context of the emergency caused by the war in Ukraine and the uncertainty related to its resolution.

Secondments to other organisations are eligible for up to one third of the fellowship duration. The fellowship should allow supporting a reintegration phase in Ukraine for researchers wishing to return if safe conditions for such a return are met.

The general conditions, including admissibility conditions, eligibility conditions, award criteria, evaluation and award procedure, legal and financial set-up for grants, financial and operational capacity and exclusion, and procedure are provided in parts A to G of the General Annexes. The evaluation committee will be composed partially or fully by representatives of EU institutions.