The objective of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions is to create a pool of European researchers as well as scientific and innovation staff and to increase Europe’s attractiveness for researchers.
The Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions are implemented on the basis of a bottom-up approach - there are no fixed scientific areas. Researchers and institutions are free to choose their research topic, with the exception of nuclear research.
The Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions are divided into five areas. Each area addresses different aspects of the overall objective.
- Area 1: Research training and/or doctoral programmes
Furthering career opportunities of early-stage researchers through structured research training provided by a network of universities, research organizations and non-academic institutions: Innovative Training Networks (ITN).
- Area 2: Individual Fellowships for experienced researchers
Promoting career opportunities of experienced researchers carrying out individual research projects to enhance their competences: Individual Fellowships (IF).
- Area 3: Staff Exchange
Supporting international and inter-sectoral cooperation and knowledge transfer through staff exchange within the cooperation of institutions: Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE).
- Area 4: Co-funding of mobility programmes
Supporting regional, national and international mobility programmes for early-stage and experienced researchers, in line with the principles of Charter & Code: Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes (COFUND).
- Area 5: Accompanying Actions
Furthering the improvement of career opportunities and other aspects of career development in research through accompanying actions (e.g. European Researchers' Night (NIGHT), studies and analyses).
In addition to this division into different objectives, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions are categorised in institutional and individual actions, depending on whether one or more institutions or individual researchers apply.
Within the institutional actions, organisations or groups of organisations apply to the European Commission/REA for research projects covering a considerable number of person months. Resulting job vacancies must be advertised externally. The vacancies have to be published on EURAXESS; additional job advertisements are expected.
Within the individual actions, individual researchers apply in cooperation with a host institution. The host institution is to submit the application. The career opportunities of experienced researchers are promoted through individual research stays, predominately in Europe.