Basic Information on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions support excellent research projects and cooperation between countries, sectors and research fields.

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The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions have been set up to ensure cross-border and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers and technical and managerial staff and to offer attractive opportunities for career advancement and knowledge exchange. The basic information provided here refers to all Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and is relevant for proposal writing.

Who is meant by researcher?

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions address researchers at different stages of their research career. They are open to all researchers, irrespective of age. Students without a degree allowing them to take up studies on a PhD level may not participate in the actions.

Basically, the MSC Actions differentiate between two groups of researchers:

Doctoral Candidates

Doctoral candidates are defined as researchers who, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Researchers who have already been awarded a PhD degree are no longer recognised as doctoral candidates.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Postdoctoral researchers are defined as researchers who are in possession of a doctoral degree, defined as a successfully defended doctoral thesis, even if the doctoral degree has yet to be awarded at the date of the call deadline.

Which institutions can participate?

Basically, any institution active in research and research training can apply within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, meaning that universities as well as public and private research organisations and enterprises, including small and medium sized enterprises, are addressed.

The actions specify different participation requirements.

Is mobility required?

Mobility Rule

Almost all Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions require cross-border mobility.

Basically, no researcher can stay at a host organisation in a country in which he or she has resided or carried out his or her main activity (works, studies) for more than twelve months in the last three years.

The reference date set in the mobility rule for the Postdoctoral Fellowships is the respective call deadline. Stays in the host country after the call deadline, but before the start of the project, are possible.

The reference date for institutional actions such as Doctoral Networks and COFUND is the date of first recruitment.

Within the Global Fellowships the mobility rule applies to the Third Country.

The mobility rule does not apply to Staff Exchanges.

Special Scientific Domains required?

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are open to all scientific areas (bottom-up approach). The researchers may choose the topic of their proposal freely.

For evaluation purposes, an attribution to one of eight scientific panels is required.

Can Third Countries participate?

Third Countries are defined as countries that are neither Member States of the European Union nor Associated Countries to Horizon Europe. Within the group of Third Countries, there are different categories:

  • Third Countries that can receive funding from Horizon Europe (corresponding to the General Annex of the Work Programme),
  • Third Countries that do not receive funding from Horizon Europe.

Participation of institutions from Third Countries

  • Actions with several participating institutions:
    • In Doctoral Networks, institutions from Third Countries may participate if the minimum requirements to form a consortium are met.
    • In Staff Exchanges, institutions from Third Countries are required to participate according to the participation rules in case all participating institutions are from the same sector.
    • The participation does not automatically involve EU funding.
  • In Global Fellowships, the host organisation for the outgoing phase is located in a Third Country and is not a contracting party with the European Commission / REA.

Participation of Third Country nationals

  • In Doctoral Networks, COFUND and Staff Exchanges, researchers from Third Countries may participate without limitation.
  • In European Fellowships all researchers, irrespective of nationality, can participate.
  • In Global Fellowships, researchers from Third Countries may apply, provided they have carried out research activities in a Member State or Associated Country for at least five years full-time (periods of absence are taken into account where they are shorter than six consecutive months and do not exceed in total ten months within this period of five years) at the time of the call deadline.


The funding scheme of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions differs from the funding mechanisms of other parts of Horizon Europe. Funding is provided for different components of the respective actions and amounts to up to 100% of the costs.

The contracting party (beneficiary) with the EU is the participating institution and not the individual researcher. The participating institution is the recipient of the payments. The coordinating institution in the respective Member State or Associated Country is the grant holder, also in projects with participation of institutions from Third Countries, e.g. Global Fellowships or Doctoral Networks.

The funding is allocated to different cost categories:

  • Costs for researchers in funded projects are dedicated to the employment of researchers and consist of fixed amounts for living allowance, mobility allowance and family allowance (if applicable). A correction co-efficient dependent on the host country will be applied to the living allowance. Recruitment costs include all social security costs. Thus, the amount constitutes the employer's gross amount. The European Commission / Research Executive Agency (REA) expect the researchers to be appointed under an employment contract.
  • The costs for institutions refer to project implementation and include allowances and grants for research, training, and networking costs as well as allowances for management and indirect costs.

The allowances for each of the actions are listed in a table in the Work Programme.


Institutional actions and individual actions require different application modalities.

Within the institutional actions (Doctoral Networks, Staff Exchanges, COFUND), the application is submitted by the institution or group of institutions for the research projects corresponding to the requirements of the action. In case of successful proposals, the institutions are provided with person-months for the recruitment of researchers according to the requirement of the project's work plan. Individual researchers apply for the vacant positions directly at the respective institution.

Within the Postdoctoral Fellowships, the application is composed jointly by the host organisation and the researcher. The institution submits the project proposal.

For each of the calls, an individual website is available on the Funding & Tenders Portal containing all relevant information and documents, among them the call itself, the Work Programme for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the respective Guide for Applicants.

While a call for proposals is open, the Guide for Applicants and further relevant documents might be updated. During proposal preparation and before submission, it is therefore highly recommended to check the documents for possible updates. Usually, frequently asked questions are also collected in the course of each call and should also be considered.

The proposal is submitted via the electronic submission service of the European Commission. With regard to actions that include several institutions, e.g. Doctoral Networks (DN), the coordinating institution submits the proposal.

The application forms consist of two components: Part A consists of the administrative forms, Part B of a pre-formatted document into which the proposal text is to be inserted. There are specific requirements for both parts which are laid down in the respective Guide for Applicants.

The call deadline for each call is a cut-off deadline; for each call, the electronic system closes at 5 pm Brussels time, a delayed submission is not possible