Innovative Training Networks (ITN)

Structured training of early-stage researchers with the objective of awarding PhDs within networks of several European institutions

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Innovative Training Networks are networks of European institutions with the purpose of training early-stage researchers in a structured manner to increase their competences in an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral research and training programme. Participation of both the academic and the non-academic sector is crucial. There are three types of Innovative Training Networks with different participation requirements:

  • European Training Networks (ETN),
  • European Industrial Doctorates (EID),
  • European Joint Doctorates (EJD).

Participation requirements for institutions

  • European Training Networks (ETN): The network must be composed of at least three different institutions from three different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • European Industrial Doctorates (EID): The network must consist of at least one institution from the academic and one institution from the non-academic sector from at least two different Member States or Associated Countries. At least one of the institutions must be entitled to award a doctoral degree. The early-stage researchers must be enrolled in the doctoral programme at one of the academic partners and have to spend at least 50% of their time in the non-academic sector. The early-stage researchers are jointly supervised by at least two supervisors, one from the academic and one from the non-academic sector. EID proposals are evaluated in a dedicated panel.
  • European Joint Doctorates (EJD): An EJD must be composed of at least three different institutions entitled to award doctoral degrees from three different Member States or Associated Countries. At least two institutions awarding joint, double or multiple doctoral degrees must be established in a Member State or Associated Country. The early-stage researchers must be enrolled in the doctoral programme and be supervised jointly by the participating institutions. EJD proposals are evaluated in a dedicated panel.

Additional institutions, even from Third Countries, can participate in the proposals as beneficiaries or partnering organizations.

Participation requirements for researchers

Only early-stage researchers can be funded within an ITN. They can be employed within the network for a minimum of three months and up to a maximum of three years.

Mobility rules

The early-stage researchers to be trained within the networks may be of any nationality (Member States, Associated Countries and Third Countries). There are no quotas for the participation of researchers from Third Countries. The mobility rule applies: At the time of recruitment by the host organization, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the reference date.

Duration of the project

The duration of the project is limited to 48 months. During that period, early-stage researchers will be trained and network activities may be implemented.

Financial aspects

Financial support is awarded for the employment of early-stage researchers and for the implementation of research, training and network activities. Funding is calculated in the form of unit costs according to the number of eligible person months. All types of ITN have a maximum budget of 540 person months; EID projects with only two beneficiaries may not exceed 180 person months, however.


Project proposals are submitted by the project coordinating institution of the respective network.

At a later stage, individual researchers apply directly to the participating organizations for advertised job vacancies. All Marie Sklodowksa-Curie job vacancies are published on EURAXESS Jobs.


Calls for proposals are listed here.