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Selection results are out for the next batch of top tier researchers from across the globe who are due to receive MSCA (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) funding to advance science, innovation and business competitiveness of the Union. Announcing the results of the the 2016 MSCA-bid under Horizon 2020, the European Commission will fund post-doctoral research with nearly 1,200 grants for individual fellowships, worth € 218.71 million in total. A highly competitive scheme, MSCA this year attracted the biggest number of proposals submitted for a single Horizon 2020 call with almost 9000 applicants.
Looking at the mix of beneficiaries with a high potential to make a game changing impact for European science, about 115 Global Fellowships are awarded for EU based researchers, and around 100 Individual Fellowships will support the careers of those repatriating to Europe after a work period abroad or a career break.
A new dimension in this round relates to individual fellowships provided under the recently introduced ‘Society and Enterprise panel’ that aims to support researchers outside academia and the participation of the non-academic sector, with over EUR 8 million in funding. For the first time, almost 50 bright minds have been selected to spend several years in public bodies, non-governmental organisations, or firms to gain new expertise and provide innovation capacity to organisations.
The search for the next generation of brilliant minds from the EU and across the globe is soon on again, with the 2017 call for proposals for Individual Fellowships to be released 11 April 2017/deadline 14 September 2017 and a budget of around EUR 249 million. The upcoming round will also roll-out the new Seal of Excellence, that seeks to acknowledge those proposals who did receive funding yet exhibited high potential, scoring 85% or above. The Seal that is already used in other parts of Horizon 2020, and will strengthen MSCA as a benchmark for research talent and vouch for those who slightly missed the mark when approaching other national and regional funding sources.
Celebrating MSCA’s 20th anniversary this year, growing numbers of outstanding submissions mark both the success and competitive nature of the Nobel laureate producing scheme, with thousands of researchers not making the 2016 cut. How effective and beyond symbolic the new Seal of Excellence proves in widening MSCA support, and consolidating a trend of heightened competition will be seen in the upcoming round.
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions – Press release