European Science Foundation consults with its Community of Experts for the future of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) have been successful; How should they evolve? 

The MSCA actions have been exceptionally successful and appreciated for over two decades. In preparation for the continuation of the awards under the Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027), representatives from stakeholder organisations, MSCA fellows and doctoral or postdoctoral supervisors, national experts, as well as MSCA host organisations will meet in Brussels, on 3 and 4 December 2019, to share experiences on doctoral education and training, researchers skills and careers, present their ideas on the future actions and discuss about outstanding implementation issues. 

In the above framework ESF has initiated a consultation with its Community of Experts in order to gather valuable insights and suggestions for the future of the programme. All comments will be taken under consideration and addressed to the participants of the Brussels meeting by Martin Hynes, ESF's President and member of the Advisory Committee for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. 

Facts & Figures

Since 1994, around 130,000 researchers — including 35,000 doctoral candidates — from almost 160 nationalities, received training through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), a number which is expected to reach 145.000 by the end of 2020.

The MSCA support researchers in all scientific domains, promote collaboration between the academic, scientific and business communities, boost the careers of scientists at all stages and develop excellent doctoral training in Europe and beyond through international and intersectoral mobility.

A recent publication by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, titled “Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Driving innovation, supporting researchers’ mobility and cultivating excellence in doctoral and postdoctoral training: Facts & Figures” highlights that Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities are the main fields of research among MSCA researchers. Doctoral programmes and training networks support innovative training, transferable skills and exposure to industry and non-academic sectors, while at the same time improving academic quality of learning for researchers. Additionally, more than 600 million euro so far enable researchers to work in the non-academic sector, of which over 1/3 goes to SMEs, proving that MSCA bring science and business together. MSCA also nurture and develop research talent, with notable achievements, including 9 Nobel Prize winners (involved as fellows or supervisors in MSCA) and strong involvement in the discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN as well as generating scientific breakthroughs for the future. MSCA have a positive effect on fellows’ careers, as well. According to individual MSCA fellows around 95% were employed and around 40% were promoted to more senior positions soon after their MSCA fellowship. 

Download the publication (pdf)