The first Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) calls for projects under Horizon Europe will launch on 18 May, and over the next two years the EU research programme will award around €1.8 billion for PhDs, researcher mobility and staff exchange projects. The money will be spread across five programmes, each with two bottom-up calls each year.
While on the face of it, MSCA is little changed from the previous research programme, Horizon 2020, the Commission is introducing age limits to reduce the numbers of applications and offering new incentives for involving industry. All of this will affect the application process and who will benefit from the grants.
Individual fellowships, which fund training and mobility of researchers of any nationality, are now called postdoctoral fellowships, and are only available to researchers with up to eight years of post-PhD research experience.
The Commission hopes this restriction will help reduce the number of applications and boost success rates, which currently range between 11 to 18%.
But the MSCA community is not happy with the change. “There are a lot of underrepresented groups that may be deprived of funding,” Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, the chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association, told Science|Business.