On Wednesday 8th May Durham University hosted a Marie Curie Information Day on behalf of the NE regional universities.
Marie Curie Actions have been renamed Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions to distinguish the new MC scheme in Horizon 2020 from the MC scheme in Framework 7.
The aim of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions is to contribute towards a strong high-quality research landscape in Europe by fostering the international and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers, offering attractive employment and training opportunities, promoting professional standards in research careers and equipping researchers with the skills needed in the modern economy. 40% of the MCA budget is allocated to the training of early-stage researchers. Under FP7, by 2013, the programme expects to have supported 50,000 researchers and funded 10,000 PhDs.
There were presentations from the UKRO Marie Curie National Contact Point, the European Commission Marie Curie Office, as well as Case Studies from current and past Marie Curie Fellows, highlighting the highs and lows of being a MC Fellow. Speakers looked at schemes still available under FP7 as well as new opportunities in the upcoming Horizon 2020.
Sobia ASlam, UKRO MC National Contact Point – Marie Curie 2013 Calls – Overview of Schemes
Sobia gave an overview of the Marie Curie Schemes available in Framework 7, with some hints and tips for success, as well as analysis of success rates. There are still a few schemes open under FP7 so there is still time to apply under the current round of funding:
||Budget (EUR million)
|Career Integration Grants (CIG)
||18 September 2013
|Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
||14 August 2013
|International Incoming Fellowships (IIF)
||14 August 2013
|International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)
||14 August 2013
Following Sobia’s presentation there was a Q&A Session, which raised the following points of interest:
- There is a clear definition of Roles in Marie Curie Fellowships:
- Coordinator – researcher
- Scientist in Charge – supervisor
- Main contact – European Incoming/Outgoing Organisation (there should be a Partnership Agreement in place with host institution)
- Referees not compulsory but recommended, better not from host institution, as therevcould be conflict of interest.
- Make is easy for the reviewers to provide positive comments:
- Mention European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers in your research proposal.
- Impact tips, need to refer to the strategy documents and how your research will impact….how it responds to European Policy, eg Youth on the Move
- Write for a more general audience, also your evaluator’s first language may not be English. You need to tell a good story about how this will be beneficial for both the Fellow and for Europe.
- EU prefers that Fellow is employed under an employment contract, rather than a stipend if possible.
- Earliest start date is the 1st of the month after you’ve signed the contract….latest start date is 12 months after
- Any claims for funding for partners and dependents is based on marital status is at the time of application see Annex 3 of the workprogramme for a definition of what constitutes a ‘partner’ or ‘dependent’.
- The MC Fellow has to work 100% of their time on the project….but there are guidelines for a career development plan which allows scope for dissemination, so some teaching could be possible in this context.
[notice]One point of particular note which was repeated throughout the day was that the budget is split by discipline depending on the spread of applications received…so the budget is split between Panels depending on application number, there is no pre-defined split of budget between subject areas. Members of the audience from an Arts/Social Science discipline had expressed concern that there did not appear to be as good a chance of success from this discipline background. This was completely refuted by the speakers, the simple fact is that they receive fewer applications from these disciplines so fewer MC Fellows are funded. So the advice was we need to encourage more Arts/Social Scientists to apply.[/notice]
Paul Harris, Policy Officer, European Commission – Value of MC/mobility to the EU
Points to note from Paul’s presentation & questions throughout the session.
- NE success rates – 106 MC awards to NE HEIs since 2007
- UK is most successful in MC actions.
- There is a key link between MC programme and Innovation Union in that we need 1million new researchers across Europe.
- Again it was emphasised that funding is based on number of applications – so Panels budgets are based on which subject areas apply, the budget is not pre-set by Panel disciplines.
Paul Harris, Policy Officer, European Commission – Marie Sklodowska Curie in Horizon 2020
Marie curie horizon 2020 from kingkatz
Main points to note from Paul’s presentation were:
- The Commission is still hoping that first calls and workprogramme can be launched Dec 2013, but this will depend on budget decisions being made on time.
- Actions have been streamlined into 4 main schemes, early stage, experienced, exchange of staff & COFUND (regional, national, international programmes funding doctoral and postdoctoral researchers).
- 10,000 postdoctoral researchers funded under MC, hope to fund 25,000 early stage researchers….looking at extending experience to non-academic organisations (NGOs, Industry etc). There is a possibility to do a secondment in an Individual Fellowship out to industry/NGOs etc
- Support for joint doctorates brought into MC (currently under Erasmus Mundus)
- Still an emphasis on the Triple I dimension……inter-sectoral, international, inter-disciplinary.
There were also 4 Case studies presented from present and past Marie Curie Fellows highlighting their personal experience of having been a MC Fellow. All 4 had extremely positive and worthwhile experiences. One of the Fellows recommended a webpage and discussion group which had handy hints and tips from other MC Fellows.
Dajana Dzanovic, European Funding Manager at Durham University & Deirdre Dodd, European Funding Manager at Newcastle University – Application and Post Award Support.
Finally there was a presentation from the European Funding Managers from Durham and Newcastle Universities on the support available at each organisation, and with some tips for success.
Some points to note from this presentation:
- State where supervised PhDs have gone to after they have been at the host institution….this demonstrates calibre of organisation
- Stock paragraphs on assistance that can be provided from host institution, for example how the organisation can provide help with language training, pastoral care etc.
- Impact section, add text from European Policy, documents establishing FP7 etc…reviewers can then quote this back in the feedback
[important]NOTE: There is similar support available here at Northumbria University – get in touch with one of the Research Funding Managers in the first instance if you are interested in applying to the August 2013 deadline: Sam King
or David Young