[HORIZON EUROPE] Horizon Insights – MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships: a perfect match between a professor and a postdoc!

The funding scheme

Within the Marie S. Curie Actions (MSCA), the Postdoctoral Fellowships funding scheme supports mobility and training of postdoctoral researchers to strengthen the European science base.

  • The European Fellowships provide postdocs with a budget to work for one or two years at a European institution in a different country from where they have been working and residing in the past years (see Mobility rule).
  • With a Global Fellowship, postdocs can go to an institution outside of the EU Member States or Associated Countries for 1 to 2 years, and then come back to a European institution for the final year of the fellowship.

In their Host Institution, they need to be supported by a (main) supervisor, who has complementary expertise to the research project.

Timing of call MSCA-PF-2024

  • The 2024 will open on 9 April 2024 and close on the submission deadline of 11 September 2024  (17:00 CET).

Mobility rule

There is a basic mobility rule: researchers can't have resided in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the three years prior to the reference date of the call. This allows for Ghent University researchers who have only been in Belgium after 11 September 2023, to still apply for a fellowship with Ghent University as their Host Institution.

Find a suitable Host Institution

As a PhD student aiming to obtain your PhD degree by the time of the call deadline (11 September 2024), or as a postdoc with a maximum of 8 years of postdoc experience by the time of the call deadline (extensions for career breaks possible), you need to find a supervisor having the expertise you need to become a well-rounded highly skilled researcher. 

Statistics show that 98,8% of all Host Institutions of MSCA PF funded under Horizon Europe, are either universities (74,6%) or research institutions (24,2%). A minority of the grants (0,6%) is implemented at a private company, and the rest (0,5%) is run at other institutions, e.g. non-for-profit organizations. Of all Host Institutions, 40% hosted only one fellowship. 

A secondment of up to 1/3rd of the fellowship (or up to 1/3rd of the outgoing phase for Global Fellowships) to an additional institution is allowed to add another relevant experience to the fellowship. 

An additional six-month non-academic placement can be added to the duration of the fellowship if it will have an impact on the career of the applicant.

Find an excellent candidate

As a professor, you can use this fellowship scheme to attract a postdoc from another institution and of any nationality, bringing additional expertise. Hosting an excellent postdoc can be a real asset for your group and an excellent starting point to embark on a European funding journey.

Read more on how to select good candidates.

Ingredients for a successful MSCA-PF application

A successful application contains a detailed plan for research and a well-justified plan for training and two-way transfer of knowledge. Each project should explain why the candidate forms a perfect match to conduct the project in collaboration with the Host Institution. Show how the candidate will be thoroughly embedded in the research group and benefit from the presence of other relevant groups or faculties. Describe the impact the project will have on the career perspectives of the candidate, both in academia as non-academic sectors. Show that the project’s results will have an impact on science, on society and on the economy. 

Unit costs

The funding for each fellowship is calculated based on fixed unit costs for living and mobility allowance, and optional family allowance (for the researcher), and for research, training and networking costs, and management and indirect costs (for the host institution).

For fellows with Ghent University as their Host Institution, the allowances might not be sufficient to cover a Belgian tax-free postdoctoral fellowship or an appointment. This will then be complemented with BOF funding.

Contact the EU Team to get a cost estimate for your specific case.

Training and support by the EU Team

The EU Team has ample experience in the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships funding scheme.

Annually, we organize a Master Class, consisting of three days of training (23 May, 6 June, 20 June 2024). These interactive training days will focus on proposal preparation for the 2024 call. 

The MSCA Master Class is open for

  • applicants who plan to submit a proposal for the 2024 call with Ghent University as their future Host Institution and who have the support of a Ghent University supervisor. They need to send in an application form by 22 April 2024.
  • Ghent University supervisors, and postdocs currently working at Ghent University and who want to apply for a MSCA Individual Fellowship with a different host institution.

In previous years, applicants who attended our Master Class doubled their chances of success in the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships call.

More information

Contact: EU-team@UGent.be

Webpage of the European Commission: https://marie-sklodowska-curie-actions.ec.europa.eu/actions/postdoctoral-fellowships

Ghent University webpage: Marie Skłodowska Curie (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowships — Ghent University (ugent.be)

Ghent University Master Class  2024: Master Class for MSCA-PF applicants with Ghent University as their Host Institution — Ghent University (ugent.be)

Ghent University intranet: Postdoctoral fellowships (sharepoint.com)

About Horizon Insights

Horizon Insights is a specific feature in the BOZI newsletter where the EU team wishes to share own insights, going beyond information. 


Feb. 5, 2024, 10:33 a.m.