In this position paper, The Guild provides feedback on the proposed changes for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) in Horizon Europe.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is a very successful scheme supporting the best and most promising scientists in Europe. The Guild welcomes the continuity for the MSCA instruments and believes that more funds are needed in order to support all the excellent proposals submitted to it. However, it is crucial that the budget of the programme is increased to respond to its growing popularity and to take stock of the research talent in Europe.
The Guild appreciates the Commission’s efforts in improving MSCA under Horizon Europe and is grateful for the dialogue with stakeholders on the proposed modifications to increase its success rate and impact. Aa a response to these proposals, The Guild recommends to:
- Maintain MSC Doctorates and MSC Postdocs the main focus of the programme, as these schemes have the biggest impact on the development of research talent;
- In MSC Postdocs, favour the limitation of eligibility to PhD holders or applicants with an equivalent degree over the introduction of an eligibility criterion based on the scientific age of researchers;
- Continue MSCA Widening Fellowships in Horizon Europe. Other options being considered as alternatives to the Widening Fellowships scheme, should complement rather than replace the current Widening Fellowships.
The Guild also lays down proposals to foster synergies between MSCA and other EU programmes and actions and to support the development of Open Science skills in MSCA fellows.
The Guild is committed to work with the European Commission and other stakeholders to improve MSCA whilst ensuring that the scheme remains as successful, impactful and appreciated as it has been over the past years