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MSCA-Postdoctoral Fellowships: A great opportunity for a fully funded fellowship

In this post Eirini Theofanidou, Proposal Development Executive (EU & International), highlights the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions- Postdoctoral Fellowships, and the support provided by Edinburgh Research Office for applicants.

Overview of the scheme

MSCA-Postdoctoral Fellowships support early career researchers moving to the UK to work on cutting-edge research projects that will make an original and significant contribution to their research field, under the supervision of an experienced Host Supervisor. The fellowship is a great opportunity for early career researchers to enhance their career by carrying out a research project at the University of Edinburgh, and the fellowship supports a two-way knowledge exchange between the fellow and the Supervisor/Host Institution, both in research and training skills.

Fellowships will be provided to excellent researchers, of any age and nationality, in any research field, who hold a PhD degree by the call deadline (12th of October 2021 @4pm UK time) and have less than 8 years full-time equivalent experience in research, measured from the date of award of the doctoral degree. They must undertake international mobility: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary (for European Postdoctoral Fellowships), or the host organisation for the outgoing phase (for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships) for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline.

Postdoctoral Fellowships can either take place in Europe (i.e. in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country) or in a Third Country not associated to Horizon Europe:

  • European Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to researchers of any nationality who wish to engage in R&I projects by either coming to Europe from any country in the world or moving within Europe. The standard duration of these fellowships must be between 12 and 24 months.
  • Global Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to European nationals or long-term residents who wish to engage in R&I projects with organisations outside EU Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries. These fellowships require an outgoing phase of minimum 12 and maximum 24 months in a non-associated Third Country, and a mandatory 12-month return phase to a host organisation based in an EU Member State or a Horizon Europe Associated Country.

All types of Postdoctoral Fellowships and can include a secondment period of up to three or six months in another organisation in Europe.

Support available from Edinburgh Research Office

We provide support to all researchers applying to the scheme. The potential applicant should initially identify a Supervisor who confirms their support by email to Edinburgh Research Office. The Supervisor can then send the ERO resources to the applicant.

Applicants and supervisors can view information and resources on our website

This includes:

  1. General introductory information
  • Overview with a short description of the scheme
  • Advice for the Supervisor and/or Researcher on how to decide/agree on working together
  • Information for potential applicants (Researchers) on how to identify a Host Supervisor
  1. ERO resources accessible to applicants via their Supervisor (University of Edinburgh Access only). The Supervisor downloads the documents and sends them to the Researcher.
  • EC resources
    • Links to all related resources available on the EC website
  • ERO resources
    • Specialist annotated templates for parts B1, B2 and a collated reviewers’ comments document, both prepared by our expert Proposal Development Executives. These are exclusive University of Edinburgh documents and not available elsewhere;
    • Examples of previous successful proposals from our ERO Directory of Successful Applications;
    • The ’Applicant’s Journey’ (see description below)

The ’Applicant’s Journey’:


For each section of the proposal, we provide a video presentation with instructions on how to complete the relevant part. The team will explain the key terminology and highlight what to do and what to avoid.  Applicants are advised to read the relevant documents before watching the presentation.

The video presentations are currently available through our SharePoint site. Supervisors should send the link and password to the videos to applicants.

Step 2

Surgery sessions with EU & International team: A number of 60 min sessions run from mid of July to end of September.  We will alternate days and time slots to allow all applicants to attend the sessions.

  • 19 August 1pm
  • 31 August  12pm
  • 13 September 11am
  • 21 September 1pm
  • 29 September 11am

How to book a place: If you are a University of Edinburgh Supervisor, or a Researcher applying with the University of Edinburgh, please email to register your interest and submit all your questions related to the call by 12pm the day before the event.

Researchers need to include the name and email of the Supervisor when emailing to book a place.

MS Team invites will be sent to those who have registered.

Step 3

FAQ link updated after each Surgery session. It will be organised in a similar structure as guidance + presentations.

Step 4

Self-assessment list: a checklist to ensure that all required information is included.

UK access to Horizon Europe

The UK is expected to soon become an associated country to Horizon Europe. The UK will therefore have the same rights and obligations as other countries associated to the Programme. You can read more about UK-based researchers’ access to Horizon Europe in our previous blog: Update on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe.

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Eirini Theofanidou


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