The European Commission has published the Scoping Paper for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) 2018-2020 Work Programme.
The paper was developed following consideration of the Expert Advisory Group Recommendations on 2018-20 MSCA Work Programme, which recommends building on the existing strengths of the MSCA and continuing the bottom-up, excellence-driven approach, while reflecting the changing landscape of research and innovation to better equip researchers with the right skills and competences. No major changes are foreseen to the five MSC Actions: Innovative Training Networks (ITN), Individual Fellowships (IF), Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND) and the European Researchers' Night (NIGHT). Annual calls will continue, with the exception of the NIGHT, where one call will cover 2018-19 and another 2020.
The Scoping Paper provides strategic orientations for 2018-2020 MSCA calls and suggest a number of improvements and simplification measures to the scheme, for instance:
- Part-time fellowships not only for family but also for professional reasons;
- Endorsing funding-management training within MSCA projects;
- Supporting measures to stimulate higher quality applications from potential beneficiaries in under-represented countries;
- Promoting equal opportunities and inclusion even more (more flexible rules for mobility allowance; additional support should also be provided to researchers living with a disability);
- Reinforcing Global Fellowship opportunities (allowing to first spend time at the European beneficiary before leaving for their year(s) outside Europe;
- Addressing the migration challenge within MSCA projects (specific support to displaced researchers).
The scoping papers are working documents not formally endorsed by the Commission, the adoption and publication of the 2018-2020 work programme is expected in October 2017.