School of Social and Political Science

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions - European Postdoctoral Fellowship


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions were formed in 1996 and can trace their origins to the EU’s researcher mobility fellowships under FP3. MSCAs will continue under Horizon Europe programme as a component of the UK's negotiated Brexit settlement.

There are 2 types of Postdoctoral Fellowships:

  1. European Postdoctoral Fellowships. They are open to researchers moving within Europe or coming to Europe from another part of the world to pursue their research career. These fellowships take place in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country and can last between 1 and 2 years. Researchers of any nationality can apply.
  2. Global Postdoctoral Fellowships. They fund the mobility of researchers outside Europe. The fellowship lasts between 2 to 3 years, of which the first 1 to 2 years will be spent in a non-associated Third Country, followed by a mandatory return phase of 1 year to an organisation based in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. Only nationals or long-term residents of the EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries can apply.


Researchers interested in PFs

  • should have a PhD degree at the time of the deadline for applications. Applicants who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will also be considered eligible to apply
  • must have a maximum of eight years experience in research, from the date of the award of their PhD degree, years of experience outside research and career breaks will not count towards the above maximum, nor will years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe.
  •  must comply with the following mobility rule: 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. 

2024 Round Deadlines

1. Mentor identification

In the first instance you should approach a member of staff in the School of Social and Political Science who you would like to act as academic mentor for the MSCA fellowship. This should be done as soon as possible.

2. Notification of Expression of Interest to School

Once you have a mentor in place, you should let the SPS Research Office know of your intention to apply by email to

3. Submission to School Panel Process

If you wish to apply for this scheme then you must put in a submission to the School Panel Process. The School deadline for consideration for the 2024 call will be Monday, 20 May 2024. We will aim to provide comments/feedback from reviewers within 3 weeks. All documents should be submitted to

School Panel Process - Documents

1) Project proposal (max. 2 pages not including references) which must include, but is not limited to, the following sections:

  • Introduction/rationale and objectives/research questions
  • Research methodology/approach
  • Originality and innovative aspects of the research programme – this is a crucial element of the MSCA PF
  • Outcomes/outputs/impact of the research
  • Opportunities for transfer of knowledge (TOK) between fellow and host institution (in both directions) – what will you learn from being at SPS and what will SPS learn from you?

2) Candidate CV (max. 2 pages)

3) Mentor statement and abbreviated CV (max. 2 pages total)

You must ask your mentor to prepare this statement, which should describe:

  • how they will work with you to develop the full proposal if selected
  • why they are a good match for your project in terms of expertise
  • their experience with regard to training researchers, track record, major international collaborations, publications, etc. 
  • the role they will play in the fellowship, including how they will support you to integrate into the subject area.

This statement must be accompanied by the mentor’s abbreviated CV.

Applicants who obtain School support

For applicants successful in obtaining School support then the next stages will involve the submission of a full draft application by Wednesday, 7 August to work towards the Wednesday, 11 September 2024 funder deadline. This schedule will also involve active mentor input in the period July to August.

The SPS RO is keen to speak with potential applicants and to provide them with any additional information that may be helpful in considering this scheme round in 2024. 

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 Call Information Webinars

The UK Research Office (UKRO), in its capacity as UK National Contact Point (NCP) for the Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), is holding two online information webinars for organisations and individuals interested in applying to the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 call (deadline on 11 September 2024).

The agenda for each webinar is to be confirmed shortly, however UKRI strongly advise participants register for and attend both sessions.

Session 1 – Tuesday, 14 May 10am-12noon. Register online here: UKRI MSCA PF Session 1 registration

Session 2 – Wednesday, 15 May 10am-12noon. Register online here: UKRI MSCA PF Session 2 registration

Further information

Marie Curie Fellowships are for postdoctoral research in any subject. The ERC pay your salary and other research costs for up to two years. There is no specific cut-off in terms of experience, but applicants are usually fairly early on in their postdoctoral career. You don't need an existing academic job to be eligible to apply.

The most important characteristic of this scheme is that you have to move country. There are three ways in which you can do this:

  • Move from one EU country to another.
  • Come from outside the EU into the EU.
  • Go from inside the EU to outside the EU (but come back for a year at the end).

Further information: Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions on the European Commission website.