School of Social and Political Science

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions - Individual Fellowship Programme


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions were formed in 1996 and can trace their origins to the EU’s researcher mobility fellowships under FP3. MCAs will continue under Horizon 2020 and will sit under the Excellent Science pillar of the research framework programme.

2020 Round Deadlines

  • 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
  • once you have an agreed mentor, please email the Research Office - and we will start the application development process within the University of Edinburgh
  • 12 May 2020 - Deadline to submit summary proposal and mentor statement (see full details of what is required below) to We will aim to provide comments/feedback from reviewers within 2 weeks

Internal Round Application Process

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 IF
  • 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) Supervisor statement and abbreviated CV (max. 2 pages total)

You must ask your supervisor 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 Supervisor’s abbreviated CV.

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).

There is also a Career Restart opportunity for those looking to get back into academia.


You need to have at least a PhD or four full-time years of experience of doing research at an equivalent level. Nationality restrictions also apply in some cases:

  • Moving from one European country to another: You can be any nationality to apply for an Intra-European Fellowship. However, you cannot have spent more than 12 months out of the last 3 years living or doing research in the country to which you wish to move. (Holidays and national service don't count in this 12 months.)
  • Coming from outside the EU into the EU: You can, again, be of any nationality - you just need to be coming from outside the EU. Again, however, the 12-months-in-3-years rule applies.
  • Going from within the EU to outside the EU: You need to either be a national of an EU country or to have lived and worked in the EU for at least the last 5 years (measured at the time of the deadline).

Returning from career breaks

A relatively new characteristic of the scheme is the 'career restart' option. This is open to people who had a research job for at least 12 months before taking their career break. 'Career restart' applications are considered under a separate panel to try and ensure equal opportunities.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions on the European Commission website.