Marie Curie actions on mobility, training, knowledge transfer and excellence recognition.

These actions provide a variety of possibilities for individual researchers in different stages of their career as well as for institutions acting as hosts for these researchers. There will be no age limit; access to the different schemes is regulated by the definition of categories of experience (early-stage researchers means researchers within the first 4 years of research activity; experienced researchers are defined as those having at least 4 years of experience (or holding a PhD degree)). Some actions are open to experienced researchers with no more than 10 years research experience. The Marie-Curie actions typically require transnational mobility, i.e. a researcher cannot apply for a fellowship in his/her country of origin or residence.

Host-driven actions

Within these actions, support is provided for research organisations and enterprises for the provision of either transnational training or for knowledge transfer and mobility of individuals. Host institutions apply to the European Commission in response to a call for proposals. Successful hosts then promote the vacancies and select the best individual researchers themselves. The following actions are foreseen:

Marie Curie Research Training Networks (RTN)

RTNs will promote the training, mobility and professional development of researchers, through research and transfer of knowledge, within the frame of international collaborative research projects. Institutions involved in such projects can be universities, research centres, international organisations or enterprises mainly established in the EU or in an associated state. Fellows can be early-stage or experienced researchers from any country, but must be of different nationality from the one in which their host institute is based. Fellowships can range from three months up to three years.

Marie Curie Host Fellowships for Early Stage Research Training (EST)

ESTs are targeted at single and multiple partnerships from within higher education and research institutions, training centres and enterprises to reinforce their training capacity for researchers in the early stage of their career. Typically within the context of a PhD, training will focus on the acquisition of specific scientific and technological research competencies as well as complementary skills. The action will encourage researchers to take up long-term research careers and more co-ordinated approaches to the training at an international level. Training will be provided within fellowships of between three months and three years. The scheme will support early-stage researchers of all countries and nationalities.

Marie Curie Host Fellowships for the Transfer of Knowledge (ToK)

These actions are directed at European organisations in need of developing new areas of competence as well as at organisations in less-favoured regions. Transfer of knowledge will be supported by fellowships for experienced researchers of a duration between two months and two years. Fellows can be of any country or nationality other than that of the host organisation. There are two schemes contemplated:

Marie Curie Development Scheme in which researchers transfer knowledge to develop the research potential of institutions. Entities in Less-Favoured Regions of the EU and in the Associated Candidate States will be given priority;
Marie Curie Industry-Academia Strategic Partnership Scheme supporting long-lasting collaborations between enterprises and universities via exchange of researchers

Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses (SCF, LCF)

These actions will enable researchers (with up to 10 years of research experience) to benefit from experience of leading researchers. Support will be available for the organisation of coherent series of specific training events (conferences, summer schools, laboratory courses etc.) and for the participation of researchers in large conferences selected for their specific training interest.

Individual-driven actions

These actions support individual researchers with a view to encouraging transnational mobility and to complementing individual competencies. Applications to the European Commission are made jointly by the fellow and in liaison with the host organisation. The following actions are foreseen:

Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships (EIF)

These will allow experienced researchers who are nationals of an EU Member State or an Associated State to spend between one and two years doing research on a freely chosen topic in a research establishment in a Member or Associated country different from the country of their residence or origin.

Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowships (OIF)

These will be awarded to experienced researchers from EU Member and Associated States to enhance their scientific excellence by working in a world-class research centre in a third country. The scheme includes a first phase abroad followed by a mandatory return phase in Europe. The overall duration can be up to three years. Stays of fellows range from one to two years for the outgoing phase plus up to one year for the return phase.

Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowships (IIF)

These aim at attracting top-class researchers from third countries to work in EU Member or Associated States with a view to developing mutually-beneficial research co-operation. For developing countries, emerging and transition economies, support for fellows to return to their country of origin may be included. Duration of stays can be one to two years (up to three years with return phase).

Promoting and recognising excellence

These actions focus on the promotion and recognition of excellence in European research, thereby increasing its visibility and attractiveness. The following actions are foreseen:

Marie Curie Excellence Grants (EXT)

These aim at the creation and development of research teams for leading edge or interdisciplinary research. The grant will cover a period of up to four years and will be based on a well-defined research programme around a researcher who has, early in her/his career, shown the potential to reach a high level of autonomy and excellence.

Marie Curie Excellence Awards (EXA)

These are scientific prizes to give public recognition to excellence achieved by former beneficiaries of EC mobility and training grants. Candidates may apply themselves or will be proposed by others.

Marie Curie Chairs (EXC)

This action supports world-class researchers of any nationality for a period of research and lecturing at a host organisation (e.g. an institution of higher education) and should in particular also attract European researchers of world reputation who are active outside the Member States and Associated States, to encourage them to resume or further develop their careers in Europe. Appointments will have a duration of one to three years.

Return and Reintegration Mechanisms

These mechanisms are aimed at supporting researchers' integration in their careers in Europe after a period of mobility. In both cases, they enable researchers to resume or continue their careers in their home country or elsewhere within a Member or Associated State. To take part, an individual researcher prepares and submits a proposal together with a host institution on the basis of a career development plan.

Marie Curie European Reintegration Grants (ERG)

These will be open to researchers who have just completed a Marie Curie fellowship of at least two years. The grant will consist of a lump sum in the form of a grant to be used within one year as a contribution towards the reintegration of the researcher in an organisation different from the one were the previous fellowship was held. Priority will be given to reintegration in the researcher's country or region of origin.

Marie Curie International Reintegration Grants (IRG)

To attract European researchers who have carried out research outside Europe for at least five years. This action consists of financial support for the professional reintegration projects in a host organisation located in a Member State or Associated State during two years.