Brussels, 9 September 2010
Marie Curie Actions: Record number of applications for EU research grants
Nearly 5 000 researchers have applied for EU-funded Marie Curie fellowship grants this year, an increase of 20% on last year and 70% on 2008. Around 800 fellowships worth a total of €150 million will be granted to researchers working on projects of up to three years in another country. For the first time, a funding category is available for researchers who want to restart their career after a break.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "The EU's investment in higher education and research is crucial because it helps Europe to compete on the global stage. It also contributes to the Europe 2020 targets by making it easier for common research projects across the EU. The high number of applicants for our Marie Curie fellowships underlines the importance that the research community attaches to the scheme and the international experience it offers."
Researchers on the move
More than 15 000 researchers have received Marie Curie individual fellowships since their introduction in 1990. Researchers with a PhD or at least four years of research experience can apply for a fellowship. Support is available for researchers moving within Europe as well as to other parts of the world. The fellowships are also open to top researchers from outside the EU who want to carry out research in Europe.
Applications for fellowships are evaluated by an independent panel of renowned European and international scientists. The evaluation is based on the scientific quality of the project and its likely impact on European competitiveness, as well as on the excellence of the host institute and the researcher.
Due to the high number of applicants, only the best projects are funded. Results of this year's selection are expected by the end of the year.
Marie Curie fellows benefit from excellent training, preparing them for future jobs. They receive employment contracts for up to three years, as well as full social security cover and a pension. Fellowships also include a contribution to research and training costs.
Dr Charlotte Faurie, a French researcher who received a fellowship to work on child development at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom between 2005 and 2007, recalls: "Marie Curie gave me the freedom and flexibility that is so important when you're still searching for your place and speciality in the world of science." She is convinced that the Marie Curie grant has boosted her career, acting as a springboard towards a permanent research position in her home country.
Marie Curie Actions
In additional to individual fellowships, the Marie Curie actions also support doctoral candidates, partnerships between academia and industry, short-term exchanges and the reintegration of researchers returning from abroad.
They are part of the People programme within the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. In 2011, Marie Curie actions will have a total budget of €772 million, and are expected to create 7 000 new jobs.
To find out more:
For more information about Marie Curie Actions, including how and when to apply:
Marie Curie success stories: