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Brussels, 19 January 2011

€40 million start-up fund for junior researchers in Europe in 2011

€40 million, to cover over 400 grants, will be offered to researchers starting their first full-time research job in a European research institute in 2011. The €100 000 'career integration' grants are funded through the EU's Marie Curie programme and aim to encourage European scientists to return to Europe, as well as to attract the best junior researchers of other nationalities to work at European universities, companies and other institutions.

"If we want to advance science and underpin innovation in Europe, we must ensure that Europe is an attractive place to work for European researchers – and we need to attract the best talent from abroad as well," said Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for education and the Marie Curie programme.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2010 working paper on employment and mobility among doctorate holders, up to 30% of European doctorate holders have worked outside Europe in the past ten years, with significant flows towards the United States. Among the reasons cited for this "brain drain" are better financial support for research and a better climate for innovation.

Other countries offer similar incentives, such as the Faculty Early Career Development Program of the National Science Foundation in the United States.

Who can apply?

In order to achieve an innovative Union, Europe needs world-class researchers who can tackle current and future challenges. The European Union is committed to inspiring, motivating, training and retaining highly-skilled researchers.

The EU career integration grants are available to researchers of any nationality. The funding is targeted at the post-doctoral level and there is no restriction on the area of research. The deadline for applications is 8 March 2011. An independent panel of top-level European and international experts evaluate and select the best researchers to receive the grants.

7000 new jobs forecast

The Marie Curie Actions are part of the People programme within the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. In 2011, the Marie Curie Actions will have a budget of €772 million and are expected to create 7 000 new jobs.

In addition to individual fellowships, the Marie Curie Actions also support doctoral candidates, partnerships between academia and industry and short-term exchanges.

To find out more:

Marie Curie information per country

Marie Curie Actions

Quick info page for Career Integration Grants

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