Today the European Union is celebrating the one hundred thousandth fellow benefiting from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. To mark this milestone in the history of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, 30 highly promising researchers have been selected to showcase the EU's actions dedicated to excellence and worldwide mobility in research. Since the launch of the programme 20 years ago, the share of female participants has been exceptionally high and 18 of the selected researchers are women.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: "Celebrating the award of the 100 000th Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship is a great moment to recall the importance of this programme, which supports our brightest and best researchers in tackling the big societal challenges facing Europe. Marie Skłodowska-Curie paved the way for future generations of female researchers. On the eve of International Women's Day, I am especially proud that the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions pay particular attention to gender balance, and with more than 40% of fellowships awarded to female scientists, are the best performing part of Horizon 2020 with respect to gender."
The 30 chosen researchers represent the 100 000 fellows who have been supported by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions over the past two decades. The group includes 28 European nationals, one from each EU Member State, one from Colombia and one from New Zealand. Their research topics cover a wide spectrum, ranging from tackling climate change and ground breaking research on fighting cancer to the prevention of violent radicalisation. The 30 researchers have outstanding potential: they achieved the highest evaluation scores in the 2016 call for proposals for individual fellowships. They competed with 8916 proposals submitted by other researchers; of which nearly 1200 proposals were selected for funding.
By enabling researchers to go abroad and supporting cooperation between institutions and industry, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions play a vital part in strengthening Europe's research and innovation capacity. For every single beneficiary, the EU grant is a crucial boost for their career and the chance to improve citizens' lives by advancing knowledge and innovation.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, named after the double Nobel Prizewinning Polish-French scientist famed for her work on radioactivity, support excellent researchers at all stages of their careers, irrespective of nationality. The programme is open to all domains of research and innovation, from fundamental research to market take-up and innovation services. Research and innovation fields are chosen freely by the applicants (individuals and/or organisations).
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions aim to equip researchers with the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career, either in the public or the private sector. The actions are a key part of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme. During the current financing period (2014 – 2020), with a budget of EUR 6.2 billion, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are expected to support around 65,000 researchers.
The 2017 call for proposals for Individual Fellowships, with a budget of almost EUR 249 million, will be published next month. The submission forms and documentation will be available on the Horizon 2020 Participants' Portal here.
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