Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Future of Marie Curie after 2013

UKRO has been listening to Dr. Georges Bingen, Head of the Marie Curie Actions Unit, speak about the future of the Marie Curie actions. As some of you know, Marie Curie actions are fellowships intended to encourage movement of researchers in Europe. Whilst popular and successful, the actions have been criticised for being overly complex.

Dr Bingen suggested that, after 2013, they could be streamlined so that there were just three:

  • one for early stage researchers (ESRs), which would be a development of the current Initial Training Networks (ITNs). Industrial participation would be crucial for this scheme.
  • one for experienced researchers (ERs), which would possibly merge the three current Individual Fellowship schemes: the Intra-European Fellowships Scheme, the International Incoming Fellowships Scheme and the International Outgoing Fellowships scheme.
  • and one for staff exchanges, which would be a single, more open integrated programme allowing for collaboration/exchanges across sectors and between countries inside and outside of the EU.
As with research funding more generally after 2013, Marie Curie will have to fit squarely within the vision of an 'Innovation Union'. Finally, there is likely to be a focus on ‘alumni services’: there have been 50,000 Marie Curie fellows since 1996, and there is currently no central database of all of them. Again, this is likely to be initiated in the 2012 People Work Programme.

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