Saturday, 9 July 2011

New Marie Curie Schemes

Two new pilot schemes will be introduced for the next round of Marie Curie Actions, due to be published on 20 July. They are intended to fill a perceived gap in the provision of training for early stage researchers (ESRs).
  • Innovative Doctoral Programmes (IDPs). This replaces the ‘Monosite Initial Training Networks (ITNs)’, and aims to encourage crossovers between disciplines, sectors and states. Whilst there are plenty of doctoral schools across Europe, it's relatively rare to see ones with genuinely international, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral programmes. The IDP is intended to rectify this.
  • European Industrial Doctorates (EIDs). This is intended to encourage companies to get involved in doctoral training. The EID should involve at least two participants (one from each sector), and possible associated partners in any sector/discipline/country. Each researcher must be enrolled in a doctoral programme, be employed by at least one of the participants, spend at least 50% in private sector, and be jointly supervised by both participants. There should be 1-5 researchers per project.
There is considerable flexibility in the new schemes, but if all goes according to plan there will be even more flexibility in Horizon 2020. The EC is intending to simplify the current range of eight Marie Curie schemes into four broad schemes (as mentioned in an earlier post):
  • A scheme for early stage researchers (i.e. doctoral students): this would allow a host institution to put in place a network for providing training for doctoral students from across Europe;
  • A scheme for more experienced researchers: this would provide individual fellowships to encourage mobility and career development opportunities;
  • A scheme for research staff: a smaller fund for short term exchange and secondments between institutions.
  • A scheme to match fund national fellowship schemes: this would be see the continuation of the 'cofund' scheme.
Part of this push has come from the responses to the consultation on the FP8 Green Paper, in which there was a specific question about strengthening and promoting research mobility (question 23). 70% of respondents considered Marie Curie to be important, but felt that it needed a higher budget, more collaboration with business, and more streamlining.

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