Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation. In order to make it easier for Luxembourg players to benefit from this attractive measure, Luxinnovation, the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020, offered interested host institutions help with identifying relevant postdoctoral candidates, training them in proposal writing and reviewing their proposals before submission to the MSCA programme.

Strong demand

At the end of March, over 30 private and public research groups had contacted Luxinnovation to request support with recruiting Postdocs via MSCA. “I screened the descriptions of their planned research actions for relevant keywords and searched worldwide for research groups working on the same topics,” explains Charles Betz, Advisor – European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation. The agency then contacted the research groups and asked if any of their PhD students or Postdocs would be interested in coming to Luxembourg.

I was surprised to see how many CVs we received. Some of them are of really good quality, and I’m convinced that this can lead to fruitful collaborations here in Luxembourg,

Charles Betz continues. The future host institutes will now select the most promising candidates with whom they would like to go further. Luxinnovation provides support with selecting the best candidates. A first interview with a potential candidate has already been conducted by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). The selection process will be finalised in May and June 2019.

MSCA Grant Writing Workshop

As a next step, it will be up to the Postdoc candidates to draft proposals in order to apply for funding from MSCA. Luxinnovation and the University of Luxembourg will organise a MSCA Individual Fellowships Grant Writing Workshop on 13 June. The objective will be to train the candidates in proposal writing and to discuss all aspects related to MSCA. For the first time, the Benelux MSCA Alumni Association will join the workshop and discuss how they can help MSCA beneficiaries. “Interested participants are invited to save the date already now and check our website for further information and registration,” says Charles Betz.

The deadline for submitting proposals is mid-September. In February 2020, successful Postdoc candidates are expected to receive the confirmation that their proposals have been selected and will be able to start the preparations for coming to Luxembourg and becoming part of the country’s dynamic research scene.

Luxinnovation is the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020, the European framework programme for research and innovation. Building on our decade-long experience of EU funding programmes, we are able to respond to questions on where to get up-to-date information on programmes and calls for project proposals, what programmes are the most suitable for you or where and how to find European partners.

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