The ‘Seal of Excellence’ (SoE) certificate will be awarded to the applicants of above threshold in the Individual Fellowship Marie Sklodowska-Curie calls not reaching funded proposals: a holder of the certificate can then approach alternative funding sources (regional, national, private or public) and present the certificate as a label of a high-quality project proposal.
Some countries are making efforts in developing new programs focused on attracting talent to their institutions. The SoE is a safe passage to apply to these calls, which are focused only in giving support for MSCA proposals with SoE.
For further information you can always contact the National Contact Point (NCP) in your host country to check if there are funding possibilities available.
Current or planned regional/national initiatives relevant to Seal of Excellence recipients (host countries)
The Ministry of Science and Education plans to use the European Social Fund to provide funding for projects awarded with the MSCA Seal of Excellence.
The Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) is responsible for a Programme called “Horizon 2020 – 2nd Opportunity” under the “RESTART 2016-2020” funding scheme. This includes funding of €1.2 million earmarked for MSCA applicants (only Standard European Fellowships with host organisation in Cyprus) who have received an evaluation score greater or equal to 90/100, but were not funded by the European Commission due to budget exhaustion (Below Available Budget). More information
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic launched a call for proposals for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships Seal of Excellence holders (2015 & 2016). The call supports ‘International Mobility of researchers’ i.e. researchers going from the Czech Republic to foreign research organisations and vice versa. Applicants can be of any nationality and need to apply through their home (outgoing) or host (incoming) institution before 1 December 2017. More information (in Czech)
Drawing on funds from the European Social Fund, the Research Council of Lithuania (RCL) launched a call to fund recipients of the MSCA Seal of excellence and indeed any applicant to the IF calls 2016 and 2017 who scored above threshold (70%). It will provide funding of up to 36 months. Applicants need to adapt the financial part of their MSCA application to take account of ESF funding rules. The call closes at the end of March 2018 and is also open to applicants to the ERC. More information
The University of Padova has foreseen funding for recipients of the Seal of Excellence who had applied to be hosted at the university. More information
The Politecnico di Milano will fund the best 10 MSCA recipients of the Seal from the H2020-MSCA-IF-2018 (European Fellowship) call who applied to be hosted at the Politecnico. They will be offered a postdoc position for two years with 40.000€/year (gross amount) as salary and 20.000€ for startup fund for research activities, training and networking. The Politecnico is also launching a pilot Master Class for potential applicants to the MSCA – IF call 2018. More information
The Slovenian Research Agency invites national research institutions that had participated in the MSCA-IF-2016 call evaluation procedure and acquired a score of 85% or more to apply for co-funding of their projects. The Slovenian call foresees a co-financing of 6 research projects, starting from 1 January 2018. Using its own funds, the Agency will support the leading researchers of the selected projects for a period of two years. More information (The deadline for submission of applications is 16 October 2017)
The Strategy Group for EU-Coordination in Sweden has prepared a call “MSCA EF Seal of Excellence”. The aim is to provide funding for recipients of the Seal of Excellence to EF projects to be hosted by Swedish organisations that were positively evaluated and on the reserve list but could not be financed through the Horizon 2020 budget. Funding will be provided via Vinnova.
Additional information for other host countries without specific measures for Seal recipients
For the time being, Austria has no specific funding schemes for recipients of the MSCA IF Seal of Excellence. Austria provides funding for Experienced Researchers through different national programmes. These funding schemes are not restricted to MSCA Seal of Excellence candidates and neither are MSCA Seal of Excellence candidates prioritised. Applications are peer reviewed and subject to specific eligibility criteria.
- The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria’s central funding organization for basic research and offers the following mobility programmes:
- We also recommend consulting the Austrian Database for Scholarships and Research Grants
Finland has no relevant national/regional funding scheme available for MSCA IF candidates with the Seal of Excellence. Recipients of the Seal are encouraged to resubmit in the next call and, where appropriate, contact the NCP for the proposal preparation. Alternative funding sources for experienced researchers interested in pursuing research in Finland (although not specifically targeting or prioritizing SoE holders) include, for example, calls by the Academy for Finland.
Germany has no relevant national funding scheme available for MSCA IF candidates with the Seal of Excellence. Recipients of the Seal of Excellence are encouraged to resubmit in the next call and, where appropriate, contact the NCP for the proposal preparation. Experienced researchers willing to pursue research in Germany should visit Research in Germany for further information on alternative funding schemes. The listed funding schemes are not restricted to recipients of the Seal of Excellence, neither are Seal of Excellence recipients given priority in the application process.
There are a range of fellowship opportunities in Ireland provided by government research funding agencies and other bodies. Most notably, there are a number of fellowship programmes running in Ireland that are co-funded by the MSCA COFUND programme. Our three main national research funding agencies (see below) also offer fellowship programmes that are fully funded by the Irish government. Applications are subject to rigorous international peer review and each programme has its own specific eligibility criteria which must be adhered to. Please note that these programmes are not exclusive to Seal of Excellence holders, neither are Seal of Excellence holders prioritised in the assessment process. However, Seal of Excellence holders are encouraged to include information on their Seal of Excellence award in their application as evidence of their track record.
Please note that the list of opportunities above is not exhaustive. Applicants are encouraged to visit EURAXESS Ireland for more information on research jobs and funding in Ireland.
In Spain there are no specific mechanisms or budgetary allocations for funding MSCA Seal of Excellence recipients. At this moment we are not aware of such instruments at regional and/or institutional level.
The Research and Innovation State Agency runs different national funding schemes supporting researchers. Seal of Excellence can apply to National Programme for the Promotion of Talent and Its Employability calls, but will not be prioritized.
For further information on Funding calls at national level, please consult the Researcher Career Path created by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology.
Switzerland has no relevant national funding scheme available for MSCA IF candidates with the Seal of Excellence. Recipients of the Seal are encouraged to resubmit in the next call and to contact the NCP for the proposal preparation. Alternative funding sources for experienced researchers interested in pursuing research in Switzerland (although not specifically targeting or prioritizing SoE holders) include, for example, calls by the Swiss National Science Foundation or the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
The UK has no plans to introduce a specific funding scheme for recipients of the MSCA Seal of Excellence. The UK provides funding for early-career researchers through a variety of funding schemes provided by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Academies. These funding schemes are not restricted to MSCA Seal of Excellence candidates and neither are MSCA Seal of Excellence candidates prioritised. Applications are peer reviewed and subject to specific eligibility criteria. Further details are available at:
UK Research and Innovation
If you need more information or have any question regarding the SoE, do not hesitate and leave a comment! I will be glad to clarify your issues!
Source: EU Commission