10/06/2021

Hundreds of hosting offers from European institutions for the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021 Call


The next Postdoctoral Fellowships' call for proposals is expected to open on June 2021 with a deadline in October 2021. (Please note that the information on this page is preliminary and subject to the final adoption and publication of the Horizon Europe Work Programme by the legislative authority.)

Over 300 European institutions have already published calls on the EURAXESS portal for Expressions of Interest inviting candidates to apply for an MSCA-PF with the support of their institution.

Find you European Hosting Institution

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Objective of Postdoctoral Fellowships

The objective of PFs is to support researchers’ careers and foster excellence in research. The Postdoctoral Fellowships action targets researchers holding a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop their careers. PFs help researchers gain experience in other countries, disciplines and non-academic sectors.

Who can apply for Postdoctoral Fellowships?

Interested researchers submit an application together with a host organisation, which can be a university, research institution, business, SME or other organisation based in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. All disciplines are eligible for Postdoctoral Fellowships, including research areas covered by the Euratom Research and Training Programme.

Researchers interested in PFs

  • should have a PhD degree at the time of the deadline for applications. Applicants who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will also be considered eligible to apply
  • must have a maximum of eight years experience in research, from the date of the award of their PhD degree, years of experience outside research and career breaks will not count towards the above maximum, nor will years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe
  • should comply with mobility rules: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary (for European Postdoctoral Fellowships), or the host organisation for the outgoing phase (for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships) for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline

As from 2022, resubmission restrictions will apply for applications that received a score below 70% the previous year.

Seals of Excellence will be awarded to applications with a total score equal to or higher than 85%, but which cannot be funded due to lack of budget available under the call.

Types of Postdoctoral Fellowship

There are 2 types of Postdoctoral Fellowships:

  1. European Postdoctoral Fellowships. They are open to researchers moving within Europe or coming to Europe from another part of the world to pursue their research career. These fellowships take place in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country and can last between 1 and 2 years. Researchers of any nationality can apply.
  2. Global Postdoctoral Fellowships. They fund the mobility of researchers outside Europe. The fellowship lasts between 2 to 3 years, of which the first 1 to 2 years will be spent in a non-associated Third Country, followed by a mandatory return phase of 1 year to an organisation based in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. Only nationals or long-term residents of the EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries can apply.

Both types of fellowships may also include short-term secondments anywhere in the world during the fellowship (except during the return phase of a Global Fellowship).

In an effort to build bridges between the academic and non-academic sector, researchers can receive additional support to carry out a placement of up to 6 months in a non-academic organisation based in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. This placement needs to take place at the end of their fellowship.

For Postdoctoral Fellowships in research areas covered by the Euratom Research and Training Programme, researchers need to be nationals or long-term residents of an EU Member State or a Euratom Associated Country. The beneficiary organisation recruiting the researcher also needs to be established in an EU Member State or Euratom Associated Country.

What does the funding cover?

The beneficiary receiving EU funding needs to recruit the researcher for the total period of the fellowship.

The EU provides support for the recruited researcher in the form of

  • a living allowance
  • a mobility allowance
  • if applicable, family, long-term leave and special needs allowances

In addition, funding is provided for

  • research, training and networking activities
  • management and indirect costs

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