Marie Curie Interviews and Information

The following five interviews of young scientists working as Marie Curie Fellows in various Research Training Networks in Europe will give you an insight into possibilities you can follow if you want to do research. In addition, following the interviews you will find more information about the current Marie Curie Actions of the EC 7th Framework.

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Loredana Brinza, from Romania, currently works as a Post-Doc at Diamond Light Source, UK, and just finished a Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Leeds, UK.

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Teresa Roncal Herrero, from Spain, is a post-doc working as a Marie Curie Fellow
at the University of Leeds, UK.

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Juan Diego Rodriguez Blanco, from Spain, is a post-doc working as a Marie Curie Fellow
at the University of Leeds, UK.

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Vasileios Mavromatis, from Greece, is a post-doc working as a Marie Curie Fellow
at the LMTG (Laboratoire des Mécanismes et Transferts en Géologie), Toulouse, France.

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 Pieter Bots, from the Netherlands, is a PhD Student working as a Marie Curie Fellow
at the University of Leeds, UK.

European Job Opportunities: Marie Curie Actions

The European Commission has become a major source of research funding but the variety of different programmes, actions and acronyms can seem daunting. An early appreciation of these opportunities can be a huge advantage, however, as they can provide support at key points in a researcher’s career.  As part of a periodic examination of European Job opportunities we attempt to summarise and simplify funding opportunities under the Marie Curie action of the EC 7th Framework funding round.

The 7th Framework (2007-2013) is sub-divided into 4 themes aimed at supporting different aspects of European research through various actions i.e. grants, fellowships etc. Cooperation actions are to improve academia-industry links; Ideas supports frontier research; People comprises Marie Curie actions and Capacities funds research infrastructure. Here we only address current and future Marie Curie actions.

Marie Curie actions are to encourage mobility across EU member and associated (M/A) states, with the aim of providing borderless training and career development. The complexity starts once you appreciate that the Marie Curie actions are then sub-divided into 5 further sections; Initial training, Life-long Training, Industry Academia, International Dimension and Specific Actions.  Each of these sub-sections can be further broken down into actions that are applied for by individuals, such as fellowships and grants, and other network/partnership programmes that are initiated by host universities or other institutions. To remain coherent it is better to summarize Marie Curie actions in order of the types of funding provided. The most up to date information can be found in the pdf document “2011 Work Programme-People” go to then look under “find a document”.

Fellowships: There are three types of Marie Curie fellowships that can provide salary, travel and research funds for individuals with at least 4 years of research experience i.e. normally having a PhD. Probably the most familiar are Inter European Fellowships (IEF), which can be held by researchers of any nationality, or career stage, working in a European M/A state and funds them to work within another M/A state for up to 2 years. International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) are designed to attract researchers from outside Europe who are then funded at a host in a M/A state for up to 2 years. International Outgoing Fellowships for Career Development (IOF) are for up to 3 years, however, these have quite a complicated implementation. A researcher in a M/A state is funded to work in another M/A state but before they go there they spend up to 2 years at a host institution outside Europe all together. The application call deadline is normally the same for all three fellowship types and seems to be yearly in August. The fellowships have a strong emphasis on career development and knowledge exchange and these aspects are weighted heavily in the proposal evaluation.

Grants: In 2011, there will only be one type of Marie Curie grant for individual researchers, the Career Integration Grant (CIG), an amalgamation of the former European Reintegration Grant (ERG) and International Reintegration Grant (IRG). This grant is mainly to provide research funds rather than salary, although it may support part of a salary, and applicants must be returning to a M/A state after some period abroad. This grant could, for example, be used to provide start up funds for a new faculty member.

Networks and partnerships: There are 4 such actions with the most relevant to individuals being Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN). These networks normally comprise at least 3 universities (although a single site ITN is possible), but can also include industrial partners, and provide training for researchers in the first 5 years of their careers in a field defined by the network. A student studying for a PhD in their home M/A state could, travel to an ITN member department in another M/A state and receive training for up to 3 years. Some networks offer complete PhD positions or 2-year post doc positions. To find an existing network search People, ITN at You should be able to find PhD vacancies by searching Marie Curie vacancies at the EURAXESS job database

The COFUND programme provides additional funds to national, or regional funding bodies so that they may include a European mobility aspect to their fellowships. To most individuals this might seem irrelevant unless you happen to be the head of a national funding body, however, by looking at the national bodies that are funded under this programme you can find a range of further national fellowship programmes designed to attract foreign nationals.

Two further actions are less relevant in the context of this article, but for completeness they are Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP), which funds staff exchange and workshops to achieve the aim in the title and International Staff Exchange Schemes (IRSES), which are self-explanatory.

One final Specific Action of the Marie Curie programme funds events during “European Research Night”, which occurs yearly in September in European cities to engage the public in science and research.

So that’s the Marie Curie programme in 900 words. Websites correct as of December 2010. Sometimes we found websites were not updated with the latest information and in these cases we feel it is important to provide feedback through the help email contacts on these sites. It is also worth remembering that the programme has always evolved and there are changes to most actions in each call. So what are you waiting for- go fund yourself!

This short summary may contain inaccuracies or omissions, full information found at the aforementioned websites. Feedback very welcome at or see our job opportunities page.

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