The list of FAQs, which contains questions for the current Framework Programme (Horizon Europe), is updated with questions taken from the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Q&A Blog. Make sure that you visit the blog for the latest FAQs on MSCA.

For MSCA FAQs pertaining to the previous Framework Programme (Horizon 2020) visit the old blog which the project will also update on a regular basis.

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Timesheets and declarations are not requested in MSCA projects (contrary to other Horizon Europe actions based on actual costs). To prove that the researcher worked on their MSCA project, it is sufficient to present a contract with the host institution together with additional documents proving the fellow’s dedication to the project, if needed.

Moreover, declarations are not allowed by the auditors. REA has confirmed that the declaration on exclusive work is not applicable for audits carried out in MSCA ITN, IF and COFUND actions to determine time spent working on the action. It is expected this will continue in Horizon Europe.

As outlined in the H2020 Indicative Audit Programme, such evidence may include lab books, attendance lists, conference abstracts, library records, travel expenses, timesheets, reports to supervisor, meeting minutes, e-mail exchanges, etc. and other open sources (e.g. the internet) to see if the researcher worked on activities other than their  project. The auditors will also look at the researcher’s employment contract or corresponding agreement to see if it complies with Article 32 of the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement, including but not limited to the obligation that the researcher works exclusively for the action.

Fellows need documentation in the form of a contract that shows the 50% commitment or something similar since MSCA does not typically operate with timesheets.

A COFUND project can be designed in many different ways and it is up to the beneficiary to decide how the researchers are funded. If the beneficiary wants to include a family allowance after the recruitment, it is OK, but it is not a formal requirement from the EC/ REA. It can of course be evaluated positively by the evaluators as clear support to offer the best conditions to the fellows. In addition, this would be unlikely, as in H2020 the MSCA rules did not foresee changes in the eligibility for family allowance during the fellowship duration.

“Partner Organisations” means both type of partners: associated or implementing.

Implementing partners have a bigger role, however, this was harmonised among the MSCA actions and associated partners are supposed to appear in part A for all actions. COFUND is the only action which has implementing partners and therefore it is slightly different.

Doctoral Networks

The deadlines and procedures are set out in the evaluation result letter. For more information on complaints about proposal rejection:

This option is fine. It is important to clearly state that all fellows will be enrolled into doctoral studies. It is quite difficult for beneficiaries to commit to the awarding of a doctoral degree to each recruited researcher at a specific date, given that the PhD programmes duration can be different from an institution to another and that unpredictable events can delay the PhD thesis completion.

Yes, each student must be enrolled in a double degree awarded by two participating organisations from MS/ AC. If an associated partner from a third country delivers a degree to a student, there should also be two other beneficiaries/ associated partners from MS/ AC delivering a degree to the same student.

An anti-plagiarism tool is used to flag any potential cases but REA are aware that a certain percentage of similarities will be explained by the templates or some standardized parts from institutions. REA only focuses on most critical cases.

MSCA & Citizens (Night)

The deadlines and procedures are set out in the evaluation result letter. For more information on complaints about proposal rejection:

Postdoctoral Fellowships

In this case, the 3-month secondment undertaken at the host organisation selected for your return phase (the beneficiary organisation) counts as part of the outgoing phase and is automatically included in the funding requested for that phase in the budget table of the Part A. This starting secondment undertaken at the beginning of the Fellowship has no effect on the length of the return phase, which has to be 12 months. As clarified on page 11 of the MSCA PF Guide for Applicants, this 3-month starting secondment must be included within the maximum 1/3 duration of the secondment.

The Funding and Tenders Portal (FTOP) submission system has been set up in a way that MSCA PF proposals can be created and submitted by a designated contact person from the host institution, the supervisor or the researcher. Any person creating an application in the FTOP system can give access rights to other parties, allowing them to submit the proposal (“full access”). However, as the submission of the proposal and other actions that follow this procedure (such as a withdrawal or, if successful, the grant agreement signature) ultimately fall under the responsibility of the host organisation, it is advised that the host institution submits the proposal on behalf of the researcher (EC FAQ 911). 

The criterion for resubmission for both the European Fellowship (EF) and the Global Fellowship (GF) under the 2022 MSCA Call is detailed on p.6 of the MSCA PF Guide for Applicants and p. 88 of the Horizon Europe 2021-22 MSCA Work Programme as follows:

“Proposals involving the same recruiting organisation (and for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships also the associated partner hosting the outgoing phase) and individual researcher submitted to the previous call of MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships under Horizon Europe and having received a score of less than 70% must not be resubmitted the following year.” 

In addition, REA has published the following clarifications:

     – Applicants who scored less than 70% when applying for the EF scheme in the 2021 call can apply with the same recruiting organisation to the 2022 MSCA GF scheme (EC FAQ 19933)

    – Correspondingly, applicants who scored less than 70% when applying for the GF scheme in the 2021 call can apply with the same recruiting organisation to the 2022 MSCA EF scheme (EC FAQ 19933).

     – If an applicant reapplies with the same recruiting institution(s), but with a completely new, novel and different proposal than the version which was previously submitted and received a score below 70%, REA will consider this proposal a resubmission and declare it ineligible (EC FAQ 19934).

     – Researchers are allowed to resubmit a Horizon 2020 Individual Fellowship (IF) proposal that scored below 70% with the same recruiting organization(s), provided that all other eligibility criteria have been met (EC FAQ 19938).

     – If an applicant reapplies with the same recruiting institution(s), but with a new supervisor than the version which was previously submitted and received a score below 70%, REA will consider this proposal a resubmission and declare it ineligible (EC FAQ 19936).

     – Applicants who scored less than 70% when applying for the GF scheme in the 2021 call can apply with the same hosting organisation to the 2022 MSCA EF scheme if they change the outgoing host in the resubmitted proposal and meet all other eligibility criteria (EC FAQ 19935).

– If an applicant reapplies with the same recruiting institution(s), but would be hosted at different premises than in the version which was previously submitted and received a score below 70%, REA will consider this proposal a resubmission and declare it ineligible (EC FAQ 19937)

The period spent in a non-research position should be deducted from the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) experience in research. The percentage of FTE for non-research activities outside of the researcher’s main research activity must be clearly documented, e.g. by a work contract/job description. These documents are not to be included in the MSCA PF application, but the host organisation (beneficiary) must keep them for their records in case of an audit.

The Research Executive Agency (REA) published a dedicated guidance and a self-assessment tool to support applicants with calculating their research experience for the MSCA PF call purposes. Both documents are available on the “How to Apply to MSCA” website in the “Postdoctoral Fellowships” section.  

Yes, it is possible to terminate the fellowship earlier than planned, especially if the fellow has found an attractive job offer. The host institution needs to put in place an amendment to terminate the grant. The amounts corresponding to unspent months will have to be returned to the EC, but the funding corresponding to the project months already implemented does not have to be returned.

Staff Exchanges

There are no such templates beyond the standard consortium agreement template, such as the one provided by DESCA (

For Associated Partners, applicants have to click on the button on the Funding and Tenders Portal and then apply the PIC. For further steps in Form A and description of their role in Part B, applicants should follow instructions in the template.

For associated partners linked to a beneficiary, similar steps apply, but the type of link and description of the activities must be described in Part B.

There are three types of IMPACT in SE:

1. Economic Impact: boosts global & inter-sectoral collaborations

Triggers global inter-sectoral networking & innovation in TC and mobility flows between TC and Europe/ AC Increases active involvement of industry partners Consists on fostering innovation Facilitates technological development Transfers knowledge and deploys solutions It may include the impact the project will generate on participating companies in terms of revenues and profits, employment creation, market share, etc.

2. Social Impact: is a positive contributor to MSCA careers and employment for both male and female researchers

Concentrated on the generation of knowledge Involves R&I in developing, supporting and implementing Union policies Applies innovative solutions in industry (including SMEs), and addresses global challenges

3. Scientific Impact: contributes to fertilize advances across disciplines

Consistent fair representation in all the main research disciplines (majority of RISE projects ≥2 fields of science) Includes in particular the promotion of scientific excellence Creates high-quality new knowledge, skills, training and mobility of researchers

These three impacts are tracked with Key Impact Pathways (KIPs) which are divided as: ·

Scientific impact:

o Creating high-quality new knowledge

o Strengthening human capital in R&I

o Fostering diffusion of knowledge and Open Science ·

Societal Impact:

o Addressing EU policy priorities & global challenges through R&I

o Delivering benefits and impact via R&I missions

o Strengthening the uptake of R&I in society

Economic/ Technological Impact:

o Generating innovation-based growth

o Creating more and better jobs o Leveraging investments in R&I

When talking about impact, this is prospective, it is in the future, assuming that the project is successful and that it achieves everything that it set up to achieve. The applicants could base themselves on some other studies to strengthen or build their case about the impact they could have, before the impact is actually achieved.

There are different scientific panels and proposals are ranked within their scientific panel. Proposals in some panels are more STEM-oriented and would have a different kind of impact than proposals in the SOC panel for instance, but these proposals would not compete against the STEM-oriented proposals. It should also be considered that the impact is now broadened to encompass not only a purely scientific impact but also impact on the society at large. This can be an area where the SSH proposals could actually have a competitive advantage.