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.

Filter by Action
Filter by Phase


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

NCPs cannot share examples of successful MSCA PF proposals due to copyright ownership. Applicants and research managers should be contacting previous MSCA fellows directly.

As clarified in the EC FAQ 16399, there can be only one supervisor per host institution. As European Fellowships have only one host institution, fellows can only have one supervisor. For Global Fellowships, an additional supervisor should also be appointed for the time spent at the associated partner for the outgoing phase. Other (senior) colleagues supporting the supervision of the fellow at the same host institution can be included as ‘mentors’ in the descriptive part of the proposal.

Applicants should follow the formatting guidelines in the 2022 MSCA PF Standard Application Template, which they can download from the Funding and Tenders Opportunities Portal.

  • The non-academic placement can only take part in a EU Member State or a country associated to Horizon Europe, at the end of the MSCA Fellowship and only for a maximum of 6 months. 
  • The host institution for this placement needs to be from the non-academic sector. Interested organisations should check their sectoral status assigned by the European Commission during the validation process on the FTOP. 
  • The host institution for the non-academic placement must provide a letter of commitment for the application. A template is available in section “8. Letter(s) of commitment from associated partners (only for hosts of outgoing phase of Global Fellowships or non-academic placement)” in the MSCA PF Standard Application Template which can be downloaded from the FTOP submission system.
  • A dedicated budget for the non-academic placement is available in the 2022 MSCA PF call. Care must be taken to encode the request for a non-academic placement correctly in the online submission system. Applicants are encouraged to check the REA’s document on most common mistakes in MSCA PF proposals

In this case, the applicant must still select the keywords in the drop-down menu in the Part A which would best describe their research as explained in the EC FAQ 16507. They can also provide additional information on their research area in the “free keywords” section of the Part A. The vice chairs of the evaluation panels will take this information into account when allocating proposals to evaluators.

Staff Exchanges

The first thing to note is, that even though they cannot directly claim costs, it does not mean that they cannot indirectly receive some funding for the role they have in the DN. Typically for each unit cost, there is one part that goes to the researcher and then there is the institutional part, and this part should not be seen as funding for just this particular fellow, and this beneficiary. It is rather a common pot for the whole consortium to run the project. In the consortium agreement the consortium defines how this is split. This funding can be distributed to the different partners according to their needs in the project: some partners provide more trainings, for instance, the coordinator typically has more management costs, so this funding can be redistributed, and some of this money can go to associated partners to cover the costs of them hosting researchers for secondments, or for them to provide trainings. So these are internal arrangements within the consortium (in the broader sense with the associated partners) so they can get indirectly money for their action. Of course, there are also non-financial incentives; the interest for them to participate could be transfer of knowledge or being part of a dynamic network and being associated to the research project.

For PF, direct financial benefits may not be there but there are plenty indirect benefits – scientific contributions, networking, getting experience in this type of projects, hosting events.

All Open Science aspects are moved under Excellence in the methodology. Open Access should not be described under Impact and Dissemination as it is assessed under Excellence.

This requirement should be applicable to beneficiaries and not to associated partners.

For calls with deadlines in 2022 and beyond, once a project proposal is selected for funding following evaluations, consortium partners concerned by the eligibility criterion will have until Grant Agreement signature to confirm they have a GEP in place.

For calls with deadlines in 2022 and beyond, once a project proposal is selected for funding following evaluations, consortium partners concerned by the eligibility criterion will have until Grant Agreement signature to confirm they have a GEP in place.