MSCA Doctoral Networks 2022 in a Nutshell

MSCA Doctoral Networks 2022 in a Nutshell

Doctoral Networks of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme of the Horizon Europe has replaced the Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) under Horizon 2020. The 2022 call for the Doctoral Networks with an overall budget of approximately €428.3 million is currently open for submissions. 

Doctoral Networks (DNs) require at least three organisations, each established in a different Member State or Associated Country, including universities, research institutions, businesses and other socio-economic actors. DNs should equip doctoral candidates with research-related and transferable skills and competences to enhance their career perspectives both within and outside academia and provide them with the knowledge needed to convert ideas into products and services. Projects should also focus on the preparation of career development plans and exposure of researchers to the academic and non-academic sectors. Finally, they should foster knowledge sharing and networking activities, for example through the organisation of workshops and conferences that address the needs of various R&I areas. 

There are three models of DNs, just like in ITNs, namely the:
• Industrial Doctorates: Training in academia and industry with joint supervision;
• Joint Doctorates: Joint collaborations leading to a joint/multiple doctoral degree, joint selection and supervision;
• Doctoral Networks (standard): Training in academia and/or industry

What changed from the previous calls? 
The size of DNs is now smaller, as only a maximum of 360 person-months is allowed for standard DNs, while Joint and Industrial Doctorates are allowed an additional 180 person-months. The duration of DNs is still 48 months, but doctoral candidates need to be recruited for a minimum of six and a maximum of 36 months. Secondments can be worldwide and up to 1/3 of the fellowship’s duration. Industrial doctorates still need to spend 50% of their time in the non-academic sector, but the academic and non-academic organisations that are jointly supervising are now allowed to be in the same country. In addition, all beneficiaries must now recruit at least one doctoral candidate, who will be hosted at their premises and supervised by recruited researchers or associated partners. Researchers must be already enrolled in a doctoral programme in at least 1 EU Member State or Associated Country and at least 2 for Joint Doctorates and must not be in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of recruitment. Researchers who went into industry or other sectors before they enrolled in a doctoral programme are not excluded. And finally, the mobility rule remains: fellows should not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country of the recruiting organisation for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date. 

This year the programme also covers long-term leave and special needs allowances. Another thing that has improved is the family allowance, which can now be granted to a fellow who has or acquires family obligations during the project and not only at the recruitment date. 

When and how to apply?
The 2022 call is now open for submissions through the Funding and Tenders Portal, with a deadline on 15 November 2022. A total of 144 DN proposals submitted under the 2021 call were approved for funding leading to a success rate of 13.38%. 

How can we support applicants?
GrantXpert has experience in Proposal Writing, Project and Financial Management, Dissemination Activities, as well as in Education and Training programmes customised to the needs of PhD candidates with an emphasis on Entrepreneurial and Transferable Skills. GrantXpert is currently involved in the implementation of CLIPE, a project funded by the MSCA ITN programme under Horizon 2020, during which we provide customised training to doctoral candidates and we give them access to non-academic organisations and investors. 

If you are planning to submit a proposal, our company can provide you with administrative and writing support during your application and can also contribute to the implementation of the project as an associated partner. 

Publication Date: 04/08/2022