Projects results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
For supported doctoral candidates or postdoctoral researchers
- Deeper and more diverse set of research-related and transferable skills and competences;
- Improved employability and career prospects both within academia and beyond;
- New mind-sets and approaches to R&I work forged through interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral experience;
- Enhanced networking and communication capacities with scientific peers, as well as with the general public that will increase and broaden the research and innovation impact.
For participating organisations
- Enhanced quality and sustainability of research training;
- Increased global attractiveness, visibility and reputation of the participating organisation(s);
- Stronger R&I capacity and output among participating organisations;
- Increased contribution of the participating organisations to the local, regional and/or national socio-economic ecosystems;
- Regular feedback of research results into teaching and education at participating organisations.
Applicants submit proposals for new or existing doctoral or postdoctoral programmes with an impact on the enhancement of human resources in R&I at regional, national or international level. These programmes will be co-funded by MSCA COFUND.
Proposed programmes can cover any research disciplines ("bottom-up"), but exceptionally can also focus on specific disciplines, notably when they are based on national or regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3 strategies). In this case, the range of covered disciplines should allow reasonable flexibility for the researchers to define their topic.
Funding synergies with Cohesion policy funds and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) are strongly encouraged,.
A Career Development Plan must be jointly established by the supervisor and each recruited researcher upon recruitment. In addition to research objectives, this Plan comprises the researcher's training and career needs, including training on transferable skills, teaching, planning for publications and participation in conferences and events aimed at opening science and research to citizens. The Plan must be established at the beginning of the recruitment and should be revised (and updated where needed) within 18 months.
COFUND takes the form of:
A) Doctoral programmes
Doctoral programmes offer research training activities to allow doctoral candidates to develop and broaden their skills and competences. They will lead to the award of a doctoral degree in at least one EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country. The training activities should be based on the EU Principles on Innovative Doctoral Training.
Substantial training modules, including digital ones, addressing key transferable skills and competences common to all fields and fostering the culture of Open Science, innovation and entrepreneurship will be supported. They will include, inter alia, training on the use of collaborative tools, opening access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, public engagement and citizen science.
On top of compulsory international mobility, applicants are encouraged to include elements of cross-sectoral mobility and interdisciplinarity into their programmes. Collaboration with a wider set of associated partners, including from the non-academic sector, will be positively taken into account during the evaluation. These organisations may provide hosting or secondment opportunities or training modules in research or transferable skills.
Particular attention is paid to the quality of supervision and mentoring arrangements as well as career guidance. The selection procedure for doctoral candidates must be open, transparent and merit-based, in line with the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The vacancy notice (to be widely advertised internationally, including on the EURAXESS website) must include the minimum gross salary (not including employer’s social contributions) offered to the researcher.
B) Postdoctoral Programmes
Postdoctoral Programmes fund individual advanced research training and career development fellowships for postdoctoral researchers. The programmes should offer training to develop key transferable skills and competences common to all fields, foster innovation and entrepreneurship and promote and (where appropriate) reward Open Science practices (open access to publications and to research data, FAIR data management, public engagement and citizen science, etc.).
Postdoctoral Programmes should have regular selection rounds following fixed deadlines or regular cut-off dates, allowing fair competition between researchers. The selections should be open, widely advertised (including on the EURAXESS website), competitive, merit-based and with a transparent international peer review, in line with the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The vacancy notice must include the minimum gross salary (not including employer’s social contributions) offered to the postdoctoral researcher.
On top of compulsory international mobility, applicants are encouraged to include elements of cross-sectoral mobility and interdisciplinarity into their programmes. Researchers will be able to freely choose a research topic and the appropriate organisation to host them, fitting their individual needs.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility supports reforms and investments undertaken by Member States. The aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.