MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships: Steps to prepare your application

The MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 call for applications will open on April 23rd and close on September 11th, 2024. In support of this, MSCA have released six tips and tricks will help you find the best host organization and prepare a successful proposal.

Step 1: Get familiar with how funding works

Have a look at the Postdoctoral Fellowships page and key resources for an introduction to the scheme’s characteristics and opportunities.
Consult the  MSCA Work Program and annexes for all details about the call conditions.

Step 2: Make sure you can apply

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to postdoctoral researchers from all over the world that

  • hold a PhD degree on the closing date for applications. Applicants who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree are also eligible to apply
  • have a maximum of eight years of experience in research from the date of the award of the PhD degree – the following experience will not be counted towards this maximum
    • years of experience outside research and career breaks
    • years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe
  • comply with mobility rules: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary (for European Postdoctoral Fellowships), or the host organization for the outgoing phase (for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships) for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline

Some exceptions and specific conditions apply.

Have a look at the following resources to verify your eligibility

If you are still uncertain about your eligibility, MSCA National Contact Points can help you go through the criteria and, in some cases, do a pre-submission check of your application.

Step 3: Find a host organization and supervisor

Organizations from all socioeconomic sectors in any country can host an MSCA postdoctoral fellow – although conditions differ depending on the modality you are applying to. This includes

  • higher education institutions
  • research centers and infrastructures
  • private sector organizations, including industry, businesses, and small and medium-sized enterprises
  • public sector organizations, including national, regional, and local governments, agencies, and museums
  • certain international organizations, bodies and research institutions
  • other organizations such as NGOs, foundations, charities, etc.

Organizations based in third countries that are not associated to the Horizon Europe program can host researchers for Global Fellowships and for short-term secondments (see specific conditions in the MSCA Work Program). If you are not sure whether a country is associated to Horizon Europe, have a look at the list of participating countries to Horizon Europe.

As of January 2024, the United Kingdom is associated to the Horizon Europe program. United Kingdom organizations will therefore be able to host researchers, apply and receive funding under this year’s call under the same conditions as EU Member States and other countries associated to Horizon Europe.

If you do not yet have a host organization in mind or are still looking for a secondment or a placement please send an email at

Step 4: Start drafting your application

To draft a successful application, you will need to work together with your supervisor in your future host organization and stick to the award criteria.

Here are some useful resources for drafting your application and understand how it will be assessed

Step 5: Check your application with the experts

Your supervisor and your host organization are your first contact points, but if you want to receive feedback on your draft and get advice from former applicants and experts you can also reach out to

  • the MSCA National Contact Point in your future host country
  • the Marie Curie Alumni Association has an active network of former awardees ready to help you in the drafting of your proposal. The association also organizes regular training for future applicants
  • some host organizations may also have resources to verify your application

Step 6: Submit your application

The MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 call for applications will open on April 23rd, 2024and close on September 11th, 2024 at 5:00 PM CEST. Note the time zone difference. During this period, you can prepare and submit your application and learn more about the submission process on the call page on the Funding and Tenders Opportunities Portal and through the portal’s online manual.

To avoid last-minute problems, submit your proposal as early as possible before the deadline. You can update, download, or withdraw your proposal up until the deadline.

The evaluation process takes approximately 5 months and the results should therefore be announced in the course of February 2025.




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