11,573 researchers from all over the world submitted their proposals under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships. This is the highest number of proposals ever received under a call of Horizon 2020, the biggest Research and Innovation programme of the European Union.
This figure represents an absolute record and shows an increase of 1,698 applications in total numbers and of 17% compared to last year’s call. In particular, an increase of 42% can be noticed for researchers wanting to restart their careers. In terms of scientific areas, Information Science and Engineering experienced a noticeable increase in applications of 27%, followed by Environment and Geosciences with an increase of 24% and Social Sciences and Humanities with an increase of 23%.
The outcomes confirm once again the need for continued support to researchers’ training through mobility under Horizon Europe, the next research and innovation framework programme of the European Union.
This year’s proposal submission confirms the increasing trend that started in 2014. It demonstrates the continued and increasing interest from the research community in the MSCA, which is one of the most attractive, prestigious yet competitive funding schemes in the world.
Around €328 million are available under this call to fund researchers’ mobility in all areas of science. €7 million are earmarked to Widening Fellowships, which provide support to researchers to undertake their fellowship in a ‘Widening Country’.
10,576 researchers applied for a European Fellowship, while 997 researchers applied for a Global Fellowship.
Projects will be selected for funding with the support of some 4,000 external independent evaluators drawn from the European Commission's experts' database. Evaluations are expected to start late September and the selection of results will be known by 9 February 2021, at the latest. The Research Executive Agency will have signed grant agreements with all the successful applicants by 9 May 2021.