Preparing an MSCA-DN proposal requires a collaborative effort among partners, with the coordinating institution taking the lead in coordinating the writing process. To ensure an efficient process,  we recommend taking a project management approach to writing the proposal; overseeing partner coordination, managing administrative tasks with the projects office,and iterating the review of the proposal’s text. 

As MSCA-DN programmes are highly competitive, it is essential to provide detailed and well-developed plans for various aspects of the proposal, including  the training of doctoral candidates, research projects, open science plans, gender dimension. Here are 8 fundamental tips to consider while developing each of the 3 sections of your proposal (Excellence, Impact and Implementation), maximising its potential for positive evaluations:

Excellence (50% of the score)

1.- Put a strong focus on intersectoral collaborations and interdisciplinary approaches to tackle significant scientific challenges. This ensures critical scientific progress and comprehensive training for the doctoral candidates.

2.- Demonstrate how the doctoral candidates will receive effective supervision and a conducive working environment that fosters project progress and the development of important transferable skills.

3.- Please remember to address the gender dimension aspects of the research in terms of its content (e.g. developing recruitment criteria for a sex-balanced cohort of melanoma patients) rather than gender balance within the network/team.

4.- When outlining your open science section, describe your network’s plans for open access to the project’s raw data files, not just to publications.

Impact (30% of the score)

5.- Please identify the scientific and socio-economic implications of the project’s expected results, highlighting stakeholders who will benefit from the project, and assess the magnitude of the project’s potential impacts beyond its duration and scope.

6.- Pay attention to the plans for dissemination of the project to broader audiences. Develop compelling and impactful outreach plans to communicate key scientific messages to the society.

Implementation (20% of the score)

7.- Include work packages (WPs) dedicated to project and network management, dissemination and communication of the results, and doctoral candidate training and career development.

8.- Please establish management and scientific milestones that enable appropriate monitoring of the progress of doctoral candidates’ training and scientific projects. 

By following these 8 essential tips, you can enhance the quality and competitiveness of your MSCA-DN proposal. Please contact us here for more support in your proposal development and best of luck with your MSCA-DN application!

ThePaperMill team