What do I need to know before applying to a MSCA-PF?

Prior to starting your MSCA-PF application, make sure the call fits your postdoctoral plans, and check your eligibility and the dates of the call. Below you will find the most relevant information you need to define your plan for the MSCA-PF application:


  • Main aims of the fellowship

 to enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD.

 To strengthen Europe’s human capital base in R&I with better trained, innovative, and entrepreneurial researchers.

 To enhance the quality of R&I, contributing to Europe’s competitiveness and growth.

 To contribute to Europe’s attractiveness as a leading destination for R&I.

 To facilitate knowledge transfer and brain circulation across Europe.


  • Important dates

The call opens on the 9th of April, 2024 and the deadline is the 11th of September, 2024.


  • Check your elegibility

 Holding a PhD when the application is submitted.

 Having a maximum of 8 years of experience after your PhD graduation date. Please note that experience outside research, career breaks and research of EU nationals in 3rd countries are not taken into account in the total year count.

 Having resided more than 12 months (of the last 36 months immediately before the call’s deadline) in a country different from where the host institution(s) is located.


  • Types of MSCA-PF fellowship

There are two types of fellowship available, depending on the country of the hosting organisation.

European: open to researchers of any nationality to do research in an EU Member State or Associated Country for 12 to 24 months.

Global: open to EU nationals or long-term residents to do research in non-associated third countries. These fellowships have an outgoing phase of 12 to 24 months in a non-Associated third country and a mandatory 12-month return phase to an EU Member State or Associated Country.

Keep in mind: both types of fellowship can include secondments and placements in the non-academic sector

Secondments cannot exceed 1/3 of the total duration of the European fellowship or the outgoing phase of the Global fellowship.

Placements in the non-academic sector are periods of up to 6 months of additional work at the end of the project in a non-academic organisation in an EU Member State or Associated Country.


  • Defining your plan for the MSCA-PF

Select the host team and institution you want to join for the MSCA-PF and contact them well in advance. Determine the research project to be presented in your application and find the relevant contact in the host organisation for administrative support. Also, determine whether you want to do a secondment or a placement in the non-academic sector. If so, make sure that your secondment is in line with the objectives of your proposal and that it adds significant value to it. 

Important: to maximise your chances of success, your fellowship should add new expertise to your research profile. Also, keep in mind that your project’s timeline should not get delayed by any additional necessary skills you will need to learn to implement the proposed research. In a nutshell, plan well in advance, write the key aspects of your proposal (this will help you understand your needs and what is a good host institution for you),  and seek support at an early stage.