If you plan to coordinate an MSCA action, we strongly recommend initiating the grant writing process by strategically building your doctoral network well in advance  of the deadline, ideally around 6 months or longer beforehand. To shape a network of partners tailored for your project’s aim and topics of research is essential. When considering the different types of doctoral networks, it is important to be aware of the maximum and minimum number of beneficiaries, as well as the average beneficiaries in projects awarded in 2021:

Beneficiaries DN DN-ID DN-JD
Minimum  3 4 4
Maximum 10 18 12
Average 2021 8 10 7
Minimum, maximum, and average number of beneficiaries in awarded MSCA-DNs in 2021.

Building a strong network is crucial for the success of your MSCA-DN application. Please consider the following aspects when building your network:

  • Geographic distribution of the beneficiaries: Strive for a well-balanced geographic distribution across Europe (including South, West, Central Europe, etc).
  • Involvement of non-academic institutions and/or SMEs: To increase your chances of success, it is statistically more feasible to be awarded an MSCA-DN if at least one non-academic institution or SME is a beneficiary. In fact, since 20216 only an average of 20% of the awarded projects had solely academic beneficiaries. The inclusion of non-academic and SME beneficiaries demonstrates the interest of Industry in the technology to be developed within your programme. 
  • Seek complementary expertise: When selecting other beneficiary partners for your network, seek out those with complementary expertise around the topic of the project. Clearly define the role of each partner and emphasise the need for their expertise in the training and research programmes. Avoid redundancies and ensure the presence of key expertise to ensure positive evaluations.

If you are planning to participate in a Doctoral Network either as the coordinator or as a partner in the network, the European Commission offers a platform to offer or request expertise here. Additionally, you can browse all the organisations that have participated in EU actions by type of organisation, action, and topic here