Background for the initiative
This initiative to host prestigious MSCA-PF awardees as research fellows should effectively serve to extend OsloMet’s international collaborative networks and to support its R&I strategy. Depending on circumstances, MSCA-PF fellows could be considered for permanent research positions after they complete the fellowship.
This is an ongoing open-ended initiative. It started in 2017 by inviting five incoming post-doc researchers to apply via MSCA-IF to join AFI’s H2020 project Positive Environment in Public Participation and Engagement for RRI. Two successful applicant candidates received grants and were hired by OsloMet to contribute to AFI’s RRI project. In 2018, one proposal obtaining the extraordinary score of 99% was granted funding, the fellow is collaborating with PANSOC’s research on historical pandemics.
The team responsible for External Funding and Research Support (so-called “EU-Team”) at the R&D Department conducts the recruitment process, in close collaboration with the Human Resources Department at central and local levels. The EU-Team also works with the researchers who supervise the incoming fellows. This pre-award phase of the process is being transferred to the faculties and centres recruiting candidates.
The main activities carried out are distributed in three stages with an indicative timeline as follows:
The proposal process
Phase 1 – Publication of call announcements and process of recruiting candidates
(Mid-November - March)
Call announcement texts are prepared by the researchers (supervisors) interested in recruiting research fellows; HR publishes the announcements by mid-December. The applicants can be of any nationality and age and must fulfil EU’s eligibility criteria for MSCA-PF, combined with some OsloMet’s specifics as follows:
- The MSCA-PF fellowship is only for experienced researchers who has successfully defended their PhD before the submission deadline
- Non-Norwegian residence (max stay in Norway: 12 months in the last 3 years)
- Applicants must have no more than 8 years of research work experience after the completion of their PhD
- OsloMet favours ERs who already have PhD awarded
- Applicants must demonstrate motivation and commitment to undertake the fellowship
- Candidates invited to apply, must attend the masterclass (2-day workshop)
- Re-applying candidates must have obtained at least 70% (threshold score)
OsloMet’s assessment of applicants is based on their CV and a one-page description of the project idea.
For capacity reasons, there will be no more than two candidates per supervisor or three candidates per supervisory team.
Phase 2 – Masterclass
(April - May)
The masterclass is a two-day comprehensive seminar organised and hosted by the EU-Team for candidates and supervisors; it provides them with full information and training on the application process. Attendance is obligatory
Phase 3 – Proposal development
(May - September)
This phase starts immediately after the masterclass and ends on the deadline for the submission of the application (usually @ 10 Sep). The applicant and supervisor must follow an agreed on a calendared workplan.
Post-submission phase - (year+1)
(February - September)
The EU Commission informs on the evaluation results in February the following year; if the proposal is granted, the EU-Team oversees the post-award process through the signature of the Grant Agreement (GA) together with the R&I staff at the hosting faculties/centres.
The Human Resources Department manages the hiring process of successful candidates and provides support to the fellow with the logistics of relocation to Oslo. The R&I team of the hosting faculty/centre manages at local level the project implementation, securing compliance with the GA.
Guide for applicants
Read more about HORIZON MSCA-PF in MSCA-PF-2021 Guide for Applicants (ec.europa.eu - .pdf)
Expected contribution from participating supervisors
- Preparation of the text for the call announcement to invite applications by the first week in December
- Pre-select interested applicants, based on their CV and one-pager project idea
- Participate in the virtual interviews of pre-selected candidates through Feb-Mar
- Select 1-2 candidates that will be invited to apply with the endorsement of OsloMet
- Participate in the two-day masterclass (third week April-first week May)
- Mentor candidates through proposal writing until submission providing iterative feedback to the proposal’s content issues
- Provide information as host (CV, research focus group/Lab, relevant publications & research)
Commitment from the R&I staff
- Coordinate the recruitment process in close collaboration with the HR Department
- Participate in the virtual interviews of potential candidates and in following up of chosen ones
- Manage the organisation, content and virtual delivery of the masterclass
- Assist in formulating the proposal development Work Plan to be agreed by supervisor and candidate
- Follow-up candidates and supervisors through the proposal writing process to secure alignment with the European Commission’s guidelines & requirements
- Secure completion of the proposal per template requirements and secure timely submission
- Coordinate the PES requests per application submitted
- Manage the information of results
- Manage the post-award process (if granted) until signature of the GA
Tips for Supervisors
- Beware of Christmas holidays / Summer vacations in the middle of the process
- Value virtual meeting platforms over email to communicate with candidates
- Consider the different academic culture & maturity of candidates
- Keep the R&I team in the loop
- You can apply for PES funding to support the process of application