The purpose of the Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF) initiative at OsloMet is to support research talent in securing funding for a post doc research stay at our university as a MSCA-IF fellow.
- Background for the initiative
- Phase 1 - Publication of calls and process of recruiting candidates
- Phase 2 - Masterclass & face-to-face meeting candidates and supervisors
- Phase 3 - Proposal development
- Post-submission phase
- Guide for applicants
- Expected contribution from participating supervisors
- Commitment from the EU-team
- Additional tips for supervisors
Background for the initiative
Depending on circumstances, MSCA-IF fellows may be considered for permanent research positions. This initiative to host prestigious MSCA-IF awardees as research fellows should effectively serve to extend the university’s international R&I collaborative networks.
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 AFI’s research on historical influenza pandemics.
This initiative is internally funded through the “individprogram” (which was developed after the success with another program, the Booster Program, which focused on research teams). Costs involve hosting a two-day masterclass for the candidates chosen to apply and their supervisors, and reimbursement of travel related costs of candidates invited to attend.
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 will supervise the incoming fellows. The main activities carried out are distributed in three stages with an indicative timeline as follows:
Phase 1 – Publication of calls and process of recruiting candidates
(End November - March)
Call texts are prepared by the supervisors interested in recruiting research fellows; HR publishes the announcements by mid-December. The applicants can be of any nationality or age; EU’s eligibility criteria for MSCA-IF are combined with some OsloMet’s specific as follows:
- The MSCA-IF fellowship is only for experienced researchers (ER) who must have a PhD
- OsloMet favors ERs with at least 1-2 years post-PhD award
- Non-Norwegian residence (max stay in Norway: 12 months in the last 3 years)
- The assessment of applicants is based on CV and a one-pager research project idea
- Applicants must demonstrate motivation and commitment to undertake the fellowship
- Candidates invited to attend the masterclass are required to attend
- Maximum of two candidates per supervisor / three candidates per supervisory team
Phase 2 – Masterclass & face-to-face meeting candidates and supervisors
(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.
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 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). 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&D team of the hosting faculty/center manages at local level the project implementation, securing compliance with the GA.
Guide for applicants
Read more about MSCA-IF in EU MSCA-IF-2020 Guide for Applicants.
Expected contribution from participating supervisors
- Preparation of the text for call/announcement by the first week in December
- Pre-select interested applicants, based on their CV and one-pager project idea
- Participate in the remote interviews of pre-selected candidates through Feb-Mar
- Select candidates that will be invited to apply with the endorsement of OsloMet
- Participate in the two-day masterclass/meet candidates f2f (end April-first week May)
- Coach candidates through proposal writing until submission
- Provide candidates with iterative feedback on proposal’s content issues
- Provide information as host (CV, research focus group/Lab, relevant publications & research)
Commitment from the EU-Team
- Coordinate the recruitment process in close collaboration with the HR Department
- Participate in the remote interviews of potential candidates and the follow up of chosen ones
- Manage the logistics & content for the hosting and delivery of the masterclass
- Deliver the two-day Masterclass workshop
- Prepare the proposal development Work Plan to be agreed by supervisor/candidate
- Follow-up candidates & 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 reimbursement of expenses to candidates / PES requests
- Manage the information of results
- Manage the post-award process (if granted) until signature of the GA
Additional Tips for Supervisors
- There is a lot for you in the masterclass - Do not miss it!
- Beware of Christmas holidays / Summer vacations in the middle of the process
- Value Skype over email to communicate with candidates
- Consider the different academic culture & maturity of candidates
- Maintain the EU team in the loop
- You can apply for PES funding to support the process of application