Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is to fund its 100,000th fellowship this year, having recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
MSCA initiatives have changed lives, affecting the careers of young scientists across the EU, including in Ireland.
Hundreds of Irish researchers have been supported by MSCA and it has made a big difference here, says Dr Jennifer Brennan, the MSCA national contact point.
She added: “The programme has been really important for Ireland because it funds all research areas.
“Some of the national funders are about prioritisation but we will fund everybody.”
Chair of the EU advisory group on the MSCA and vice-president for research, innovation and impact at University College Dublin (UCD), Professor Orla Feely, added: “Ireland has been enormously successful in the Actions. The graphs put us up at the top for success rates, one of the most successful countries in Europe.”
The MSCA was originally a mechanism for supporting researcher mobility across the EU, particularly for Masters, PhDs and post doctorates. Brennan said: “At its heart it is a mobility programme that encourages an open market for researchers in Europe.
“But that has changed into a programme that has a strong focus on career development for researchers.”
The MSCA has a €6.2bn budget and a number of award categories. There are individual fellowships for young researchers, allowing them to pursue their work anywhere in the world. These offer around €100,000 over two to three years.
The research and innovation staff exchange programme brings together a collaborative consortium which in turn funds exchanges between participating partners.
The innovative training network also brings companies and academics together in support of real-world training for up to 15 PhD students.