COFUND (Co-Funding of regional, national and international programmes) scheme aims to stimulate regional, national or international programmes to foster excellence in researchers' training, mobility and career development, spreading the best practices of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. This will be achieved by co-funding new or existing regional, national, and international programmes to open up to, and provide for, international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training, as well as transnational and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers at all stages of their career.

Application Pre-conditions

Each proposal funded under the COFUND scheme shall have a sole beneficiary that will be responsible for the availability of the necessary matching funds to execute the proposal. Applicants submit multi-annual proposals for new or existing doctoral programmes or fellowship programmes which are expected to have an impact on enhancing research- and innovation related human resources on regional, national or international level.

Researchers supported under this scheme shall comply with the mobility rules of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. Limitations regarding the researchers' origin and destination should be avoided. Support cannot be awarded to researchers who are already permanently employed by the organisation hosting them. Proposed programmes are encouraged to cover all research disciplines ("bottom-up"), but can also focus on specific disciplines. In this case the range of covered disciplines should allow reasonable flexibility for the researchers. Programmes that prioritise specific research disciplines based on national or regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3 strategies) can also be supported. Synergies with the European Structural & Investment Funds (ESIF) are encouraged.

COFUND takes the form of;

  • Doctoral programmes: Doctoral programmes address the development and broadening of the research competencies of early-stage researchers. The training follows the EU Principles on Innovative Doctoral Training. Collaboration with a wider set of partner organisations, including from the non-academic sector, which may provide hosting or secondment opportunities or training in research or transferable skills, as well as innovative elements of the proposed programme, will be positively taken into account during the evaluation. Each researcher must be enrolled in a doctoral programme. Attention is paid to the quality of supervision and mentoring arrangements as well as career guidance.
  • Fellowship programmes: Fellowship programmes fund individual research training and career development fellowships for experienced researchers. The programmes supported should have regular selection rounds following fixed deadlines or regular cut-off dates, allowing fair competition between the researchers applying. The selections should be based on open, widely advertised competition, with transparent international peer review and the selection of candidates on merit. Mobility types supported by fellowship programmes may be similar to the ones supported under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships. On top of transnational mobility, applicants are encouraged to include elements of cross-sectoral mobility into their programmes. Fellowship programmes should be based on individual-driven mobility, i.e., researchers should be able to freely choose a research topic and the appropriate organisation to host them, fitting their individual needs.

Given that the aim of the co-funded fellowship programmes is the support of individual fellows, research teams will not be funded.


Financial Aspects

The EU contribution to the researcher costs must be used exclusively for the living allowance provided for the benefit of the researcher appointed under the programme. These amounts are indicated in the table below, for early-stage researchers in Doctoral Programmes, and for experienced researchers in Fellowship Programmes, respectively:

 

                                                       

Additionally, the sum of the living allowance (salaries, social security contributions, taxes and other costs included in the remuneration) and the mobility allowance, offered by the programme to the researcher must in no case be lower than the following figures:

  • For the early-stage researchers, recruited under an employment contract/equivalent direct contract, a minimum of EUR 2 597/person-month;
  • For the experienced researchers, recruited under an employment contract/equivalent direct contract, a minimum of EUR 3 675/person-month.

These amounts represent the minimum total costs to be paid to the researcher.

In addition to the researcher unit cost, there will be an EU contribution for institutions on the basis of unit costs, which amounts to EUR 325/person-month for each eligible researcher15. These costs must be used towards the management of the programme. This EU contribution is expected to be shared between the beneficiary and the partner organisation(s). Other cost items (such as mobility allowance, family allowance, research, training and networking costs, travel, and indirect costs) may be funded through other resources, including other EU funds such as the European Structural and Investment Funds, but not through funding from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

Call Information

Please click for the Guide for Applicants of 2018 Call. 

Please click for the European Commission page for proposal submission.

Please click for self evaluation form.

Please click for 2018 proposal template.

 

Additional Note: 

At present, there are no opportunities for students to apply for individual funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Instead, students can look for studentship vacancies in an  Innovative Training Network or COFUND Doctoral Programme, where they can begin or expand on their research, and gain complementary and transferable skills training to support doctoral or masters’ degree studies. Vacancies for studentships (termed “Early-Stage” or “First-Stage” Researchers) are posted on EURAXESS Jobs.