The Science-Policy pitch competition under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is now accepting applications which showcase the quality, diversity and passion of the most innovative minds taking part in the MSCA.
Through 3-minute pitches, 15 contestants will explain how their research contributes to bringing science and policy-making closer. They will then answer live questions from a high-calibre jury of experts from academia, business and the public.
The competition will take place on 14 and 15 November 2023 as part of the MSCA Spanish Presidency conference in Toledo, Spain, co-organised by the European Commission and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT). The event will be broadcasted online.
Showcase your project
In their pitch, selected contestants will present their research topic, innovative project, social initiative, product, service or ideas in the following areas.
- Contribution to wider EU policy priorities: MSCA projects with research results relevant to the European Commission’s political priorities, such as the Horizon Europe Missions or the European Green Deal
- Exposure to policy-making: MSCA projects including secondments, placements and/or short stays in organisations connected to policy making
- Facilitating evidence-based policy making: MSCA projects including activities for the dissemination and exploitation of research outputs towards policy stakeholders
They will also have to demonstrate how their project links to policy through measures such as
- outreach and engagement activities
- contacts with policy makers, public organisations or civil society
- organisation of placements, exchanges or stays in relevant organisations
- development of ideas, products or services contributing to policy priorities
Among other criteria, the jury will assess
- how contestants illustrate the contribution of their research to one or more policy priorities
- the original and innovative aspects of their project
- the delivery and quality of their pitch presentation
Contestants will have a stage to present their solutions and ideas to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.
Contestants will be invited to travel to Toledo to deliver their pitch. The European Commission will cover travel and accommodation expenses.
Contestants will take part in professional group and individual coaching sessions to practise their communication and storytelling skills ahead of the competition.
They will receive training to maximise the impact of their projects and their links to policy making. They will also learn tips to deliver powerful pitches, communicate scientific research and prepare effective presentations.
Who can apply?
The European Commission is looking for 15 excellent communicators from all disciplines, with exciting research topics, new ideas and discoveries linking science to policy making.
Fellows and alumni from all Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are encouraged to apply. This includes early-stage and experienced researchers and staff working in research and innovation under MSCA grants or alumni who finished their fellowship less than 3 years ago and are/were participating in any MSCA project supported by
- MSCA Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) or Doctoral Networks
- MSCA Individual Fellowships (IF) or Postdoctoral Fellowships
- MSCA Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE) or Staff Exchanges
- MSCA COFUND (either doctoral or postdoctoral fellowships programmes)
Researchers who were selected to participate in previous MSCA pitch competitions or awards cannot apply again.
How to apply
The deadline for applications is 7 July 2023, 12:00 CEST (Brussels time).
To apply, you will need to
- fill and submit your application form
- record and send through the application a short three-minute video in English of you explaining in plain words your research topic, innovative project, social initiative, business model or idea in the chosen category and how your MSCA project supports it. We recommend you recording it before sending your application
If your application is successful, the European Commission will contact you and arrange your participation.
All selected contestants will get
- an all-expenses paid trip to Toledo to attend the Spanish Presidency Conference and competition, including networking and social events
- the opportunity to pitch their project in front of policy makers, leading experts, research institutions and funders
- professional communication training and individualised coaching sessions with expert trainers
- promotion of the fellows’ project research through a Science for Policy communication campaign and communication opportunities
- recording of professional video pitches
The jury will select three winners, and there will be an audience award.
All four winners will
- win the "MSCA Prize’ title in the corresponding category
- win an exclusive prize to discover the European continent for them and an accompanying person
- be invited to MSCA events such as the ESOF 2024 - MSCA Satellite Event in Katowice (Poland), getting access to inspiring training opportunities and networking opportunities
- increase the reach and visibility of their project by having their project featured in the European Commission’s communication channels
Questions and contacts
If you have any questions, please send an email to EAC-MSCA-COMMUNICATION@ec.europa.eu.