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Published:  15 Apr 2024

Next Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 call: 6 steps to prepare your application

These tips and tricks will help you find the best host organisation and prepare a successful proposal.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships support researchers holding a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, get new skills and develop their careers in all fields of research.

They give outstanding postdoctoral researchers the possibility to work on their own projects while receiving training and supervision to enhance their skills and boost their careers.

These prestigious fellowships are also a stepping stone in researchers’ careers, as they allow them to strengthen research cooperation with leading scientific teams and figures worldwide.

If you are considering applying for Postdoctoral Fellowships, here are some useful tips and guidance to start preparing your proposal.

Step 1: Get familiar with how funding works

Have a look at the Postdoctoral Fellowships page and key resources for an introduction to the scheme’s characteristics and opportunities.

Consult the  MSCA Work Programme and annexes for all details about the call conditions.

Step 2: Make sure you can apply

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to postdoctoral researchers from all over the world that

  • hold a PhD degree on the closing date for applications. Applicants who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree are also eligible to apply
  • have a maximum of eight years of experience in research from the date of the award of the PhD degree – the following experience will not be counted towards this maximum
    • years of experience outside research and career breaks
    • years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe
  • comply with mobility rules: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary (for European Postdoctoral Fellowships), or the host organisation for the outgoing phase (for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships) for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline

Some exceptions and specific conditions apply.

Have a look at the following resources to verify your eligibility

If you are still uncertain about your eligibility, MSCA National Contact Points can help you go through the criteria and, in some cases, do a pre-submission check of your application.

Step 3: Find a host organisation and supervisor

Organisations from all socioeconomic sectors in any country can host an MSCA postdoctoral fellow – although conditions differ depending on the modality you are applying to. This includes

  • higher education institutions
  • research centres and infrastructures
  • private sector organisations, including industry, businesses, and small and medium-sized enterprises
  • public sector organisations, including national, regional, and local governments, agencies, and museums
  • certain international organisations, bodies and research institutions
  • other organisations such as NGOs, foundations, charities, etc.

Organisations based in third countries that are not associated to the Horizon Europe programme can host researchers for Global Fellowships and for short-term secondments (see specific conditions in the MSCA Work Programme). If you are not sure whether a country is associated to Horizon Europe, have a look at the list of participating countries to Horizon Europe.

As of January 2024, the United Kingdom is associated to the Horizon Europe programme. United Kingdom organisations will therefore be able to host researchers, apply and receive funding under this year’s call under the same conditions as EU Member States and other countries associated to Horizon Europe.

If you do not yet have a host organisation in mind or are still looking for a secondment or a placement host, the following resources may help you find your match

If you are looking for a non-academic host or seeking advice for research-business collaboration, reach out to the European Enterprise Network’s contact points.

If you are applying for a standard European Fellowship with a host from a Widening Country, you will have the opportunity  to opt in to  the 2024 ERA Fellowships call when submitting your proposal. Around 50 ERA Fellowships will be awarded to excellent applicants who were not selected under the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships call, due to budget constraints.  

Access the list of eligible host countries under ERA Fellowships

Step 4: Start drafting your application

To draft a successful application, you will need to work together with your supervisor in your future host organisation and stick to the award criteria. 

Here are some useful resources for drafting your application and understand how it will be assessed

You can also attend dedicated webinars, matchmaking events, bootcamps and hands-on workshops to help you prepare your application. MSCA National Contact Points and Euraxess organise webinars regularly. Contact them to find out the next sessions planned. 

Your future host organisation may also have dedicated training.

Step 5: Check your application with the experts

Your supervisor and your host organisation are your first contact points, but if you want to receive feedback on your draft and get advice from former applicants and experts you can also reach out to

  • the MSCA National Contact Point in your future host country
  • the Marie Curie Alumni Association has an active network of former awardees ready to help you in the drafting of your proposal. The association also organises regular training for future applicants
  • some host organisations may also have resources to verify your application

Step 6: Submit your application

The Postdoctoral Fellowships 2024 call for applications will close on 11 September 2024, 17.00, CEST. 

During this period, you can prepare and submit your application and learn more about the submission process on the call page on the Funding and Tenders Opportunities Portal and through the portal’s online manual.

To avoid last-minute problems, submit your proposal as early as possible before the deadline expires . You can update, download, or withdraw your proposal up until the deadline.

The European Research Executive Agency’s website provides an overview of the evaluation process on .

The evaluation process takes approximately 5 months and the results should therefore be announced in the course of February 2025.

Published:  15 Apr 2024