Guide for Applicants Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innotive Training Networks (ITN) 

The above guide gives detailed information about eligibility and financial aspects of recruitment for an ITN (ETN).  I have also picked out relevant information below that you need to be aware of before you start your recruitment process.


All 15 early stage researchers will be enrolled in a doctoral programme.  Recruitment will be for a period of 36 months and start in 2016. 


Researchers can be of any nationality.  They are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment (see mobility rule below).  Therefore, nationality is not a criterion.  Rather the location of the researcher's residence or main activity during the 3 years prior to their recruitment is determining.

Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Mobility Rule: at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.  Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. As far as international European interest organisations or international organisations are concerned, this rule does not apply to the hosting of eligible researchers. However, the appointed researcher must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment at the host organisation.

ALLOWANCES - for full information see Guide for Applicants Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Networks (ITN) 

5.1 Monthly Living Allowance

This refers to the basic, gross amount for the benefit of the researcher to be paid to the researcher in monthly instalments.  For MSCA calls launched in 2014-2015, the amount for an ESR is €3,110 per month – see important Notice below.

This amount is then adjusted through the application of a correction coefficient to the living allowance of the country in which the researcher will be recruited. The final amount will not change in case of secondments to another beneficiary or partner organisation. The country correction coefficients are indicated in Table 4 (page 52-53) in the MSCA Work Programme.

The host organisation must appoint each eligible researcher under an employment contract. Fixed amount fellowships are only permitted where national regulation prohibits the possibility of an employment contract, and only with the prior approval of the Research Executive Agency. The rates applicable in these cases will be 50% of the rates for researchers under an employment contract.  In all cases, the hosts must ensure that the researcher is covered under the social security scheme which is applied to employed workers within the country of the beneficiary, or under a social security scheme providing at least sickness and maternity benefits in kind, invalidity and accidents at work and occupational diseases, and covering the researcher in every place of implementation of the ITN activities. In the case of secondments to other beneficiaries or partner organisations, the social security provision should also cover the researchers during these periods.

Important notice: Living allowance

NOTE: The living allowance is a gross EU contribution to the salary costs of the researcher. Consequently, the net salary results from deducting all compulsory (employer/employee) social security contributions as well as direct taxes (e.g. income tax) from the gross amounts. The host beneficiary may pay a top-up to the eligible researchers from another budget source in order to complement this contribution. The rate indicated above is for researchers devoting themselves to their project on a full-time basis.

 5.2 Mobility Allowance

All eligible researchers recruited within an ITN are entitled to receive this allowance. It contributes to the expenses of the researcher caused by the mobility. The amount of the mobility allowance is specified in Table 3 of the MSCA Work Programme and for the calls 2014-2015 it amounts to €600 per month.

 5.3 Family Allowance

A family allowance of €500 per month will be paid should the researcher have family, regardless of whether the family will move with the researcher or not. In this context, family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national or relevant regional legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised; or

(iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher.  The family status of a researcher will be determined at the time of their (first) recruitment in the project and will not evolve during the project lifetime. 

The mobility and family allowances are fixed amounts, regardless of the country of recruitment, and shall be excluded from taxation, where this is in line with national legislation.  The full amount of these allowances, minus compulsory deductions, should be paid to the researcher for their own use. Therefore no flights or accommodation related to the activities in the project (e.g. conferences) can be charged under this category.

Non-Eurozone Members: The project budget is calculated and paid in euro; employers must also report their costs in euro. Where researchers are not paid in euro, i.e. because the host organisation is not located within the eurozone, the allowances received may consequently fluctuate due to exchange rate changes.  The host is required to report the costs on the basis of an average of the daily exchange rates over the reporting period. It is permissible for an employer to slightly underpay a fellow on a monthly basis, as long as the fellow receives the correct amount by – at the latest – the end of their fellowship.

To do this, please do the following:

1) Use the following link:

2) Find your currency

3) Click the “chart” on the far right of your currency

4) Input the reporting period date range to receive the average rate 


Article 19 of the Grant Agreement states that all beneficiaries must submit a researcher declaration (RD) within 20 days after the recruitment of the researcher.   

The information required is -

  • Personal data - name, date of birth, nationality, gender, * family charges, is researcher enrolled in PhD programmes, email of researcher, etc.
  • Data related to the project allowances - start date and end date of recruitment, hosting institution, Contract Type (A – fixed term employment), etc.
If required, there are some basic instructions on how to create Researcher Declarations on this PowerPoint – Reporting under H2020 

GRANT AGREEMENT AND ANNEXES for newly recruited fellows 

Each beneficiary should give their newly recruited fellow(s) a copy of the Core Grant Agreement -  
Please note - 
  • The host organisation shall appoint each eligible researcher under an employment contract 
  • Contract with the researcher should reflect the requirements mentioned in the Grant Agreement
  • Researchers shall be duly informed of their rights and obligations as MSC researchers (article 32 of the Grant Agreement) 


Individual adverts need to be placed on - EURAXESS.  This is free and very easy to use.  If you need any help with this, please contact me.  Here is a link to the current advert for all 15 positions

Sally Greenhough -

Sally A Greenhough,
Oct 27, 2015, 7:02 AM
Sally A Greenhough,
Oct 27, 2015, 7:03 AM