The aim of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Staff Exchange scheme is to promote international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration and mobility through research and innovation staff exchanges, and sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice versa) for the advancement of research and the development of innovation. The scheme aims to foster a shared culture of research and innovation that welcomes and rewards creativity and entrepreneurship and helps to turn creative ideas into innovative services, processes or products.
A Staff Exchange programme is built on a collaborative research and innovation theme implemented by a series of staff exchanges (with an in-built return mechanism) and networking activities (meetings, workshops, conferences etc.) between research organisations both academic and non-academic:
- Academic: consists of public or private higher education establishments awarding academic degrees, public or private non-profit research organisations whose primary mission is to pursue research, and International European Research Organisations
- Non-Academic: includes any socio-economic actor not included in the academic sector and fulfilling the requirements of the Horizon Europe Rules for Participation. Examples (not exhaustive) include: industry (SMEs etc.), charities, NGOs, government/public bodies, national archives, libraries, etc.
A Staff Exchange programme can take three forms
- Inter-sectoral Staff Exchange: involving participants from the academic and non-academic sector in Europe only (Member States and Horizon Europe Associated Countries). All staff exchanges must be between different sectors (academic to non-academic and vice versa) and different countries. The exception is for interdisciplinary exchanges which can be within the same sector but must be between different countries.
- International Staff Exchange: involving participants from any sector in Europe and outside Europe. There can be no exchanges between countries outside Europe. Exchanges between European and non-European countries can be between sectors (academic to non-academic and vice versa) or within the same sector (academic to academic, non-academic to non-academic).
- A combination of 1 and 2: a mixture of inter-sectoral exchanges within Europe, and inter-sectoral and/or same-sector exchange between countries within Europe and outside. Interdisciplinarity is welcomed in all exchanges. In all three forms, there can be no exchanges within the same country.
An organisation can participate as a Beneficiary or a Partner Organisation:
- Beneficiaries participate fully in the network, hosting and training researchers and receiving a portion of the project budget to fund the full costs of this participation.
- Associated Partners are involved in hosting and training researchers. Associated Partners do not receive funds from the project budget, but can reclaim eligible participation costs from one of the Beneficiaries.
What funding is provided?
Financial support is provided to cover the costs of the exchange visit for each researcher (student, researchers, technical staff, research managers) who is seconded to a different organisation. The researcher must be engaged in, or linked to, research and innovation activities at their sending organisation for at least one month prior to the secondment. In all cases, the seconded staff members must continue to be paid their salary by their home organisation and are expected to return there after the exchange visit to pass on their knowledge and foster collaboration. Visits can be of any duration from one month up to a maximum of 12 months for an individual researcher.
Financial support is also provided to cover research, training and networking costs and the management and overheads costs of the participating organisations.
What research areas are funded?
All areas of research are covered by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, including STEM subjects and the social sciences, humanities and economic sciences.
- Staff Exchange consortia can include universities, research institutions, businesses, SMEs and other non-academic organisations. A consortium consists of at least three independent organisations established in three different countries, two of which need to be located in a different EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country, and must respect one of the following two conditions:1. if all organisations are from Europe, at least one organisation should be from the academic sector and at least one from the non-academic sector (except if they are interdisciplinary) or
2. at least two organisations are located in two different European countries and at least one organisation is located in a non-European country.
- The project duration is a maximum of 4 years with a maximum of 360 person-months per project contribution from the EU.
- Typical Project Budget €200,000 up to €1.5 million depending on the number and duration of the staff exchange visits.
How to get involved
- Use your existing contacts to find a consortium and join-up. Working with experienced participants is a good place for a newcomer to start.
- Build your own consortium using your existing contacts.
- Find new partners using the CORDIS Partners Service, InterTradeIreland’s Research Connections interactive map and Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s “Find a Research Partner“. The European Advisor who specialises in your research area is also knowledgeable about appropriate partners.
How to apply
There is an annual funding call for Research and Innovation Staff Exchange. Details of all Calls, including application documentation, may be found on the Funding and tender opportunities portal. A list of Call deadlines can be found here.
More information can be found on the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions website.