Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions is Ireland’s top performer under the Horizon2020 framework programme

Funding drawn down from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme totals €143m

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is Ireland’s top performer under Horizon2020, the European Commission’s research and innovation framework programme. MSCA is currently the area of highest drawdown nationally, with awards totalling €143m since the beginning of the programme in 2014. Ireland ranks second among European Union countries in terms of MSCA budget awarded per 100,000 inhabitants. The total amount awarded to Irish researchers and companies under Horizon2020 to date is €804m. Over 56% of this has been secured by the higher education sector.

The Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office, is jointly operated by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC). The office is managed by Dr Geraldine Canny and provides high-quality support to MSCA applicants including proposal review, detailed application handbooks and workshops. This valuable support, to all disciplines, is made possible through IRC funding.

There remains a significant amount of funding available through competitive calls for the remainder of 2019 and in 2020. The Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office, Enterprise Ireland and the wider national contact point network are committed to preparing those interested to successfully submit their proposal.

Commenting on the success Dr. Lisa Keating, Director of Research & Innovation at the Irish Universities Association said, “Funding under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions enables top talent from Europe and further afield to come to Ireland to carry out cutting edge research, in turn contributing to and helping drive the development of a world-leading research and education base in Ireland. Our success in this programme, and its contribution to the research excellence inherent in Ireland, plays a role in the continued development of our indigenous and FDI research and manufacturing sectors.”  

Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, commented that “A vibrant research environment is enabled through excellent research across all disciplines. MSCA is a vital funding stream for Ireland and supports the development of a broad-based research eco-system. Investment by the Council in the Irish MSCA Office through our strategic partnership with the IUA has supported excellent performance by Ireland in this funding programme. This has benefited individual researchers working in diverse fields, and research-performing institutions more broadly. We look forward to continued success in MSCA for Ireland’s research and innovation community.”

One particular strand of MSCA that has benefited hugely from dedicated national support is COFUND. Ireland has enjoyed remarkable success in the MSCA COFUND programme with 70% of Irish COFUND applications funded compared to 22% EU-wide. Thirteen COFUNDs are currently running nationally, which has enabled the recruitment of researchers to Ireland, thereby building the national Research and Innovation talent pipeline.


For more Information contact:
Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications IUA 01 6764948 085 7141414

Additional notes for Editors:

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions support researchers at all stages of their careers, across all research disciplines and in all employment sectors. MSCA funds excellent and innovative research training projects involving career development and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers, to better prepare them to address current and future societal challenges.

Full details of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office and MSCA Actions can be found at   @mariescurie_ire

The 13 COFUND Projects currently running nationwide include:

  • CAROLINE, Collaborative Research Fellowships for a Responsive and Innovative Europe, operated by the Irish Research Council.
  • Research Leaders 2025, A Fellowship Programme developing the Next Generation of Agri-Food Research Leaders, operated by Teagasc.
  • Career-FIT, Career Development Fellowships in the National Technology Centre Programme, operated by Enterprise Ireland.
  • Career-FIT PLUS, Career Development Fellowships in the National Technology Centre Programme, operated by Enterprise Ireland.
  • PROCESS, A Fellowship programme in Process engineering operated by SSPC, PMTC & DPTC at the University of Limerick.
  • ALECS, Advanced Learning in Evolving Critical Systems, operated by LERO Centreat University of Limerick.
  • Smart 4.0, fellowships in fundamental and/or applied research in the area of Smart Manufacturing operated by the Confirm Centre, University of Limerick 
  • ELITE-S, a data science, content analytics and data preservation Fellowship programme, operated by the ADAPT Centre at Dublin City University 
  • EDGE, Cutting Edge Training – Cutting Edge Technology, operated by Amber, ADAPT & CONNECT Centres at Trinity College Dublin.
  • TLRH-VRF, Trinity Long Room Hub Visiting Research Fellows COFUND programme, operated by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute.
  • MedTrain, Career Development and Mobility Fellowships in Medical Device Research and Development, operated by Cúram Centre at NUI Galway 
  • TopMed10, Fellowship Programme supporting Career Development and Interdisciplinary Training in Omics driven Personalised Medicine, operated by University College Dublin.
  • APEX, APC Postdoctoral Excellence Programme, operated by APC Microbiome Ireland at University College Cork.


About Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It is one of seven flagship initiatives in Europe 2020, the European Union’s ten-year jobs and growth strategy. It has a budget of €75 billion and runs from 2014 to 2020. Horizon 2020 funding (i.e. grants) is awarded on a competitive basis to researchers and companies across three main pillars: Excellent Science, Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies and Societal Challenges.

Enterprise Ireland leads the national support network for Horizon 2020, working to increase participation by Irish companies and academic institutions in the EU’s main instrument for funding research in Europe. Led by Enterprise Ireland, the national support network for Horizon 2020 has 9 member organisations including the Irish Universities Association.

For more information visit


About the Irish Research Council

The Irish Research Council was formed in 2012 and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority.  The core function of the Council is to support excellent frontier research across all disciplines and all career stages.  The Council promotes diverse career opportunities for researchers by partnering with enterprise and employers.  The Council also has a particular role in supporting research with a societal focus, and has established partnerships across government and civic society.

Further information:, @IrishResearch, #LoveIrishResearch.