MSCA awards € 443 million for doctoral programmes

The European Commission will support 128 doctoral programmes to train and develop the skills of 1,900 doctoral candidates.

The European Commission has announced the results of the 2023 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) call for Doctoral Networks.

The Commission will fund a total of 128 excellent doctoral programmes with € 443 million to train over 1,900 doctoral candidates in and outside academia.

€ 389.8 million will be awarded to 113 standard Doctoral programmes, to train PhD candidates and develop their skills.

Funding includes also € 27.1 million for 8 Industrial Doctoral programmes to train PhD candidates and develop their skills outside academia, including in industry and business. Doctoral candidates will also benefit from joint industry-academia supervision.

An additional € 26.1 million will be allocated to 7 Joint Doctoral programmes, which promote joint selection, training and supervision leading to joint or multiple doctoral degrees.

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) received 1,066 applications for this call, the second under the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation. This means a success rate of 12%.

Close collaboration beyond academia

These doctoral programmes are implemented by international partnerships, involving 1,413 organisations in 51 countries in the EU, Horizon Europe associated countries and beyond, including 551 private for-profit entities.

Selected projects are coordinated by organisations in 20 countries

  • Germany and Spain: 19 projects each
  • France: 17
  • Netherlands: 12
  • Belgium: 11
  • Italy: 10
  • Denmark: 7
  • Portugal and the United Kingdom: 5 each
  • Greece and Ireland: 4 each
  • Finland and Norway: 3 each
  • Austria and Cyprus: 2 each
  • Czechia, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden: 1 each

Frontier research in all fields

Selected projects will promote research in fields such as advanced strategies towards energy-neutral wastewater treatment, bringing rehabilitation robots to clinical practice or quantum-inspired, climate-aware approaches to real estate value and valuation.

Industrial Doctorates will train doctoral candidates in areas such as the use of artificial intelligence in Parkinson’s disease, the development of autonomous robots that are able to comply with social conventions and expectations or photocatalytic industrial applications.

Joint Doctorates will develop programmes focusing for example on building capacity for healthy adaptation to pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood, privacy for smart speech technology or on how to deal with challenges related to migration.

The projects selected are in the broad fields of

  • Engineering and ICT: 36.7%
  • Life Sciences: 24.2%
  • Chemistry: 12.5%
  • Environment and Geosciences: 7.8%
  • Social sciences and Humanities: 8.6%
  • Physics: 7.8%
  • Mathematics: 1.6%
  • Economics: 0.8%

An overview of the evaluation results, cut-off scores and statistics has been published on  MSCA Doctoral Networks 2023 call page.

Once the grant agreements are finalised, the complete list of funded projects will be published on the  MSCA Doctoral Networks 2023 call page and on CORDIS.

Next steps for successful applicants

  • The European Research Executive Agency sent out letters on the results of the evaluation to inform applicants of the outcome of the selection. Applicants should be able to access the results of the evaluation in their personal area of the Funding and Tenders Opportunities Portal. The letter sent out to the successful applicants contains all the instructions about the next steps to prepare the grant agreement with the agency.
  • The first projects will start at the earliest in summer 2023. Projects on the reserve list may be contacted once all the grants have been signed.

Next funding round coming soon

The next call for MSCA Doctoral Networks will open on 29 May 2024. You will find more information under how to apply.

Source: European Commission | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions | What’s new (