Over 1,650 Doctoral Candidates Selected through 2022 Round of MSCA Doctoral Networks

A total of 149 doctoral programmes will receive €429.4 million through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks, potentially supporting over 1,650 doctoral candidates.

The European Commission has announced that 149 doctoral programmes will receive €429.4 million through the 2022 round of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Networks call. The funding has the potential to support over 1,650 doctoral candidates.

MSCA is the EU’s flagship programme to support scientific excellence and cooperation across countries, sectors and research fields. It aims to encourage more young people to pursue a career in research and promote Europe’s attractiveness for leading global talent.

MSCA Doctoral Networks support doctoral programmes by partnerships of universities, research institutions and infrastructures, businesses including SMEs, and other socioeconomic actors from different countries across Europe and beyond. Proposals for doctoral networks can reflect existing or planned research partnerships among the participating organisations. All areas of research may be funded and the networks can last for up to four years. Each beneficiary must recruit at least one doctoral candidate and can also organise secondments for them anywhere in the world.

In addition to standard Doctoral Networks, the following types of doctorates are also available:

  • Industrial Doctorates train PhD candidates who wish to develop their skills outside academia, in particular in industry and business. Individual participants must be enrolled in a doctoral programme and jointly supervised by the academic and non-academic partners.
  • Joint Doctorates provide a highly integrated form of international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration in doctoral training leading to a joint doctoral degree or multiple doctoral degrees awarded by the participating institutions. PhD candidates must be enrolled in a joint programme and be jointly supervised.

The 2022 round of Networks was open for applications between 12 May 2022 and 15 November 2022. A total of 946 applications were submitted, equating to a success rate of 15.8%, up from the previous year’s figure of 13.38%. Together, the successful partnerships cover nearly 1,199 organisations based in 62 countries in the EU, countries associated to Horizon Europe and beyond, including 403 from the private sector, 124 of which are SMEs.

Selected projects will be coordinated by organisations in the following 17 countries:

  • Italy: 20 projects
  • Germany: 19 projects
  • Belgium: 18 projects
  • The Netherlands: 17 projects
  • Spain: 15 projects
  • France: 13 projects
  • Denmark and Ireland: 8 projects each
  • United Kingdom and Norway: 7 projects each
  • Austria: 6 projects
  • Greece and Sweden: 3 projects each
  • Poland: 2 projects
  • Cyprus, Czech Republic and Finland: 1 project each

Of the 149 successful programmes, 14 are for Industrial Doctorates and will train doctoral candidates in areas such as the integration of artificial intelligence in road safety research and the development of advanced materials and components for novel energy storage systems, while 12 are for Joint Doctorates, and will cover the design and assessment of novel biomass production systems and bio-product value-chains as well as multidisciplinary research to improve policy and guidelines to prevent future harms to sportspersons and organisations, amongst other areas.

Successful programmes fell in the disciplines of:

  • Engineering and ICT: 33.6%
  • Life sciences: 26.2%
  • Chemistry: 12.8%
  • Environment and geosciences: 9.4%
  • Social sciences and humanities: 8.7%
  • Physics: 7.4%
  • Mathematics: 1.3%
  • Economics: 0.7%

The next round of MSCA Doctoral Networks will launch on 30 May 2023 with a deadline of 28 November 2023.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)