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Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship – A Fascinating Story

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Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship – A Fascinating Story

Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship stands out as a widely sought-after grant offered to emerging researchers following the completion of their PhD. Within the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), a funding program of the European Union (EU), diverse postdoctoral grants are available. These grants support researchers at various career stages, encompassing PhD students through initiatives like the Marie Curie PhD Scholarship, as well as postdoctoral researchers through fellowship opportunities. Funded by the European Commission, the MSCA operates under the Horizon 2020 program, the predecessor to Horizon Europe, the current EU research and innovation program.

Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowships

The MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships are part of the broader MSCA program, which aims to promote international mobility and career development for researchers. These fellowships are targeted at postdoctoral researchers and provide opportunities for them to enhance their skills and broaden their research experience. There are different types of Marie Curie postdoc fellowships within the MSCA framework, including:

  1. Individual Fellowships (IF): These fellowships support experienced researchers of any nationality in moving to another country to work on a research project.

  2. Global Fellowships (GF): Global Fellowships involve a transnational outgoing phase and a mandatory return phase to a European host organization.

  3. European Fellowships (EF): European Fellowships fund researchers to move within Europe and beyond.

Countries Covered

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to researchers from all over the world. The program encourages international and intersectoral mobility, promoting collaboration between academia, industry, and other sectors. Researchers can apply for fellowships to carry out projects in EU Member States or Associated Countries.

Stipend for Postdoc Researchers

The stipend for MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships varies depending on several factors, including the type of fellowship, the researcher’s experience, and the host country. The Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship stipend typically covers the researcher’s salary, mobility allowance, and family allowance (if applicable). The amounts are designed to ensure a competitive salary that allows researchers to focus on their research without financial concerns.

It’s crucial to check the latest guidelines and specific details on the official MSCA website or the Horizon Europe portal for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the program, including eligibility criteria, application procedures, and financial aspects.

This article will walk you through a real, inspirational, and encouraging story of the journey an Italian scientist had throughout the Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship application process from the beginning until they won the grant.

Andrea Belluati, Winner of a Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship 2021

Andrea Belluati - Applyindex My name is Andrea Belluati, and I wish to share my experience in the hope that it might inspire and guide others in their academic pursuits. My journey to securing a Marie Curie Postdoc Fellowship is a tale of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of academic excellence. In particular, I won the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship (MSCA IF) for my postdoctoral research.

My academic journey commenced with an interest in biology and biotechnology, already during my high school years. This initial fascination with the mechanisms of life and biological systems laid a foundation for my future studies, graduating in industrial biotechnology. Transitioning into my PhD, I shifted focus to biological integration of nanotechnology, at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

This transition marked a pivotal point in my trajectory, culminating in my completion of the PhD program in 2020. This achievement set the stage for my pursuit of postdoctoral opportunities, merging my background in biotechnology with my expertise in physical chemistry.

Already during my PhD, I knew that I wanted to further develop my research, focusing more on polymer synthesis and the use of enzymes for sustainable production. From my time in Switzerland, I already knew the supervisor I wanted to do my postdoc with, Prof. Nico Bruns, and he was happy to help me secure an individual funding.

Individual funding sources, grants, and fellowships

In the final year of my PhD, armed with a clearer vision of my research interests and career goals, I began the arduous task of applying for individual funding. This phase was a true test of patience and resilience. My first two attempts were with the SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation) mobility grant. As the name implies, international mobility is fundamental in this scheme, and it was just fine, as my prospective supervisor had just moved to the UK. The application process was rigorous and demanding, requiring a detailed proposal, a well-thought-out research plan, and strong letters of recommendation. Despite my efforts, the outcome was not favorable.

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship

With resilience and proper stubbornness, I decided to apply for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowship. The MSCA is renowned for its competitive selection process, focusing on the research’s excellence and the researcher’s potential. I submitted the same project proposal, refining it with insights gained from my previous application’s feedback. To my delight, I was successful on my first attempt.

My application outcome

The wait for the results was nerve-wracking, but in February 2021, I received the life-changing news – I had been selected as the first-ranked candidate for the MSCA IF. This moment was a culmination of my efforts, symbolizing a victory over personal and professional challenges.

Role of Academic Supervisors

Reflecting, I realize the crucial role my academic supervisor played in this journey. They were more than just a guide; they were a mentor who believed in my potential. A good mentor provides intellectual guidance, and emotional support, and helps navigate the often-complex academic landscape. They invest in you, not just for your PhD or postdoc tenure but for your overall career trajectory. This relationship, built on mutual respect and shared intellectual curiosity, is the cornerstone of a successful academic career.

Amin Reyhani

Author Since: April 20, 2024

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