EARMA Conference Oslo


MSCA PF support scheme as a tool for maintaining the sustainability of an established research centre from structural funds


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Pecha Kucha

Topic: Proposal Development

Session: FOR2 - Pre-Award: 6 separate Pecha Kuchas

Thursday 5 May 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. (UTC)


Since 2010, there have been almost 50 research centres built in Czechia thanks to the financial support from ERDF/ESF. However, the challenge they face remains: How to secure sustainability without support from structural funds? Moreover, at CATRIN research centre, connected to Palacký University Olomouc, we are not widely involved in teaching activities, and therefore lack the backup of “money for students”, which makes sustainability an even more imminent issue. For that reason, we have to refocus from structural/national grants to more competitive (and excellent) schemes under Horizon Europe. So what kind of grant strategy and measures should we take to achieve further development of our research activities and their sustainable growth? In case of CATRIN, we particularly focus on ERC, WIDERA and EIC grants that are already being implemented, but also on measures leading to a more extensive involvement in Pillar II, as well as MSCA.It is specifically our MSCA experience that shows how developed support schemes for Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship applicants can be developed on lower level at Universities and other research institutions. On the case of Sinophone Borderlands research centre (a part of Faculty of Arts, Palacký University Olomouc) we will show how , over the last three years this support scheme has had a very concrete impact on the amount of submitted proposals and the success rate. We will present tools useful especially for widening countries as well as the how to attract early stage researchers. On the basis of surveys between MSCA applicants, we will present what level of support is expected from their perspective. Additionally, various tips for motivating potential supervisors will be discussed. A more intensive communication, collaboration and integration of effective MSCA preparation approaches and teams across other motivated Czech institution is our next goal for the near future. To pilot a novel mode of co-creation/co-designing and a common implementation of training programmes for both MSCA-PF candidates and MSCA research support staff, we started an intensive collaboration with a MSCA team from Masaryk University In January 2022.
Our ambition for 2023 is to share the resulting experience and training programmes with a wider Czech research support staff community. Within the framework of the recently established CZARMA, we will organise a series of facilitated meetings and establish specific working groups to support preparation of MSCA schemes, but also to generally strengthen MSCA relevant knowledge, including post-award practice. Integrated efforts of such a significant community can be beneficial for a wider international community, too, and have potential to get/raise our collaborative capabilities and competences, as research support professionals, to a next level.