The latest round of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks funding has been announced with more than 1,650 doctoral candidates to benefit across 149 doctoral programmes in Europe.
The European Commission has announced funding of €429.4m as a result of the 2022 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) call for Doctoral Networks.
Ireland’s research landscape has benefited greatly from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions awards in recent years. In this Doctoral Networks round, Italy was the most successful country with 20 projects awarded funding, while Ireland matches Denmark in having eight projects funded.
A total of 149 doctoral programmes were awarded funding to train more than 1,650 doctoral candidates across academia and industry.
The projects awarded come from a range of disciplines. Engineering and ICT was the most popular field with nearly 34pc of projects, while the life sciences (26.2pc) and chemistry (12.8pc) followed. Projects in the area of environment and geosciences were awarded just over 9pc of the funding, and the social sciences and humanities received just under 9pc. Physics (7.4pc), maths (1.3pc) and economics (0.7pc) projects received the remainder of the awards.
The aim of the MSCA Doctoral Networks action is to foster “strategic international partnerships for the training and exchange of researchers”. To be awarded funding, applicants must demonstrate the capacity to “train highly skilled doctoral candidates, stimulate their creativity, enhance their innovation capacities and boost their employability in the long-term”.
The Doctoral Networks particularly aims to promote industrial doctorates “to train PhD candidates who wish to develop their skills and step outside academia, in particular in industry and business”, and joint doctorates to “provide a highly integrated type of international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration in doctoral training leading to a joint doctoral degree or multiple doctoral degrees awarded by the participating institutions”.
In the 2022 round, €47.5m was awarded to 14 industrial programmes. The candidates on these programmes will benefit from joint industry-academia supervision. The round also included €43.6m for 12 joint doctoral programmes.
The selected projects give an insight into the variety and depth of research being carried out throughout Europe. Awarded projects include research into new therapies against stem cell-driven cancer relapse and metastasis, sustainable wine production, the use of AI in road safety research, and the development of advanced materials for novel energy storage systems.
The funding is highly competitive with a 15.8pc success rate for applicants. The next funding round will open on 30 May 2023.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.