What Doctoral Candidate (DC) stands for in Horizon Europe?

DC means Doctoral Candidate. DC shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation,
be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Part-time research experience will be counted pro-rata.

No, only doctoral candidates, not already in possession of a doctoral degree, are eligible to participate in all MSCA DN modalities. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible. Therefore, they cannot be recruited in NanoReMedi.

Yes. Applications can be made to as many research projects as wished. The Selection Board will choose the best suited research project among those selected by the applicant.

NanoReMedi is a doctoral research programme and therefore doctoral candidate shall be appointed for the maximum 36-month period.

In an MSCA DN, secondment means a research training period spent by a fellow at the premises of a different beneficiary, an associated partner or an associated partner linked to a beneficiary included in the list of participants. The premises of the beneficiaries / associated partners / associated partners linked to a beneficiary must be independent from each other and therefore the secondment must involve physical mobility of the fellow. During their secondment, researchers receive supervision and training at the premises of the receiving beneficiary, associated partner or associated partners linked to a beneficiary.

Secondments should be differentiated from short visits, i.e. of a few days.

The difference is not only the “time spent” criterion, but it also depends on the purpose of the fellow’s visit to the host institution. During short visits, fellows do not receive training and they are not supervised.

Yes, secondments within the same country are permitted. .. However, please remember that the international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary dimension is an important part of HORIZON-MSCADN. International secondments are strongly encouraged.

No. However, in cases when a doctoral degree is awarded after 3 years or even after the end of the project, the REA may check if the doctoral research and training programme was completed.

No, in MSCA DN the researchers can be appointed for a maximum duration of 36 months (full time equivalent), this applies to all MSCA DN, including Industrial Doctorates (IDs) and Joint Doctorates (JDs). In those countries where the duration of PhD study is formally 4 years, additional funding from other sources may be ensured by the participant in order to support the 4th year of doctoral studies.

As a rule, in an MSCA DN project the researcher must be recruited under a full-time employment contract. Part-time employment must be agreed in advance with the European Research Executive Agency (REA) and may be accepted:

• subject to prior approval by the Agency
• on personal or family grounds only, and not for professional reasons.

Date of recruitment’ means the first day of employment of the researcher for the purposes of the action (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract/equivalent direct contract). The Research Executive Agency (REA) may, however, exceptionally accept a different date, if it is linked to the recruitment and is justified (e.g. by differences in the employment procedure in the country of recruitment).

Beneficiaries are solely responsible for verifying the eligibility rules and ensuring that sufficient evidence of the applicant’s eligibility is maintained for a potential check or audit.

The mobility rules stipulates that researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country or region where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher (children for
which the researcher is under a legal obligation under national law to support them). See also the MSCA Work Programme.

If the recruited doctoral candidate has or acquires family obligations during the action duration, i.e. persons linked to him/her by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country or region where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher, the family allowance must be paid to him/her as well.

Compared to H2020, there will be an increase from 50% to 75% of the estimation of fellows receiving a family allowance at the proposal stage. This will hopefully cover all cases where a family allowance needs to be paid (even those cases where the family status changed during the course of the project). In case the family allowance allocated to the project is insufficient, additional funds will be made available by the Commission and the max EU contribution will be increased.

No, the MSCA Work Programme does not specify how much time the fellows must be recruited and hosted by each institution under the Joint Doctorates (JD) mode. The recruitment and hosting arrangements for each fellow have to be described in the proposal, keeping in mind the minimum of 3 months’ duration of the employment contract as an eligibility criterion.

In DN-JDs the creation of a joint governance structure with joint admission, selection, supervision, monitoring and assessment is mandatory. One of the evaluation criteria is the quality of the joint supervision of the fellow and it is therefore expected that the institutions providing the joint degree have an active role in the supervision, monitoring, and training of the fellows for a meaningful period of time.

In an MSCA DN, management and indirect costs refer to a unit cost of €1,200 per person-month that is to be used towards the management of the action. Their eligibility is linked to the eligibility of the costs of the recruited researchers declared by each beneficiary.

As with Research, Training and Networking costs, these amounts may be re-distributed among the consortium. For example, the consortium may agree in the Consortium Agreement that all beneficiaries will contribute to the costs that the coordinator incurs for the management of the whole action and consequently allocate a higher percentage to the coordinator. However, the modalities of this are left to the consortium to decide, no information or request has to be submitted to the European Research Executive Agency (REA).

It is highly advisable that the proposed beneficiaries address the distribution of these costs before submitting their proposal and subsequently address this issue in the Consortium Agreement which is deemed to be concluded prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

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