21. Feb. 2023

Boost your career in science with the top Central European research institute

This MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship call 2023 is approaching. The call should open on 12th April 2023 and the submission deadline for the proposals is on 13th September 2023. Masaryk University offers free hybrid intensive training for MSCA-PF applicants that will be held on 6th March 2023, from 9:00 to 16:00. Besides this training, we offer additional funding schemes that will quadruple the applicant’s chances to secure the necessary funds for their innovative ideas.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (PF) aim is to support the international mobility of researchers within Europe and beyond. The objective of a postdoctoral fellowship is to support researchers’ careers and foster excellence in research. The MSCA PF action targets researchers holding a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop their careers. PFs help researchers gain experience in other countries, disciplines and non-academic sectors. The grant usually covers two years' salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution. Family and special needs allowances are also available when applicable and researchers of any nationality can apply.

MSCA PF is a competitive and prestigious funding scheme with a success rate between 10 and 15 % and is believed to be the stepping stone for getting an ERC starting grant in the future. The best-ranking MSCA PF proposals with a host institution in one of the “widening countries”, such as the Czech Republic, that aren’t funded due to lack of finances will be funded from the budget of the “Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence” of Horizon Europe. The fellow just has to indicate in this application that if unsuccessful, he/she wants to apply for the ERA Fellowship. After the MSCA PF evaluation is completed, then, if the proposal is not selected for funding but is eligible for ERA Fellowship, it is automatically “resubmitted” to the ERA Fellowship call. Applicants aiming for widening countries have therefore better chances to get funded.

And this is not all! The Czech Republic comes with a special national funding scheme OP JAK from structural funds that aims to attract foreign scientific talents into the country. The same MSCA PF proposal will also be submitted to this national funding scheme and increases the fellow´s chances of being funded from 70 to 80 %. The conditions of this national funding scheme are the same as the MSCA PF. To be eligible for OP JAK scheme, the original MSCA proposal has to obtain at least 70% score in the evaluation. CEITEC and Masaryk University also provide personalized support to all fellows during the MSCA PF application procedure. Their experienced grant office personnel help the foreign early-stage researcher to identify a compatible laboratory, expertise, and equipment. Other important support for potential fellows are online courses and workshops that help the candidates to prepare a strong grant application. Participation in those courses is free of charge and greatly increases the chances of receiving the grant.

CEITEC and Masaryk University as a stepping stone for a successful career in science

Some research institutes and universities in widening countries are very advanced in terms of their institutional culture and support for foreign researchers and also in terms of research infrastructures. CEITEC is one of the most important research centres in the Czech Republic and in Central Europe. CEITEC Masaryk University (MU) focuses on life sciences and is the largest partner of the CEITEC consortium and the flagship of Masaryk University. CEITEC MU emphasizes the quality of the working environment and is committed to continuous learning and improvement. The institute has gradually developed into a successful scientific centre with an ever-growing international reputation.

CEITEC MU employs approximately 500 people from more than 35 countries around the world who jointly contribute to the success of the Institute. Every year, CEITEC scientists publish more than 300 articles in prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals, of which more than 60 % are published in Q1 journals and more than 40 % have a corresponding author with an affiliation at CEITEC MU. Since its foundation, CEITEC MU has considered its people as the most important factor of its success. Since January 2019, CEITEC MU has been a proud holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award and is constantly striving to improve working conditions for its employees.

More than 300 scientists and researchers are working in 28 research groups, which are thematically divided into four research areas: Structural Biology, Molecular Medicine, Genomics and Proteomics of Plant Systems, and Brain and Mind Research. Experienced supervisors and mentors guide more than 200 PhD students within the CEITEC PhD School. More than half of the PhD students come from abroad. CEITEC MU provides open access to 11 shared laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. Unique instrumentation is available not only to scientists from CEITEC MU, but also to external users from the academic and private sectors.

CEITEC MU coordinates the international consortium Alliance4Life, which connects leading universities and research institutes in the field of biomedical sciences in Central and Eastern Europe. CEITEC MU and the other members of Alliance4Life work together to improve institutional management and increase innovation potential in the so-called widening countries. CEITEC MU is also a partner of the international EU LIFE consortium, which brings together fifteen leading European biomedical research institutions that promote research excellence in Europe. Active involvement in both of these alliances has significantly contributed to CEITEC´s leadership in modern institutional management in the Czech Republic.

MSCA-PF intensive training for MSCA-PF applicants

Masaryk University offers free MSCA-PR training that will be held both on-site and online on 6 March 2023, from 9:00 to 16:00. The experienced training instructor Jakub Zeman will cover the following content:

  • Key features of MSCA-PF and the motivation behind this programme - Why does Europe spend the funds? What effects do they want to see?
  • A strategic approach to proposal preparation - from resources, you should secure and use/ask for. From work plan to reviews, consultations, edits and finalization steps.
  • Proposal preparation that will be “project-managed” with clear intermediate milestones, meetings with supervisor and consultant + deadlines
  • How to create a "project canvas" and "graphical abstract“- clear overviews of your project for detailed reasoning and discussions with the supervisor
  • Specific aspects of the project proposal in direct relation to the project proposal template - each section of Excellence, Impact & Implementation
  • Communication and collaboration with your supervisor and the host institution - get them on board for success!
  • Appropriate writing style & examples of good practice.
  • Our specific support activities, including seminars, workshops and individual consultations
  • Q&A and next steps

Interested candidates can apply HERE.


Who can apply for MSCA PF?

  • Early-stage researchers (ESR) who have a PhD degree at the time of the deadline for applications. Applicants who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will also be considered eligible to apply
  • ESR with a maximum of eight years experience in research, from the date of the award of their PhD degree, years of experience outside research and career breaks will not count towards the above maximum, nor will years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe
  • Researchers who comply with mobility rules: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary (for European Postdoctoral Fellowships), or the host organisation for the outgoing phase (for Global Postdoctoral Fellowships) for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline


If you would like to apply for MSCA PF with CEITEC, please contact Veronika Michlová Štěrbová.

If you would like to apply for MSCA PF with other faculty or institute of Masaryk University, please contact Jakub Zeman

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