On 24 April 2017, the Commission awarded Seal of Excellence certificates to 2300 researchers thereby recognising their high-quality research proposals under the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).
The Seals of Excellence are being awarded for the first time to all researchers with 2016 MSCA Individual Fellowship proposals reaching a score of 85% or above but which could not be funded due to the highly-competitive nature of the MSCA programme. These certificates provide applicants with recognition for the quality of their work, which they can use to further develop their careers and to support their search for alternative funding at regional or national level. Some countries such as Cyprus and the Czech Republic have drawn on the European Social Fund to introduce funding schemes supporting the recipients of the Seal of Excellence. National funding bodies in Croatia, Slovenia and Poland also have initiatives in the pipeline. Some other countries opted not to introduce a specific funding scheme but are instead encouraging recipients of the Seal to apply to existing schemes.
Further information, including national funding initiatives, can be found here.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are part of the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. They aim to equip researchers with the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career, in both the public and the private sectors. By helping researchers go abroad during their training, and by supporting staff exchanges between institutions and industry, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions contribute to strengthening Europe’s research and innovation capacity.