The “People” specific Programme is entirely dedicated to stimulating researchers’ career development with a significant overall budget of more than € 4.7 billion over a seven year period until 2013. The programme proposes a thrust for training, research mobility and career growth for researchers both within the European Union and third countries. This programme is being executed by a coherent set of actions termed as “Marie Curie Actions”.

This programme recognizes activities that will be based on the long and successful experience of the Marie Curie actions and will cover all stages of a researcher’s professional life, from initial research training to life long learning and career development. This Programme recognizes that one of the main competitive edges in science and technology is the quantity and quality of its human resources. To support the further development and consolidation of the European Research Area, this Specific Programmes’ overall strategic objective is to make Europe more attractive for the best researchers.

This programme has funded researchers in all disciplines: from the physical and engineering sciences to the environmental and life sciences. It is one of the few areas where the EC funds researchers in the humanities and social sciences. The R&D capabilities have expanded in large and small companies and individual researchers.

Basis of the 'People' Programme

Highly trained qualified researchers are a necessary to advance science and to underpin innovation and to draw, sustain investments in research by public and private entities.

Objectives of the 'People' Programme:

  • To strengthen quantitatively and qualitatively, the human potential in research and technology in Europe, by stimulating people to enter into the profession of researcher
  • To encourage European researchers to stay in Europe
  • To attract to Europe researchers from the entire world making Europe more attractive to the best researchers

The People Programme is implemented under the following five actions:

  1. Initial training of researchers to improve mostly young researchers
  2. Life-long training and career development
  3. Industry-academia pathways and partnerships
  4. International dimension
  5. Specific actions
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1. Initial training of researchers

This activity aims to improve career perspectives of early-stage researchers in both public and private sectors, thereby making research careers more attractive to young people. This widens scientific and generic skills. This will be achieved through a trans-national networking mechanism, aimed at structuring the existing high-quality initial research training capacity throughout Member States and Associated countries in both public and private sectors.

2. Life-long training & career development

This activity supports experienced researchers at different stages, acquires new competencies & skills and enhances inter sectoral mobility. This activity encompasses three actions:

  • Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development (IEF)
  • European Reintegration Grants (ERG)
  • Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes (COFUND)

3. Industry – academia partnerships and pathways

This activity seeks to promote dynamic pathways between public research organisations and private commercial enterprises, in particular SMEs, including traditional manufacturing industries, based on longer term co-operation programmes. This action will be implemented through support for human resources interactions within co-operation programmes between at least two organisations, one from each sector and from at least two different Member States or Associated countries.

4. International Dimension

This activity attracts research talents from outside EU & fosters mutual beneficial research collaboration with researchers from outside Europe. This activity is addressed to experienced researchers, i.e. researchers who are either in possession of a doctoral degree (independently of the time taken to acquire it) or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience.

The following actions are taken into consideration:

  • Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowships for Career Development (IOF)
  • Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowships (IIF)
  • Marie Curie International Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES)

5. Specific Action

This activity provides funding for the mobility and enhances the career perspectives of researchers in Europe.

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