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Eligibility criteria


  • Early-stage researchers are defined as those in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, starting at the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is envisaged.

Nationality and residence requirements

  • Researchers can be nationals of any country other than the country of the premises of the host organisation where they will carry out their project; however nationals of countries outside the EU and Associated States can only be recruited by hosts that are located in Member States or Associated States.
  • Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country of the host for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.
  • A researcher holding more than one nationality will be able to carry out a period of mobility in the country of his/her nationality in which he/she has not resided during the previous 5 years. Short stays such as for holidays are not taken into account.
  • Researchers from Member States or Associated countries who can provide evidence that they have legally resided and have had their principal activity (work, studies, etc) in a third country for at least three out of the last four years immediately prior to the selection by the host institution, will be (for this eligibility criterion) considered as eligible to benefit from support under this action in any Member State or Associated country, including in their country of origin.

A more detailed presentation of these rules, as well as some examples, can be found in the Marie Curie work programme. See in particular pages 11-14.

Some definitions:

  • Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
  • Associated States:
    a) Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway (subject to amendment procedure of EEA agreement)
    b) Switzerland, Israel (subject to satisfactory conclusion of bilateral S/T agreements)
    c) Turkey, Croatia, Serbia and FYROM (subject to satisfactory completion of the decision-making procedure associating these countries via a Memorandum of Understanding)
  • Third States: all other countries.