As a researcher, you know how crucial education is. You also know how challenging it is to set up new education programmes, especially those involving international participants or going across sectors or fields. As a specialist in research and innovation funding, let’s use today’s International day of education to share with you 3 funding programmes you might consider to fund your next education plans.
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks
ITNs fund joint research training and/or doctoral programmes implemented by a network of European universities, research institutions or non-academic organisations. ITNs include experience outside academia to give participants innovation skills that are key to employability. There are several types of ITN, including industrial doctorates in which non-academic organisations share with universities the roles of researchers’ coordination, or joint doctoral degrees delivered by several universities in different countries. Experience outside Europe can also be provided to students given that non-European partners can join ITN projects. ITN is one among several types of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: although not focused only on education, you can also consider the RISE (research and innovation staff exchanges) and Individual fellowships, which also include some training in their schemes. The plus side to participate in a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, is that you get access the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Alumni network which counts more than 100,000 alumni and is very active in promoting job, studies, research or business-related discussions and actions.
The latest ITN call was on 14 of January but expect the next call to be held in January next year.
The Twinning programme is restricted to a number of countries considered as low-performing in research but gives research organisations based in these countries with a great tool to network with counterparts in “high-performing” research countries. The Twinning projects implement a set of actions aimed at improving the research performance and grow the networks of the participants. Among all the possible actions are included summer schools, training sessions and staff exchanges, which make Twinning another appropriate tool to fund education.
There is no Twinning call planned this year, but the European Commission has confirmed that the scheme will be part of Horizon Europe, the next framework programme starting next year.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
The EIT funds 8 knowledge and innovation communities (KIC) in different strategic sectors for the EU: climate change, health, food, energy, etc. Each KIC works quite independently and supports start-ups, education and the networking of the major actors in their field. With regards to education, members of a KIC can apply to receive an EIT label for their master’s or PhD programmes. This label enables your education programme to be certified on its ability to deliver an entrepreneurial culture to its students and a European mobility aspect.
The next call has not been announced yet but should occur some time in June.