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Mastering the MSCA-DN proposal: joining the puzzle pieces into a DC-sized training plan


29th May 2024 at 1:45 pm



Blog series 2/3: Transferable skills training in MSCA-DNs

The day has come and the new MSCA-DN call for proposals, HORIZON-MSCA-2024-DN-01-01, is now open for submissions until the 27 November 2024. Many researchers have already started putting together their project ideas and planning their proposals for the call. And we at accelopment have been preparing too, by bringing you best practices and recommendations through our blog post series focused on the training component of MSCA-DN proposals. Let’s take up right where we left off in our previous blog post, in which we took our readers through the first steps needed to identify the skills and training providers for a well-rounded training plan.

Putting together the puzzle pieces into a DC-sized plan

Going from a list of skills and training providers to a well-structured training plan will likely require a few brainstorming sessions within the consortium and several iterations to make all puzzle pieces fit nicely together and answer the final question on “Which skills can be combined in a training session, and which training sessions should be delivered when and how?” Some helpful resources to consult at this point are the EU Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training, ResearchComp: The European Competence Framework for Researchers, and the MSCA-NET DN Handbook, which provide guidance and inspiration on aspects to consider when designing a training programme.

Every plan will be unique, so it will be important for you to find what works best for the needs of the DCs and the successful completion of their projects while also thinking about their next career steps. We recommend planning in a mix of in-person and online network-wide training events, distributing the training in a certain skill category across the various training events, and taking care in considering what makes most sense in terms of timing throughout the 36 months of the DCs’ enrolment and the progression within their projects. Bringing everyone up to speed on the most important theoretical aspects and latest developments in the field would be well-suited options to kick off the training programme, while transferable skills training in funding opportunities and proposal writing will be more welcomed by the DCs in the later stages of their DN journey.

Let’s take on your next MSCA-DN proposal adventure together!

As an Associated Partner in 11 ongoing Horizon Europe DNs and Partner Organisation in over a dozen H2020 Innovative Training Networks (ITNs), our team at accelopment has the experience and expertise to professionally support the Transferable Skills Training, Proposal Writing, Project Management, and Dissemination activities of your next MSCA-DN. We enjoy sharing our knowledge and guiding consortia through all steps of proposal preparation, taking on most administrative tasks, framing innovative research ideas into a compelling narrative, and contributing our expertise to designing research and training plans that support the development of well-rounded skill sets for doctoral candidates.

In the interactive infographic below you can click and follow some of the training-related highlights in our collaboration with the MOSAICS EID, which we supported from the very first steps of proposal writing and in which we delivered our transferable skills training modules as Partner Organisation (the equivalent of an Associated Partner in Horizon Europe DN projects). Other examples of recent collaborations include our involvement as partners for training in the MSCA-ITN AGePOP and the MSCA-DNs BREAKthrough, CONcISE, MIRELAI and SYNSENSO, for which we most recently implemented the delivery of training in research project management, data management, science communication and grant writing.

Our Transferable Skills Training Programme includes six modules from which you can pick and choose as few as just one or as many as all six to enhance and complement your MSCA-DN network-wide training plan and support your DCs in building competitive skill sets for their current and future projects. Developed with the needs of early-career researchers in mind, from MSCA-DNs and MSCA-COFUND projects, our interactive training modules are designed for real-time online or in-person delivery and adaptable to showcase examples and activities tailored to the research area of the participants. Are you planning on submitting a DN proposal to this year’s call? Our training experts and team of proposal writers would be delighted to hear from you! In the meantime, we suggest to regularly check the call information on the Funding & Tenders Portal for important updates and subscribe to our blog for additional insights.

Dr Emily Rose Ciscato

Dr. Emily Rose Ciscato
Training Programme Manager

Jacqueline Strehler

Jacqueline Strehler
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Blog series 2/3: Transferable skills training in MSCA-DNs