The European Commission awarded last week Seal of Excellence certificates to more than 2,000 researchers who had applied for a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship in 2019 but could not be funded due to budget limits.
“Through the Seal of Excellence, alternative funding bodies can take advantage of the Horizon 2020 evaluation process and financially support these excellent research proposals”, said Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, responsible for research.
Calls for proposals under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are extremely competitive. The budget allocated for the 2019 call awarded grants to just 1,475 researchers out of 9,875 applicants.
The Seal of Excellence is a quality label awarded to MSCA applicants whose proposals scored 85% or more, but could not be funded due to budget limits. The endorsement aims to help researchers in finding alternative funding for their project from regional, national or institutional sources.
According to statistics provided by the Commission to The Brussels Times, 44 % of the awarded Seal of Excellence certificates went to women. Among the most represented EU member states were Italy, Spain and France while Turkey and Israel were most represented among the countries associated to EU’s research programme Horizon 2020.