MERIT has 3 strategic objectives: 1) Strengthen the European and global human capital base in research and innovation and contribute to a stronger European Research Area; 2) Establish new partnerships and collaborations between academic and non-academic sectors; and 3) Promote science and its many practical applications in society among the youth and advocate for more representation of women in technical and life sciences. The programme offers research opportunities accross 5 main application areas: Biotechnology/Biomedicine, Laser technologies, Space technologies, Sustainable energy/Materials and Digitalisation/AI.
2 calls for applicants are planned offering in total 30 fellowships for up to 30 months, including secondments as mandatory part of fellowships with the duration from 2 to 9 months. There are 15 Hosting organisations and 35 different research groups involved in MERIT. The large, strong consortium of distinct and respected institutions coming from academic and non-academic sectors (public and private) will offer the selected researchers intersectoral, interdisciplinary and international experience, excellent training options, as well as access to unique research infrastructures and wide networking possibilities.
Terms & Conditions
Central Bohemian Innovation Center has been awarded funding by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) – COFUND, to implement the postdoctoral fellowship programme MERIT. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Benefits for fellows
MERIT fellows will be provided with an up to 30 months fully paid internationally recognised MSCA COFUND fellowship, employed by a research organisation located in the Central Bohemia region in the Czech Republic, which ranks as the 8th safest country in the world. The workplaces are mostly located in quiet rural areas of the Region surrounded by scenic landscapes but also in proximity of the capital city of Prague, with possibilities for an active international social and cultural life.
The minimum monthly gross salary (not including employer’s social contributions) is approxiately €3 078 for researchers without family obligations, €3 262 for researchers with family obligations not including children and €3 446 for researchers with family obligation including children. In addition to this gross salary, the researchers are entitled to €700/month for travel and research cost and to €300/month for the training in research and transferable skills and coaching/mentoring. In addition, Special needs allowance will be ensured for researchers with disabilities. The Programme salary conditions are superior with regard to living costs and the average postdoctoral researcher’s salary in the Czech Republic. For more information, see the Terms & Conditions.
The fellows will be recruited by the hosting organisations under the relevant employment law with full social security and health security coverage. In the Czech Republic, the employment contracts imply sickness, parental and unemployment benefits.
The fellows will benefit from interdisciplinary research options, intersectoral experiences through the secondments and networking events with business partners, and international opportunities (e.g. regular International Researchers Meetups organised by the regional Welcome Office). In order to develop the skills of new generations of scientists and meet the industry and research organisations’ needs, an ambitious combination of core and advanced research skills and transferable skills training will be offered to MERIT fellows:
- Development of core and advanced research skills within and beyond the MERIT fellows’ discipline.
- Development of transferable skills as joint training sessions e.g. Open Science/Open Access, MSCA Green Charter, Gender dimension in research, Leadership skills, Public engagement, Citizen Science, IPR Management and Patenting, Funding opportunities/Grant writing, Crowdfunding, Exploitation of research results, Spin-offs, Entrepreneurial/Communication skills. For more details, see the Guide for applicants.
- Mentoring/coaching in three potential key areas of development: Life coaching designed to support researchers to achieve their personal potential, especially to balance mental health and overcome academic challenges, Leadership/career mentoring/coaching for those who want to focus on leadership skills and/or become principal investigators, and Business mentoring/coaching for those who want to create their own business or commercialise their research results.
Complete guide how to applyHow to apply
The programme consortium is composed of the Coordinator and 51 partners.
The Central Bohemian Innovation Centre (SIC), is a public non-profit organisation established in 2015 and it represents the Central Bohemia Region, the biggest region of the Czech Republic. The founding members of SIC are the Central Bohemia Regional Government, the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Research Institute of Geodesy, Topography and Cartography and the Czech Technical University in Prague (all of them being involved in MERIT as Hosting organisations). SIC is funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the Central Bohemian Regional Government.
SIC is the author and leader of the Regional Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) and is the designer of new regional programmes to boost the regional economy and its transition to Industry 4.0 while respecting the principles of sustainable development. In the last six years, SIC has fostered a successful and trustworthy network of research and industry partners at the regional, national and international levels. The aim of SIC is to identify the needs and challenges of the strategic partners (including research organisations) of the regional innovation ecosystem and to develop relevant service and strategic interventions to overcome those challenges, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the Region within the Czech and global economy.
15 Hosting organisations represented by research organisations, all of them based in the Central Bohemia Region, Czech Republic. They will employ, train and supervise selected researchers.
36 Associated partners that include national and international SMEs, regional branches of large enterprises, international universities and local high schools. They will offer secondments.
The Management Board is composed of 3 full-time employees of the Coordinator, Central Bohemian Innovation Center. The Management Board provides support to the candidates at the application stage, checks for the eligibility of all submitted application, coordinate the whole evaluation and selection process and the overall implementation of the programme.