Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) European Postdoctoral Fellowships: Call for Expression of Interest

The University of Essex is a public research university in Essex, England. Ranked 51st in the law subject section in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Essex Law School is committed to excellence in research and excellence in teaching.

We have a global reputation for our research: more than two-thirds of our publications were rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the last national Research Excellence Framework, placing us in the top 20 for UK law schools (REF 2014).

Research and early career research development are supported through our research clusters, which provide a rich and engaging forum for discussion. We also provide supportive mentoring and research feedback to early-career academics, provided by our pathway to permanency system, as well as practical support through our research support fund and research funding application mentorship.

We host several successful research centres, networks, institutes and hubs, including the:

Further information about the School of Law can be found here. You can also find out more about the School’s research activities through our Essex Law Research blog.

MSCA European Postdoctoral Fellowships

We are looking to support a limited number of high-quality applications under the 2022 round of MSCA European Postdoctoral Fellowships and would welcome expressions of interest (see below) from interested researchers, particularly, but not exclusively, in the following areas aligning with our research clusters:

  • Administrative justice, including key areas identified in UKAJI’s research roadmap;
  • Criminal justice: contemporary issues;
  • EU Constitutional law including: the constitutional structure of the Economic and Monetary Union; social rights protection; rule of law and transnational solidarity in the EU context.
  • Human Rights theory and practice including: technology and human rights, international criminal law, gender and human rights, social and economic rights, law of armed conflict, regional systems, refugee law;
  • Environmental law including: human rights and the environment, the rights of nature, global environmental governance, international environmental law, the law of the sea, energy law;
  • Climate change law including: international climate governance, climate justice and climate litigation;
  • Commercial law, especially intellectual property;
  • Digitalisation, technology and the law;
  • Transitional justice

This year’s call for the MSCA European Postdoctoral Fellowship applications will open on 13 April 2022, with a closing date of 14 September 2022.

The Fellowships are highly flexible funding schemes offered to experienced researchers. Fellows are based at a host institution, where they will work with their supervisors to deliver a specific project involving research, innovation, training, and networking activities. The funding guarantees mobility and financial independence with a generous set of allowances.

The Fellowships:

  • are open to researchers moving within Europe or coming to Europe from another part of the world to pursue their research careers. These fellowships take place in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country (e.g., the UK);
  • can last between 1 and 2 years and researchers of any nationality can apply.
  • a short-term secondment to anywhere in the world can be included during the fellowship.

Additional support to carry out a placement of up to 6 months in a non-academic organisation based in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country at the end of the Fellowship is available.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants should have a PhD degree at the time of the deadline for applications. Applicants who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will also be considered eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must have a maximum of eight years’ experience in research, from the date of the award of their PhD degree, years of experience outside research and career breaks will not count towards the above maximum, nor will years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe.
  • Applicants should comply with mobility rules: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline.

UK and EU

The UK Government has stated it is ready to formalise association to EU programmes at the earliest opportunity and that is its preferred outcome. As this aspect may be subject to new announcements by the UK Government, we encourage applicants to look for the most up-to-date official information here.

We will support applications only as far as they are in line with these announcements, which may mean that we might eventually not be able to support any applications in this round if UK Higher Education Institutions are not eligible to apply to Horizon Europe.


If you have any questions regarding this application, please contact Professor Theodore Konstadinides, Director of Research in the School of Law at this email address:

Application Process

  • Read the Guidance for Applicants on the funder’s website.
  • Make sure you meet all eligibility criteria. Complete the Expression of Interest (EoI – outlined below) and send it to Ms. Kate Davis at by 5:00 p.m. (London time) on 1 April 2022.
  • The review of expressions of interest will start shortly thereafter. Proposals will be evaluated based on research quality, the applicant’s future career prospects and the availability of appropriate supervision.
  • This will ensure sufficient time for matching the prospective applicant to a supervisor and the development of a strong application before the call for MSCA applications.
  • Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the evaluation by 15 April 2022.
  • The successful applicant[s] will be supported in completing their application by the selected supervisor. Successful candidates will also have the support of the University of Essex pre-award team in the Research and Enterprise Office, which will provide costings and will take the application through our institutional authorisation process.

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships 2022: Expression of Interest Application to the School of Law

  • Give your full name
  • Explain your eligibility for this Fellowship (e.g., nationality/long-term residence, confirm no more than 12 of the last 36 months spent in the UK for European Fellowships).
  • Provide the name of a proposed mentor within the School of Law, noting whether you have already discussed this with them, and why you consider them an appropriate fit to your proposed project. Another mentor may be suggested to you following our internal evaluation process.
  • Give details of any research projects you have worked on independent of your PhD supervisor (up to 200 words)
  • Explain why you would like to undertake a Marie Curie Fellowship, with reference to the scheme’s focus on international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility (up to 300 words).
  • Provide a summary (up to 500 words) of your proposed research project. This should include the rationale for the project as well as research questions or hypotheses and the methods to be used to address them.
  • Explain why you have chosen the School of Law at the University of Essex as the host institution for your Fellowship application (up to 500 words).