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UC3M receives over three million euros for the CONEX-Plus project

Horizon 2020 programme for the recruitment of researchers


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is the only Spanish mono-partner university to receive funding in the last Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND call, under the European Framework Programme Horizon 2020. UC3M funding exceeds three million euros to co-fund CONEX-Plus, a programme that will employ 30 PhD researchers over a period of three years

Horizon 2020

The COFUND scheme is a co-funding mechanism of the Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to stimulate regional, national and international programmes to foster excellence in researchers´ career development, education and mobility

This is the second time UC3M is funded by the COFUND programme. In 2013, the University received a grant from the 7th European Framework Programme (FP7) for the CONEX (Concentrating Excellence in UC3M) programme which enabled the recruitment and professional development of 28 researchers from 14 different countries and with more than four years’ postdoctoral experience.

The new UC3M project

The CONEX-Plus project (Concentrating Excellence in UC3M - Postdoc Programme, GA 801538) has received European co-funding of 3,186,000 euros in this call. This is a five-year programme whose objective is to attract and professionally train a group of 30 young researchers, so that they can become leaders in their respective subject areas. The programme is one of UC3M’s instruments for attaining the objectives included in its Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2022.

The selection of research fellows who have less than six years postdoctoral experience will be done by means of two international public calls, which will be guided by the principles of excellence, transparency, equality and impartiality. Special focus will also be placed on the inter-disciplinarity of the proposals presented when it comes to selecting the candidates.

The researchers will undertake a three-year project, which must address the objectives and subjects outlined in the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) of the Community of Madrid. The main technological areas of the strategy are: Energy, Environment and Transport (including Aeronautics); Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, Industrial and Space Technologies; Health, Biotechnology, Water and Agri-food; Information and Communications Technologies, as well as research work in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities which may have an application in the various areas of the RIS3.

The CONEX-Plus programme represents a significant development as regards the current CONEX programme. Tutoring and monitoring mechanisms will be reinforced and training actions will be promoted for the development of cross-cutting skills and inter-sectoral actions which accelerate professional development. To this end, at least 14 entities from various sectors will participate, where the researchers will have to undertake secondments. Special attention will also be given to the dissemination of the programme and the research outcomes among the public.