About Innovative Training Networks

OPTAPHI is funded through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), which are part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding programme. The Actions consist of a number of Research Fellowship instruments which support researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of age and nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines are eligible for funding. The MSCA also support cooperation between industry and academia and innovative training to enhance employability and career development.

The Actions are named in honour of the famous Polish-born, French-citizen scientist, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different fields. She was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics (together with her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel) for her work on the discovery of radiation, and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her discovery of the elements radium and polonium. Once voted “the most inspirational woman in science”, she is iconic in having overcome barriers in order to achieve her scientific ambitions, while remaining honest, humble and generous in her support of other researchers and scientific institutions.

Innovative Training Networks (ITNs)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions include funding supports such as the Individual Fellowships and the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), but the Action under which OPTAPHI is funded is the Innovative Training Networks (ITNs). The ITNs drive scientific excellence and innovation by bringing together networks of universities, research institutes and other sectors from across the world, to train Early Stage Researchers to the doctorate level. They can address any research topic, and represent an unrivalled opportunity for young researchers to undertake Ph.D. studies at world-leading institutes in collaboration with a cohort of fellow ESRs, with network-wide training events and industry secondments.

European Joint Doctorates

OPTAPHI is a special type of ITN, called a European Joint Doctorate ITN. These ITNs have the added benefit that the network awards joint, double or multiple degrees, so that the recruited ESRs will study in at least two partner institutes. Hence, it is a unique and extremely rewarding experience for any young researcher lucky enough to join the network! 

You can find out more by visiting the Marie Skłodowska-Curie homepage: https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions