Incoming Postdoctoral Grant

What do we support?


The application round for the year 2024 is closed! The next application round will be in 2025.


What do we support?

We support the arrival of postdoctoral researchers to Estonia. The support is aimed at researchers who have applied for the Marie Skłodowska Curie (MSCA) postdoctoral individual grant to come to Estonia, received a positive result (at least 70 points), but have not received funding, and who wish to continue their research in Estonia. The activities of MSCA can be read about in more detail here.


What is the goal of the postdoctoral support?

The goal of providing support is to balance and encourage the circulation of talent and to simultaneously support the opportunities for completing an important phase of a researcher’s career, namely the postdoctoral stage. The Estonian state values the arrival of foreign researchers to work in Estonia as well as the return of Estonian researchers who have worked abroad, in order to contribute to the application of knowledge and experience acquired abroad in Estonia and to expand career choices for researchers early in their careers. In addition to addressing outward migration, we also contribute to ensuring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

As a result of this activity, Estonia will host more researchers with international work experience, including foreign researchers. Postdoctoral training and international research experience will become a natural part of the Estonian research career.


How much is the support?

The amount of support for the 2024 application round is 72,000 euros per year, of which the grant is 86,58%, i.e., 62 337,6 euros, and the co-financing is 13,42%, i.e., 9662,4 euros (direct costs of the project is 57,600 euros, indirect costs 14,400 euros).

In 2024, approximately 25 postdoctoral grants will be awarded, with the exact number depending on the received applications.


How long is the support period?

The support period is a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months.

The postdoctoral project must commence no later than December 1st, 2024. The support period begins on the date agreed upon in the contract.


What are the requirements for applicants?

The recipient of the support is the host institution, which is a research and development institution registered in Estonia, a higher education institution, or another private or public sector institution operating in Estonia, where the eligible researcher intends to carry out the postdoctoral project.

Support can be applied for by a postdoctoral researcher who, in the year preceding the application, applied for an MSCA postdoctoral individual grant, received a positive outcome (i.e., at least 70 points), but ultimately received a negative funding decision. The application must include the previously unfunded MSCA application and its evaluation results. The postdoctoral researcher must have a supervisor who works at the host institution under an employment contract. The supervisor must have a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification.

During the implementation of the project, the postdoctoral researcher must work at the host institution with a full-time workload of 1.0, and the place of work is Estonia.


If the applicant is a company

Companies can also receive support, just like public research institutions. However, compliance with state aid rules must be considered, and the company must provide additional information about this in the application. The support provided to companies is preferably de minimis aid, but if the company has already exceeded the permitted threshold for de minimis aid, support is granted based on the general block exemption regulation. More information about state aid can be found here. When applying, the company must upload additional information to the tab “Additional Information” of the company’s application form: State Aid Form for Companies (in Estonian).


When can support be applied for?

The application round takes place from 13 February to 15 March 2024 at 5:00 PM (Estonian time). Please also follow the deadlines of the host institution, which may differ from the deadlines of the Estonian Research Council (ETAG).

Applications are submitted through the Estonian Research Information System (ETIS). To create an ETIS user account, contact the host institution. The application is considered finally submitted once it has been confirmed by the host institution.


Based on what criteria are applications evaluated?

ETAG does not assess the scientific excellence of the applications but relies on the evaluation report of the MSCA postdoctoral grant application.

ETAG performs a technical check of the applications, during which the compliance of the application, the host institution, and the postdoctoral researcher with the established requirements is verified.

The grant can be applied for regardless of the research area, but in the application, it is necessary to highlight the project’s connection to the focus areas of the Estonian Research and Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RDID) Strategy 2021-2035.  The focus areas of the RDIE are: 1) digital solutions in all areas of life; 2) health technologies and services; 3) valorization of local resources; 4) smart and sustainable energy solutions; 5) viable Estonian society, language and cultural space. More detailed information about the focus areas can be found on the page of the focus areas of the strategy.

From the received applications, ETAG forms a ranking according to the assessment scores of the MSCA postdoctoral grant application round.


Additional materials

Guide for describing ethical issues in grant applications

Recommended format for data management plan



Allan Padar
Head of Research Mobility
+372 5686 6722