Figure 1 – ESR and ER definition
Early-Stage Researchers (ESR): less than 4 years experience in research
Early-stage researchers are defined as researchers in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research activity, including the period of research training. The reference period to qualify for an early stage training activity:
i) Is counted from the diploma giving access to doctoral studies (the degree must entitle the holder to embark on doctoral studies, without having to acquire any further qualifications) in the country in which the diploma was obtained.
ii) Covers the first 4 years of experience in research or the period until a doctoral degree is obtained, whichever is shorter.
So, persons who have obtained a doctorate are ineligible for the early stage actions, independently of the time taken to acquire it.
Experienced Researchers (ER): 4-10 years experience in research or PhD
In the case of experienced researchers, their role in the network focuses upon the development and training of methods requiring a high expertise and transfer of knowledge. Their eligibility is linked to the research experience which is defined as follows:
i) Researchers having at least 4 years of research experience (full-time equivalent) since gaining a university diploma giving them access to doctoral studies (the degree must entitle the holder to embark on doctoral studies, without having to acquire any further qualifications), in the country in which the degree/diploma was obtained or
ii) Researchers already in possession of a doctoral degree, independently of the time taken to acquire it.
* see conditions for appointment on RTN funding (Handbook of Marie Curie Research Training Networks (RTN) http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp6/mariecurie-actions/action/training_en.html