Answers to F. A. Q.


  • In your application, you need to indicate at least one pair of hosting institutions: a primary host university research group and a co-host university for your internal secondment.  
  • Besides your first choice, it is strongly advised that you indicate alternative options to host your research project: for instance, if you indicate as your first-choice university A and B respectively as host and co-host, your second option could be B as host and A as co-host (so that you have the same research groups in different roles). For your third option, it is advised that you indicate host university different from the ones indicated in your first two options. 
  • You can indicate up to three pairs of hosting universities. This is not compulsory but could increase your chances of being selected. Although, the main element for the evaluation of your application will be the quality of your research project, bear in mind that each university has a limited number of positions available as the primary host.  
  • Once you have chosen your host research group, how can you find a co-host? 
    You can go through the list of research groups, contact your host group – which is strongly advised in any case to discuss the fit between your research project and the research environment of the group – and discuss with them the possible options for your secondment. 


The EUTOPIA-SIF program includes two types of secondments:  

  • In the EUTOPIA university that you chose as your co-host, for a duration of 2 to 6 months;  
  • It is also possible to split the internal secondment period between two different EUTOPIA universities. The application form does not allow you to indicate two co-hosts for a single choice – but you are welcome to discuss further your internal secondment options in the dedicated section of the application template.  
  • For a duration of 2 weeks to 3 months. 
  • The list of external partners and institutions who have given their support is available on the EUTOPIA-SIF website. The list is indicative; you are free to select other institutions (companies, public institutions or higher education institutions). You do not need to indicate your external secondment institution in your application: once enrolled, you will be assisted by your host research group(s) on your choice. The external secondment may also take place at a university outside the EUTOPIA alliance. 
  • During the secondment periods, you will still be funded by your primary host university. 


  • The full list of host research groups is available on the webpage of the EUTOPIA-SIF program, on the EUTOPIA general website. Identify, by looking for further information on these groups, which groups would be relevant for hosting your research project. 
  • You are strongly advised to contact these research groups to discuss your project. The heads of the research group should be able to help you identify possible supervisors for your research project. It is not mandatory to indicate a possible supervisor, but it is strongly advised. Anything in your application that shows a good fit between your project and the hosting environment would be an additional asset in your application. 
  • If you have further queries, you need support in contacting the group of your choice, or you don’t see a particular research group in the list, you are advised to contact the Local Program Managers in each EUTOPIA university. The LPMs will provide you with an orientation and will help you to assess whether a research group is eligible to host a EUTOPIA-SIF fellow or not. 


  • The Key Research Areas are purposely broad to accommodate various types of research projects. It is up to the candidate to define and motivate how your research fits into a particular research area and how can it contribute to a key societal challenge, including interdisciplinary approaches. 


  • Applications can be saved and modified without being submitted and can also be reopened after submission. In case you encounter technical problems, please email
  • External experts will review applications based on the material submitted; after the review round, shortlisted candidates will proceed with the interview stage, with a mixed committee consisting of members of EUTOPIA universities and external experts. 
  • The evaluation criteria and weighting scores for the review and the interview stage can be found in the Guide for Applicants.  
  • Candidates will be notified at each stage of the evaluation procedure, whether they passed the selection or not. Selected fellows will be notified of the establishment of their employment contracts. 


  • Selected fellows are required to start in September 2021. This will therefore be the appointment date to consider also for the application of the MSCA Mobility Rule. If you cannot be available to start your fellowship in the Fall of 2021, you should apply next year. There will be three more calls for the EUTOPIA-SIF program in the upcoming years. 


  • Candidates are required to hold their doctoral title or four years of equivalent research experience at the end of the interview stage, by beginning-mid April.  
  • If you are not yet in possession of a PhD certificate, please upload on the platform (i) the highest degree together with a provisional PhD certificate — certificate on headed paper from their supervisor/academic institution attesting that the candidate has completed his or (ii) her PhD viva or will do so on the due date, before the end of the selection phase; or provide proof of 4 years full-time research experience.  
  • In case (i), you will be asked to produce the official PhD certificate before being recruited. 


  •  The program is meant for early-career researchers to consolidate their experience and support their career development. No age or seniority conditions are required. 
  • Candidates who have not completed a PhD should demonstrate four years of equivalent experience. 


  • Your reference letter should be written by someone (professor, lecturer, researcher, PI…) who knows your academic work, your research project and your skills. It can also be someone affiliated with one of the EUTOPIA universities. However, it is advisable to avoid asking the head/a member of the research groups you chose as prospective host/co-host, as they will be already involved in a different phase of your evaluation, giving their advice on the research project. 


  • It is expected that the research project will be fulfilled and accomplished within the 24 months of the fellowship; therefore, the possibility of a fellowship extension is unlikely. There might be very few exceptions related to personal constraints, unforeseen/unplanned situations. 
  • In the expectation that, at the time the first cohort starts, global health and safety conditions have been fully restored to normal, fellows are expected to be physically present at the host or co-host institution, to benefit from mentoring and supervision and undertake a dense exchange with the research group. 
  • The estimated gross salary is a fixed amount indicated in the Guide for Applicants, it can slightly vary from one university to another according to the costs of living, but it is not linked to the research subject nor other elements. If you have any further questions on the employment conditions of a given EUTOPIA university, you can contact the Local Program Manager.