Eligibility of Researchers
For all recruitments, the eligibility of the researcher will be determined at the time of recruitment and the status of the researcher will not evolve over the life-time of a contract.
Early-Stage Researchers must (at the time of recruitment by the host organisation) be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is envisaged.
Experienced Researchers must (at the time of recruitment by the host organisation) be in possession of a doctoral degree or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience. At the time of recruitment by the host organisation an experienced researcher must also have less than five years of full-time equivalent research experience.
Full-time equivalent research experience means the research experience measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate! This applies to both ESR and ER (example: someone who spent five or more years on their PhD is uneligible as an ER, unless that researcher can present evidence that their research was not full-time but part-time and that, added up, the full-time research amounts to less than five years).
It should be noted that an individual researcher may not be recruited first as an ESR and subsequently as an ER in the same project.
Conditions of Mobility of Researchers
Researchers can be of any nationality. They are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. One general rule applies to the appointment of researchers:
At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.
Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account. As far as international European interest organisations or international organisations are concerned, this mobility rule does not apply to the hosting of eligible researchers. However the appointed researcher must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment in the same appointing organisation.
Note that the mobility rule applies to the partner where the researcher is recruited, and not to partners to which the researcher is seconded.
For further information on recruitment see the presentation slides as provided by the Research Executive Agency (REA) at the ITN-coordinators meeting in March 2013.