DOROTHY Co-fund Programme:
Frequently Asked Questions-Update

Please note this FAQ document will be updated regularly once the next call for applications has opened. A previous version of the document, relevant to Call 1, is available below for information.

Version: 6.0
Date: 10/05/2022

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This FAQ document is intended to support the DOROTHY Programme, funded by three leading Irish national agencies, the Irish Research Council (the lead agency, which operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority), the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and co-funded by the European Union, which aims at creating solutions to public health crises and their legacies.

It is anticipated that these FAQs will be a ‘living document’ that will be regularly updated in response to questions received by the IRC, HRB and/or EPA. Changes will be recorded in the version control table above. It is therefore recommended that applicants refer back to the document regularly during the application process.

Where the information provided below or in the Call Guidance Document raises further questions, applicants should contact the IRC by emailing the programme manager Dr Rachel Clarke at

1. Eligibility and Mobility

  • Do I classify as an Experienced Researcher (ER)?
    The definition of ER in the H2020 MSCA programme will be applied: ERs must, at the call deadline, be in possession of a doctoral degree or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when an applicant obtained the degree that would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in Ireland, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged.

  • I obtained both my masters and PhD from an Irish HEI. Am I eligible for DOROTHY?
    Yes. The mobility rule applies to the outgoing phase only (see Q&A 2.g), not to the return phase (back to Ireland).

  • I am in my fourth year of Ph.D. and will be submitting my thesis late 2022. So, if at the call deadline, I am not in possession of the degree but have a provisional certificate from the university stating the date by which I will have the degree, will that make me eligible to apply?
    No. If you have not yet graduated, YOU MUST have all the requirements for the award of a doctoral degree, including the submission of the hardbound corrected thesis within the required timeline.

  • Are successful applicants obliged to engage in international mobility?
    Yes, it is a requirement of this programme that successful applicants must engage in international mobility. Non-Irish HEIs (based anywhere in the world) will host and train fellows during the outgoing phase (months 1-18 of the fellowship).
    The role of Irish host institutions will be significant

  • How should the fellowship be structured?
    Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Ireland will hire, host and train the fellows. Each fellow will implement a 36-months individual research project at two host institutions of their choice, comprising of an Outgoing and Return phase (respectively, abroad and back to Ireland), and optionally a non-academic secondment. All DOROTHY projects start with an outgoing phase in an institution outside of Ireland. Fellows must relocate to the country of their proposed outgoing phase, integrating themselves in the outgoing-phase host team.

  • Are applicants from all nationalities eligible to apply to DOROTHY?
    DOROTHY welcomes applicants from all over the world. In line with the successful experience of CAROLINE COFUND, if the outgoing phase is to a country other than a Member State (MS) or Associated Country (AC1), the applicant must be a national or long-term resident2 of a MS or AC. If the outgoing phase is to a MS or AC, the applicant can be of any nationality. If in doubt, applicants can contact research officers.

  • I am a Brazilian researcher, based in Brazil. Can I spend my outgoing phase in the US?
    No. As you are not a MS or AC national, and you don’t seem to qualify for long-term residency, in line with Q&A 2.e (above), you are not eligible to choose a third country as an outgoing-phase host. Please consider outgoing-phase host institutions based in MS/AC countries.

  • I am currently employed on a permanent basis by an Irish HEI. Can I apply for DOROTHY (with my employing HEI as host organisation) and ask for a career break if successful?
    No. Permanent employees of an eligible HEI cannot apply to DOROTHY listing their employer as the Irish host organisation.

  • I am a French researcher, currently based in France. Can I structure my fellowship to spend 18 months in France and 18 months in Ireland?
    No. The applicant cannot have resided or carried out their main activity in the outgoing-phase country for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the call deadline. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays, attending conferences/meetings/workshops, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention (see equality section) are not taken into account.

  • Is it compulsory to include a non-academic secondment?
    While it is not compulsory, applicants are encouraged to include a non-academic secondment (between 3 and 6 months, at any stage of their fellowship) in their project, which can take place at any stage of the project. Non-academic partners will offer training and secondment opportunities to DOROTHY fellows. This is a secondment to any non-academic socio-economic actor fulfilling the requirements of the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013.

  • Is it possible to add a secondment to my proposal after the application has been submitted?
    Yes. Should a secondment not have been envisaged at proposal stage, it can be inserted at a later stage, in agreement with the supervisory panel. A non-exhaustive list of interested placement hosts will be available on the project website.

  • Am I entitled to submit multiple applications?
    You can submit only ONE application per call.

  • Are hosting periods flexible within max months allowed (e.g., can applicants spend 9 months Ireland 18 months other national context followed by 9 months in Ireland?   

The fellowships are a 36-month project by an Irish HEI: hosted the first 18 months in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) outside Ireland, and the following 18 months in a HEI in Ireland. There is no flexibility in the periods of time spent in the outgoing phase or return phase.

  • My host institution for the outgoing phase is in the UK but data collection for the proposed project would be carried out in a third country (not a MS or AC). Data collection would last between 4- 6months. Is this allowed?

Yes, an applicant can conduct research activities in a non-EU country for a period of 4-6 months.

Activities carried out in the non-EU country must comply with the laws of that country AND be allowed in at least one EU member state.  The beneficiaries must confirm in the ethics self-assessment section of their proposal that this condition is met.

  • Can an applicant who is an EU citizen include a non-academic secondment in a non-EU country?

Yes, you can if the programme is implemented by a partner organisation in a third country (only third countries listed in Annex A to the H2020 work programme) or if a secondment partner organisation in a non-associated third country constitutes the main part of the research training activities: be nationals or long term residents of an EU member state or H2020 associated country.


2. Proposal planning

  • What do I need to secure in order to plan for my fellowship?
    You are required to secure two supervisors, one based in Ireland and one abroad. Both the main and outgoing supervisors must be staff of the selected HEI, and they both need to be experts in their field and have appropriate supervisory experience. At proposal stage, applicants should highlight the research track-record and supervision experience of their chosen supervisors.
    A secondment host is not obligatory at application stage, however it is encouraged. When a non-academic secondment is foreseen (either at proposal submission stage or at a later stage), a secondment supervisor must be identified.
    The suitability of all supervisors will be evaluated at remote peer-review stage.

  • When should I start to contact supervisors and HEI’s?

You should begin reaching out to potential supervisors and HEI’s as soon as possible.

  • When is the call opening and when is the deadline for applications?

The call will open 23 March and the deadline for applicants is 4pm 23 May 2022

  • When will call 2 open?

Call 2 will open November 2022 (date TBC).

3. Research Topic

  • The theme of my proposal is literature during the Black Death Plague in the mid-1300s. Would this topic be accepted as fitting the theme of public health crises?
    Yes. The funders welcome applications from all disciplines, provided they fall within the remit of public health crises. Research areas will include, but will not be limited to, epidemiology, engineering of materials, environmental sciences, health psychology, health sciences, health economics, social history, medical and health humanities, and philosophy. Research topics that tackle diversity and inclusion are also welcome, as long as the project relates to public health crises. All proposals are peer-reviewed by independent experts.

  • How will evaluators understand that my proposal falls within the remit of public health crises?
    Applicants will be asked to address this point in a dedicated section of their application.
  • What is the value of the fellowships?

Without family allowance

  • Living allowance and mobility allowance totalling €44,026 per annum (prior to income tax and social deductions)
  • Employer’s contribution to Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) costs of €4,865 (rate of 11.05%)
  • Employer’s pension contribution, where applicable, of €6,849  (rate of 20%)

With family allowance

  • Living allowance, family allowance and mobility allowance totalling €49,429 per annum (prior to income tax and social deductions)
  • Employer’s contribution to Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) costs of €5,462 (rate of 11.05%)
  • Employer’s pension contribution, where applicable, of €6,849 (rate of 20%)


The mobility allowance will be paid throughout the whole duration of the fellowship.



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