Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

COMSATS holds Awareness Talk on EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Programme

Home   /   COMSATS holds Awareness Talk on EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Programme

On 2nd May 2019, COMSATS in collaboration with the European Union (EU) organized an awareness talk on EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Programme for the young scientists and researchers.

In his welcome remarks, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director of COMSATS, stated that COMSATS has partnered with UK based organizations including Commonwealth and Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) in view of the increasing importance of triangular cooperation. He also noted the good working relation that COMSATS has established with European Union (EU), and recalled another Horizon2020 awareness seminar held in 2018. Further, he considered youth the backbone and R&D the pillar for national progress and development. He encouraged the participants to avail various funding opportunities available with EU, such as MSCA.

In her talk, Ms. Anne Marchal, Deputy Head of Mission, Delegation of European Union (EU) to Pakistan, highlighted various contours of EU flagship Research and Innovation Programme – Horizon 2020 with a special focus on the fellowship opportunities under the umbrella of MSCA. Ms. Marchal mentioned that researchers and R&D organisations can equally benefit from MSCA funding. She informed that the fellowships open for European Union Member States and Associated Countries have benefitted 134 Pakistani researchers so far.

Ms. Marchal also shared with the audience the attributes of a winning proposal, timeline, and guidelines for application. She stated that the Programme provides grants to the scholars regardless of their gender and encourages the participation of refugees, and scholars with impairment. The audience was also informed of other scholarships opportunities available under EU such as Erasmus+ programme.

Subsequent to her talk, Ms. Marchal addressed the queries of the participants pertaining to application process, eligibility criteria, funding, and beneficiaries among others.

The session ended with the presentation of COMSATS shield to Ms. Anne Marchal.

Upcoming Events

International Workshop on Learning about Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges, Gebze, Turkey.
Dec 3 – Dec 5 all-day

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1. Background and rationale
Since the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, the achievement of their targets has become a high priority. However, full awareness about the SDGs and the associated Global Challenges at the level of young scientists and researchers is often inadequate. Their role in contributing towards fostering scientific knowledge, technology and innovation is crucial for finding solutions to the sustainability issues. A workshop is being organized aimed at early-career researchers to deepen their understanding of the SDGs.

2. Introduction
In order to raise awareness on SDGs and the associated challenges faced by humanity globally, and to build capacity of young scientists and researchers in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and other countries lagging in science and technology, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), in collaboration with the TWAS Regional Partner for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific, and COMSATS’ Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), are organizing an international workshop titled ‘Sustainability, SDGs and Global Challenges’. The workshop will be hosted by TUBITAK, at Gebze, Turkey, on 3 – 5 December 2019.

This activity will be within the pursuits of COMSATS and TWAS. COMSATS Centres of Excellence are reservoirs of scientific research capabilities and expertise in diverse fields. Their contribution in enhancing the capacity of COMSATS’ member countries especially the LDCs and countries on the verge of developing ST for SDGs is a strong manifestation of south-south cooperation and commitment to sustainability. The offer of TUBITAK, the COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in Turkey, to host the workshop is deeply appreciated.

3. Focus and Possible Topics
If SDGs are to bring about transformative changes in the socio-economic and socio-technical systems, it is imperative to promote active links and dialogue among different actors, disciplines and knowledge holders. This would enable better understanding of the challenges confronted by humanity and possible progress toward their solutions. It is important for all stakeholders to imagine SDGs as a whole, interlinked and interactive process and systems. Hence the overarching aim of the workshop is to provide an overview and training on the concept of sustainable development; the rationale of SDGs; importance of targets set as benchmarks for monitoring the progress of the implementation processes; and on the planetary boundaries. This is expected to provide a useful backdrop to more focused deliberations on three crucial topics: climate, energy and biodiversity. Though these are covered under most of the Goals, the specific ones could be identified as: Goal 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

4. Structure of Workshop
The structure of the workshop is based on presentations by international experts in the fields identified, which will be followed by interactive sessions. The idea is to engage with the participants and involve them in brainstorming on key issues. The handouts and possible reading material will be provided. The participants will be expected to suggest their views on the solutions specific to their countries/regions.

5. Targeted Individuals
The focus of the workshop is on the LDCs and S&T Lagging countries, especially those that are members of TWAS and COMSATS. Young affiliates & scientists holding PhD (graduated at least 3 years ago), belonging to LDCs/S&T Lagging Countries, and the host country are encouraged to participate in the event.

6. Financial Support
Partial or full financial support will be provided to selected foreign participants belonging to LDCs/S&T Lagging Countries ( The local hospitality will be provided to the foreign participants by TUBITAK, Turkey.

7. Application Procedure
The candidates are required to submit their CVs, duly filled-in application forms (enclosed), expression of interest (up to 500 words), passport copy, and nomination/recommendation letters at the following email addresses:; on or before 18th September 2019.

8. For further information, please contact:

Dr. Max Paoli
Programme Coordinator, TWAS, Trieste, Italy
Tel: +39 040 2240-327
Fax: +39 040 224559

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes),
COMSATS Headquarters, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Tel: +92 51 9214515-7
Fax: +92 51 9216539

Dr. Orkun Hasekioglu
Ankara, Turkey

The 23rd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, ICCBS, Karachi, Pakistan
Mar 2 – Mar 4 all-day