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Research Project Guide
Research Project Guide
Grant Preparation (EU)
Grant Preparation (EU)
Note that each project may have their own deadlines. Make sure that any instructions from the Project Officer is read carefully.
The Grant Agreement must be signed within three months of the receipt of the notification of the grant (according to Article 20/2 Rules for Participation).
The project coordinator and partners must sign the Declaration of Honour (DoH) as soon as possible and no longer than six weeks from the notification of the grant. By signing the DoH the institutions confirm that they comply with the rules and are eligible for EC funding. The Grant Agreement cannot be signed until all beneficiaries have signed the DoH.
As a project coordinator, you have to complete the necessary Grant Agreement Data in the Funding & Tenders Portal. To access the portal, use the same username and password as when you submitted the proposal. The Grant Agreement Data comprises information about the project work, i.e. Annex 1 the Description of Action (DoA), and financial information, i.e. Annex 2 Estimated Budget. The first version of the Grant Agreement Data must be submitted within three weeks after the notification of the grant. If the Project Officer suggests any changes to the first version of the Grant Agreement Data, these changes must be made within two weeks after the request of the Project Officer.
A consortium agreement regulating the rights and duties of the project partners should be in place and signed before the Grant Agreement is signed.
One of the first things you have to do as a project coordinator or partner is to assign key personnel roles in EU’s Funding and Tenders Portal. As a coordinator, you are also responsible for ensuring that the project partners have the necessary access to assign their roles. By assigning roles to persons in your organization, they are given permission to perform certain tasks in the portal on behalf of the project, e.g. sign the Grant Agreement or fill in information about organization.
As a coordinator, you need to assign the roles of Primary Coordinator Contact (PCoCo) and Project Legal Signatory (PLSign). As a partner, you need to assign the roles of Participant Contact (PaCo) and PLSign. You may also want to assign the role of Project Financial Signatory (PFSign).
In addition to these roles, all organizations have a Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR). For OsloMet the LEAR is Florissa Abreu, senior adviser in the department of Research and Development. The LEAR will ensure that Legal Signatories (Lsign) and Financial Signatories (FSign) are listed in the portal and can be assigned to the project as PLSign and PFSign respectively.
The PCoCo is typically the researcher who is responsible for the project at the coordinating institution. Only one person may be assigned this role. The CoCo is typically the researcher responsible for the project at the partner institution. The PLSign should be assigned to a person with the authority to sign legal documents on behalf of the institution, typically the Dean of a faculty etc.
Sign Declaration of Honour
Everyone receiving funding from the European Commission must sign the Declaration of Honour (DoH) as soon as possible and no longer than six weeks after the start of the Grant preparation phase. By signing the DoH the institutions confirm that they comply with the rules and are eligible for EC funding. The Grant Agreement cannot be signed until all beneficiaries have signed the DoH.
The DoH is signed by the PLSign electronically in the Funding and Tenders Portal. Log on to the portal with your username and password, click on “My projects” and find your project in the list of projects. Click on “Actions” and choose “Manage project”. The DoH will be accessible as a pdf in the new window that opens. To sign the DoH, click on the “Sign” button to the right of the pdf.
If there are Linked Third Parties in the consortium, the DoH must be downloaded and signed manually by the third party. The signed version must be uploaded on to the portal by the beneficiary to which the third party is linked.
As the coordinator, you can see which of the beneficiaries that have signed the DoH in the portal.
Providing additional information in the Funding and Tenders Portal
When a project is granted funding, you will receive an email from the Commission asking you to provide additional information in the Funding and Tenders Portal to complete the Grant Preparation phase. If you are a partner in a project, you may receive a similar email from the Coordinator.
Log on to the Funding and Tenders Portal by using the same username and password you used when you submitted the proposal. Click on “My projects” in the menu on the left. Your project should appear in the list of projects. Then click on “Actions” and choose “Manage projects”. A new page will open. On this page, you will find a link to the page where you can register and upload the requested information. The type of information requested varies from project to project. The sign on the different tabs indicates the type of information missing. A green check mark indicates that the information is complete. A yellow warning triangle indicates that information is missing.
As a coordinator, you typically need to include information about the bank account to which the funding is to be transferred from the Commission. Please note that if OsloMet is the coordinating institution, the funding must be transferred to a currency account and not an income account. Please contact email@example.com for information about the transfer of funds.
In addition to the administrative information, the proposal text must also be uploaded on to the portal. The proposal text should be re-formatted into a Description of Action (DoA) (a template for the DoA can be found here (ec.europa.eu)) and uploaded as a pdf-attachment. You are allowed to make small adjustments to the project description, e.g. according to feedback from the evaluators or to correct obvious errors, but no major changes are allowed. In addition to the DoA, information about the Deliverables, Milestones and Work Packages should also be registered in the portal. Information about the Deliverables, Milestones and Work Packages is found in Part B section 3 of your proposal.
The ethics review starts while the project is being scientifically assessed, or soon after, but the ethics assessment is an independent review from the evaluation of the proposal. The purpose of the ethics review is to see whether the proposal raises any ethical issues and whether these are adequately addressed.
The ethics review considers issues such as protection of human beings, animal protection and welfare, data protection and privacy, environmental protection, malevolent use of research results and compliance with international, EU & national law. The first stage of the ethics review is an ethics screening. This screening is done to identify any ethical issues. If issues that require more in-depth analysis arise, the proposal will be subject to an ethics assessment.
The result of the ethics review is summarised in an ethics summary report. You will receive the report at the beginning of the grant preparation phase or soon after. There are five different outcomes of the ethics review:
- No ethics issues (clearance), where the review confirms that there are no ethics issues raised in the proposal and that no further action is needed.
- Ethics clearance, where the ethics issues raised are sufficiently addressed in the proposal and no further action is needed. The ethics section in the proposal can be transferred unchanged to the ethics section in Part B of the Description of Action (DoA).
- Conditional ethics clearance, where the report lists some requirements that you need to fulfil. The requirements become contractual obligations. They must be implemented in the grant agreement before the agreement can be signed. These obligations could be to provide additional documentation, to appoint an ethics adviser or to report on ethical issues to the Commission on a regular basis.
- Request for additional information (intermediate outcome), where you are asked to provide additional supporting documents in order to complete the ethics review.
- No ethics clearance, where your proposal is not given ethics clearance, and therefore is not eligible for funding and will be rejected. This decision may be appealed and the information on how to appeal will be included in the rejection letter.
If the ethics review includes some requirements due after the project starts, these requirements are automatically included in the Grant Agreement as ethics deliverables and are placed in the portal in an automatically generated work package called ethics requirements. This work package is added to your Grant Agreement as soon as the ethics review is completed and will appear as the last work package in the list of work packages. You can rearrange the order of the work packages by dragging and dropping them, but bear in mind that this will change the numbers of the work packages and their respective deliverables.
Signing Grant Agreement
Signing the Grant Agreement as the Project Coordinator
Signing the grant agreement is the last step of the grant preparation phase. It is the Project Legal Signatory (PLSign) who signs the Grant Agreement. The PLSign will be notified by email when the Grant Agreement is available for signing. The Grant Agreement should only be signed electronically online.
To sign the Grant Agreement, the PLSign logs into the Funding & Tenders Portal, using his/her username and password. Select My Projects from the Manage my area menu and select the project from the list of projects. Click on Actions and then Manage Project. The Grant Agreement should be available in a .pdf-format. Click on the Grant Agreement link, review the document and then click on Sign to sign it. You will be asked to confirm that you want to sign the agreement. When the agreement is signed, the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) and the project partners will be notified. The grant agreement enters into force on the day of the last signature. Typically, the coordinator or sole applicant signs first, followed by the Commission or agency.
If there are any amendments to the Grant Agreement after the agreement has entered into force, the PLSign will have to sign them following the same process.
Signing the Grant Agreement as a Project Beneficiary
Project beneficiaries do not sign the Grant Agreement as such, but they sign an Accession form (Annex 3) to the Grant Agreement. In signing the accession form, beneficiaries accept the rights and obligations set out in the grant agreement as of the date on which it takes effect. The PLSign of the beneficiary will be notified by email when the Accession form is ready to be signed. Linked third parties do not sign either the agreement or an accession form.
To sign the Accession form, follow the same procedure as when signing the Grant Agreement as the Coordinator. The PLSign will be notified when the Accession form is ready to be signed. The PLSign logs into the Funding & Tenders Portal, using his/her username and password. Select My Projects from the Manage my area menu and select the project from the list of projects. Click on Actions and then Manage Project. Click on the Accession to the Grant Agreement link and click on Sign to sign it. The Accession form must be signed online up to 30 days after the grant agreement takes effect.
Developing a Consortium Agreement
Everyone receiving funding from the European Commission must develop and sign a Consortium Agreement regulating the collaboration between the partners of the project. The Consortium Agreement governs the collaboration between the partners in the project. The Grant Agreement (GA) governs the collaboration between the consortium and the Commission.
The Consortium Agreement typically regulates areas such as confidentiality, exchange of information between partners (background), division of tasks and responsibility, how disputes are to be addressed, division of budget, intellectual property, exploitation of results, ownership of results, etc. The Consortium Agreement must not contain anything which is contrary to the GA. The Consortium Agreement is obligatory and should be signed before the GA. The Consortiums Agreement does not need to uploaded onto the portal, but it can be shared with the Project Officer via the Communication Centre in the portal if requested.
There is a template for Consortium Agreement for EC-funded projects which may be used as a starting point, the Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement (DESCA 2020). This template can be downloaded from http://www.desca-2020.eu/. Please contact the legal team in the Department for Research and Development for assistance with the development of the Consortium Agreement.
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