Financial Management of MSCA

The financial management of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions differs considerably from collaborative research projects of the Framework Programme. In the MSCA, unit costs organised in several cost categories are used instead of funding rates.

The different cost categories cover the salary of the fellows as well as their research and training costs and costs related to project implementation.

The amounts of the unit costs are subject to annual changes stated in the Work Programme for the respective year. During the whole project duration only those unit costs laid down in the Work Programme relevant at the moment of proposal submission are valid. Adjusting the unit costs to the amounts determined in later Work Programmes is therefore not allowed.

To the MSCA projects Horizon 2020 the following cost categories apply:

  • Living allowance: the amount is based on the research experience of the fellow, and a country-specific correction coefficient has to be taken into consideration. The respective amount of the living allowance and the correction coefficient are both fixed in the Work Programme.
  • The mobility allowance is paid in order to cover the expenses related to the mobility of the fellow.
  • The payment of the family allowance is subject to the family status of the fellow.
  • The monthly allowances for the research, training and networking costs of the fellow, e.g. workshop or conference fees, or costs for the organisation of seminars or meetings (ITN, RISE) are subject to the chosen MSCA action (network/individual action).
  • Management and overhead costs are covered through unit costs for the number of implemented fellow-months.

[pagebreak]Further funding activities in MSCA Programmes

In COFUND actions, the living allowance as well as management and overhead costs are reimbursed by Horizon 2020. The funding rate is 50%. Further costs have to be covered by the institutions themselves or by other third party funding.

Allowances are never paid directly by the Commission to the researchers themselves, but always to the host institution which is also in charge of managing the allowances. Therefore, the REA signs a Grant Agreement with the host institution, in the case of Individual Fellowships, or with the project coordinator, for ITN and RISE.

Researchers are either employed at the host institution on the basis of an employment contract or via a scholarship. However, scholarships are only possible in exceptional and well justified cases. A draft model employment contract, for appointments in Germany in the context of Innovative Training Networks (ITN) and European Fellowships (EF), is available in our download section, including an English reading version.

Certificates on Financial Statements (CFS) are not foreseen for MSCA projects since the funding is paid exclusively via unit costs. Nevertheless, the REA or the European Court of Auditors can carry out ex-post-audits. Due to the full-time employment of MSCA fellows, time recording is not necessary. However, the full-time employment for the project has to be confirmed in written form by a superior.

The taxation of the allowances for the individual researches is subject to the local finance authority. Further details about the taxation of MSCA projects can also been found on the German Researcher`s Mobility Portal.