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Preparation of the Grant Agreement

If a project has been evaluated as eligible, the Project Coordinator receives a formal invitation from the European Commission for the Grant Agreement Preparation (GAP). The invitation contains the evaluation results for the project proposal (Evaluation Summary Report, abbr.: ESR) as well as, where applicable, further reports that refer to project data which are ethically relevant or of such a sensitive nature that they need to be kept secure and that may, under certain circumstances, also formulate corresponding follow-up requirements of the European Commission for the project (Ethics Summary Report, Security Scrutiny).

The invitation to the GAP contains information about basic key data for the project: the maximum funding amount, the project duration and the contact details of the responsible Project Officer (PO). Furthermore, it formulates the next short-term tasks for the Consortium in the short term in the context of the GAP and specifies corresponding deadlines. These tasks are usually completed directly in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal and typically include:

  • Transfer of the work description of the proposal (Description of the Action or DoA) to Annex 1 of the future Grant Agreement

  • Transfer of the project budget to Annex 2 of the future Grant Agreement

  • Implementation of any follow-up requirements with regard to ethics or security for Annex 1 of the future Grant Agreement as a follow-up from the evaluation

  • Completion of the registration and validation of all institutions involved in the project in the Funding and Tenders Portal and subsequent implementation of their digital signature for the Declaration of Honour (DoH) required there

  • Settlement of any further legally and financially open questions concerning the project and the consortium

Once all the required information has been forwarded to the European Commission, the latter checks the data received and then sends the Grant Agreement to the Project Coordinator who, as the first contracting party, provides a corresponding digital signature for the Grant Agreement in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal, followed by the Commission as the second contracting party. Finally, the project partners join these two digital signatures in the same electronic way by signing the Accession forms in the Portal.

As a rule, a total of three months is expected until these final steps in the finalisation of the funding agreement. A tightly scheduled, demanding workload arises in particular for coordinators, who are frequently given only four weeks to consolidate all of their project consortium's information for the GAP, which can lead to time bottlenecks, especially in large collaborative projects.