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ERC project implementation

ERC Grant Agreement

If a proposal has been successfully evaluated and the Principal Investigator accepts the ERC Grant, the ERC prepares a Grant Agreement, which is based on the application. This Grant Agreement provides only little room for adjustments. As a general rule, the agreement is not negotiable.

The Grant Agreement is signed by the European Commission (represented by the European Research Council Executive Agency - ERCEA) and the Host Institution, which is the beneficiary of the ERC grant. For ERC projects, the Horizon 2020 ERC Model Grant Agreement is used.

The Grant Agreement sets out the rights and obligations of the contracting parties, especially as regards the project implementation, the financial contribution of the EC and its use, as well as reporting duties of the beneficiaries.

Additionally to the Grant Agreement, the Principal Investigator and the Host Institution conclude a Supplementary Agreement by which the institution is committed to accord sufficient support and scientific independence to the Principal Investigator in order to assure a proper project implementation. A minimum amount of support through the Host Institution is also already fixed by the Grant Agreement.

Provisions of the Supplementary Agreement which are not in line with the Grant Agreement are considered invalid. The ERC only signs the Grant Agreement after submission of a Supplementary Agreement.

Financial Rules

The funding rates of ERC projects are identical to those of other Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Actions: 100% of the direct eligible costs are reimbursed by the EU. The indirect costs are reimbursed through a flat rate of 25% of the direct costs. Costs for subcontracting and costs for resources made available by Third Parties which are not used on the beneficary’s premises may not be taken into account for the flat rate calculation.

For ERC projects, the same documentation obligations apply as for other Horizon 2020 projects: Persons that are only partly working on the project have to keep timesheets or comparable recording methods. Also regarding the cash flow, there are only few differences to the GAs of other projects. The pre-financing can be paid within 30 days, either from the entry into force of the Agreement or from 10 days before the starting date of the action whichever is the latest.

Further specificities of the ERC Grant Agreement concern the possibility for the Principal Investigator to change his or her Host Institution (Portability of Grants), as well as the provisions concerning the commitment of the PI to invest at least 50% (Starting Grant) or 30% (Advanced Grants) of his or her working time into the project (time commitment).

Furthermore, the agreement contains specific clauses in case of a premature termination of the project due to scientific reasons or unavailability of the PI.