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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #25

Upcoming Financial Workshops

SME Measures Week

Updated FP7 Book by Mr Myer Morron (FREE) V2.0 **Highly Recommended**

Updated FP7 Budget Table is available now

Eligibility of Tuition Fees in Marie Curie Host Action

Travel-Distance Calculator

Eligibility of flight costs for Kickoff meeting

What happens if you have higher incurred costs than budgeted for?


Upcoming Open Workshops:

In response to requests, the Finance Helpdesk has decided to hold a series of workshops in London. The workshops will be held at the Holiday Inn London Heathrow Airport Hotel http://www.london-heathrow.holiday-inn.com/ to make it easy to fly in and participate.

We advise that you book now to avoid disappointment.


Upcoming 3 Day Financial Workshops:

21/04/2009          3 Day in-depth FP7 Financial Workshop in London-Heathrow, UK. – Fully Booked

02/06/2009          3 Day in-depth FP7 Financial Workshop in London-Heathrow, UK.


Upcoming Marie Curie Workshops:

14/05/2009          2 Day Marie Curie Financial Workshop in London-Heathrow, UK.


Upcoming Proposal Writing Workshops:

06/05/2009           1 Day Proposal Writing Workshop in London Heathrow, UK.


Upcoming Contract Negotiation Workshops:

07/05/2009           1 Day FP7 Contract Negotiation and Project Kick-off Workshop in London, Heathrow, UK.


In the past, the Finance Helpdesk has held most of our open workshops in Brussels, Belgium. In 2009, we started holding open workshops in London, UK, as well as in Brussels.

Many Country representatives and organisations have asked us to hold closed workshops in various other countries as well. However, as these are closed workshops this meant that attendance was limited to specific invitations with no outsiders.


We are now considering holding other open workshops across Europe.


If you can guarantee 12 places for any of our workshops, then the Finance Helpdesk will fly out to your country and hold an open workshop there. Please contact info@finance-helpdesk.org to request a workshop, discuss dates, or to receive more information.


SME Measures Week:

The first European SME Week is taking place from 6 to 14 May 2009.


The European SME Week is co-ordinated by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, but most of the events and activities taking place during the SME Week are organised by business organisations, support providers, regional and local authorities, and others in the participating countries.


Throughout 2009, events are taking place to inform, assist and connect existing and potential entrepreneurs and also help them develop new ideas and benefit from personalised information and support.


The SME Week encourages and supports SMEs to reach their full potential. It also marks an opportunity to inspire potential entrepreneurs to 'take the plunge' and work towards achieving their aspirations.


As part of the 1st European SME week, the Finance Helpdesk will be holding two open 1 Day FP7 SME Measures (CRAFT) Workshops, one in the UK and one in Israel.


10/05/2009          1 Day SME Measures (CRAFT) Workshop in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

13/05/2009          1 Day SME Measures (CRAFT) Workshop in London Heathrow, UK.


Updated FP7 Book by Mr Myer Morron (FREE) V2.0**Highly Recommended**:

Version 2.1 of Mr. Myer W. Morron’s FP7 Book, which follows on from the highly acclaimed FP5 and FP6 versions has been published by EFPConsulting Ltd. It replaces drafts that were previously released.


The downloadable book continues to be free as it was in the previous framework programs. The book is constantly updated and registered users are notified of important changes and updates by Email.


The book is 245 pages long and covers subjects such as:


·          Background to changes in FP7

·          Overview of rules of participation

·          Benefits of participation in a Collaborative R&D project

·          Reasons not to participate

·          Brief Overview of Framework Program Seven and CIP

·          FP7 Funding Schemes (Types of Projects)

·          Framework Program Seven changes

·          Partner Search

·          Proposal preparation and submittal

·          What to do if your Proposal Fails

·          Project Roles

·          Financial Aspects

·          Use of External Consultants

·          What to do when your proposal is to be funded

·          Consortium Agreement

·          Problems during the project

·          Project Management

·          Project Ethics and Good Practice

·          European Technology Platforms

·          Ethical Considerations in FP7

·          SME Status

·          Intellectual Property Aspects

·          How to write a proposal


To download, please click here.


Updated FP7 Budget Table is available now:

The Finance Helpdesk has updated their “Budget Table” tool.

The use of such a tool is very important for proposal writers.


Full operating instructions for this tool are found in Appendix 5 of Myer Morron’s Book.


We invite FP7 proposers to make use of this tool.

To download the tool, click here.


We would like to thank Yael Lapid from Optibase Ltd, for pointing out a minor error that had crept into the last version of the spreadsheet, which meant that Audit Certificate costs were added in twice.


Eligibility of Tuition Fees in Marie Curie Host Action:

The Commission recently issued a bulletin to clarify the Eligibility of Tuition Fees in Marie Curie Host Action Cost Statements in FP7 - http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/mariecurieactions. The purpose is to clarify that a research fellow is not required to pay Tuition fees from his/her salary. Any Tuition fees that are required to be paid to the Host institution are normally a lump-sum amount and can be charged to Categories D, E or H.


Therefore, importantly, please note that salary costs related to the researcher’s Supervisor cannot be charged to Marie Curie actions. This is because Supervisors are already paid their salaries by the Host Institution.


To read the Commission Bulletin quote, please click here.


Travel-Distance Calculator:

Links to a few of the web sites available for calculating “as the crow flies” distances between countries in order to calculate the correct travel allowance for Marie Curie actions:




Eligibility of flight costs for Kick-off meeting:

Most projects try and arrange the Kick-off meeting as soon as they can after the start date of their project.


Many organisations order their airplane tickets early in order to get cheap airplane tickets. If you are in this position please insure that the tickets are invoiced after the start date of the project in order for them to be an allowable cost.


Unfortunately if you purchase the tickets for example via the web, where you have to pay immediately and the purchase date is before the official start date of the project, then the costs incurred would not be claimable against the project.


What happens if you have higher incurred costs than budgeted for?

We get asked all the time if it is a problem if the eligible costs of a Beneficiary turn out to be significantly higher than the EC contribution for FP7 projects.


The answer is absolutely not.


If you are in the position where your eligible costs are higher then you can actually claim for, please still show your full correct eligible costs even if you think that you will not receive extra funding for it. Do not artificially cap your eligible costs so that the requested funding is a direct fit.


Showing that you actually spent more that you are allowed to claim for is good on so many levels:


1) The Commission feel that they get more value for money – and that you were committed to the project.

2) If another partner underspends, and the consortium agrees, then you could claim extra money.

2) If you have to do similar work in the future you can justify asking for more funding.

3) If you have an external audit and it is found that some of your eligible costs are actually ineligible, then you have more eligible costs to draw from.





Eligibility of Tuition Fees in Marie Curie Action Cost Statements in FP7

Tuition Fees charges by universities for Early Stage Researchers (ESR) registered for Ph.D. studies generally cover a series of costs including student registration, access to student services (library, computing etc.), teaching, supervision, examination and graduation (where appropriate).


In other terms the costs covered by the tuition fees could be included in the categories of eligible expenses defined in the FP7 contractual rules, particularly those expenses indicated under column E (“Contribution to the research training/transfer of knowledge programme expenses”) and H (“Contribution to overheads”) concerning the activities carried out by the host organisation and more marginally under column D(“Contribution to the participation expenses of eligible researchers”) with regard to the activities carried out by the researcher.


Although the tuition fee is not a separate eligible cost per se, the services provided through the tuition fee (training, tutoring, assistance, use of infrastructure and facilities etc) are eligible costs under the appropriate heading of the community financial contribution.


Such an approach applies several consequences with regard to Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN):


·          The allowances under columns A, B, and C must be used entirely for the direct benefit of the fellow and no deductions for tuition fees are possible under any circumstances from these categories, nor can any additional payments be demanded directly or indirectly from the Fellow to cover his/her training costs.


·          Services described in the training project (and reflected in the contract with the Commission) must effectively be provided to the Fellow whether or not these are covered by the tuition fees (training, tutoring, teaching, supervision etc.). In cases where tuition fees are levied, the host institution must clearly identify which activities are included in the fees.


·          No double payment for the same event or activity is permitted, i.e. expenses for other training or research activities will be considered eligible costs only if additional to those already covered by the tuition fees.


If the conditions mentioned above are met, the amount of the tuition fees could be charged under columns D, E and H of the Community financial contribution. However, it should be noted that the contribution under these columns is also intended for the payment of other costs that might not be covered by the tuition fees but to which the researchers are entitled (e.g. research costs, conference attendance, training actions not comprised in the tuition fees etc.).


In summary, the host must guarantee that once the costs linked to the tuition fees are paid, coverage will be provided for any other training activities as well as for the costs of the research project incurred by the fellow.

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