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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #45

FP7 Micromanaging to continue into H2020?

H2020 News

H2020 Personnel Costs

Marie Sklodowska-Curie in H2020

Upcoming Open Finance Helpdesk Workshops


FP7 Micromanaging to continue into H2020?

As those of you that have either reported or had to negotiate an FP7 Project within the last 9 months have seen, the level of micromanaging be the Commission has been extraordinary.

Particularly negotiations regarding the breakdown of the budget has been excessive.

We have never understood why this has happened as according to FP7 rules the budget can be moved between partners and tasks without the need or permission of the Commission during a running project.

We are very pleased to see that within the H2020 Modal Grant Agreement – Article 4.2, the following paragraph is still in place:

“The estimated budget breakdown indicated in Annex 2 may be adjusted by transfers of amounts between beneficiaries or between budget categories (or both). This does not require an amendment according to Article 55, if the action is implemented as described in Annex 1.”


We are particularly pleased to see that the ESTIMATED aspect has been made much clearer.

The annotated Grant agreement takes this further by stating:

“The budget in Annex 2 is an estimation. Therefore at the time of reporting, beneficiaries may declare costs that are different from the estimated eligible costs in the budget.”


H2020 News:

The main website for information is the Participant Portal. It has been updated and holds all the officially published H2020 information.


  • The first H2020 calls were published on 11 December.

  • The H2020 Model Grant Agreement V1.0 has been published.

  • Much of the important documents are not ready yet, such as, R&I and I Proposers guides, Fully Annotated Grant Agreement etc.

  • For those outside the euro zone – average currency exchange rates will now be used.

  • “The coordinator must distribute the payments between the beneficiaries without unjustified delay.” – Coordinators, please note this quote from Article 21.7. Do NOT withhold ANY of the prefinancing from the beneficiaries.

  • The cost of the payment transfers has been laid out – everyone pays for their own.

  • Commission Audits – changes in time limits

  • Obligation to use the EU emblem on all Dissemination material is emphasised – if not used costs will be ineligible.

  • Contrary to FP7, in Horizon 2020, profit must be assessed at the level of the action and not at  the level of the individual beneficiaries


H2020 Personnel Costs:

The Model Contract states that Personnel Costs cover:

  • salaries (including during parental leave),

  • social security contributions,

  • taxes and other costs included in the remuneration, if they arise from national law or the employment contract

We note that in the example given in the annotated Grant Agreement they refer to “EUR 62 500 actual yearly salary for senior researcher A” we believe this should be corrected to say “Cost of Employment”, and NOT salary.


For Personnel Costs declared as Actual Costs as opposed to Unit Costs, the beneficiary must use the annual personnel costs and the number of annual productive hours for each or latest financial year covered by the reporting period concerned to produce the ‘hourly rate’. In FP7 there was also the option to use the Reporting period – with a minimum of 12 Months.


Marie Sklodowska-Curie in H2020:

  • Possibility for portability of grants in Individual Fellowships

  • No need to identify actual eligible costs covered or to provide supporting documentation for "research,training and networking costs" (formerly Category 3 in FP7)

  • As a result of EU rules in H2020 regarding flat-rate funding, in case of audit, there is not need to account for VAT or Receipts

  • Audits may be started up to two years after the payment of the balance

  • Unlike in FP7, third parties will not be audited and therefore declaring costs of third parties or accounting forthem is no longer necessary

  • The beneficiary must ensure open access (free-of-charge online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to their results

Upcoming Open Finance Helpdesk Workshops:


If you are interested to learn more about H2020 issues, then please join us for one of our open Workshops being held in Austria and London-Heathrow.


In Austria:

21/01/2014           1 Day Getting ready for Horizon 2020 Workshop In Vienna, Austria.

22/01/2014           2 DayH2020 and FP7 Financial Workshop in Vienna, Austria.

28/01/2014           2 Day ITN, IAPP and RISE Marie Curie Workshop (H2020 & FP7) – in Vienna, Austria


In London Heathrow:

03/03/2014            2 Day Financial Workshop in London -Heathrow.

05/03/2014            1 Day Getting ready for Horizon 2020 Workshop in London-Heathrow

06/03/2014            1 Day H2020 Proposal Writing Workshop in London - Heathrow


Happy Holidays to all, we hope to see you at one of our events or info days next year.

The Finance Helpdesk Team.




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