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Q: Are reviews covered by Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access? Are they covered by the ERC Open Access Guidelines?
A:

Special Clause 39 ERC refers to scientific publications related to foreground from the project. Reviews typically provide an overview of developments in a specific area, but do not present the author's own new research results that have not been published elsewhere already. Therefore, reviews will typically not be covered by the Special Clause. However, ERC grantees are encouraged to provide open access also to any reviews that they may publish.

Q: Are monographs, books, book chapters, etc. also covered by Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access? Are they covered by the ERC Open Access Guidelines?
A:

This is explained in detail in section 7.3 of the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects (e.g. obtaining information about the journal policy on open access, informing the publisher about EU Commission policy on open access; requesting an amending clause to contracts to include open access, consider submitting to another journal, etc.). If it is not possible to deposit the publication in a repository and give it open access within six months, due to longer embargo periods imposed by the publisher, but it is possible to provide immediate open access by paying an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher, grantees are strongly encouraged to choose this second option.

Q: What does the term 'best effort' in Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access mean?
A:

This is explained in detail in section 7.3 of the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects (e.g. obtaining information about the journal policy on open access, informing the publisher about EU Commission policy on open access; requesting an amending clause to contracts to include open access, consider submitting to another journal, etc.). If it is not possible to deposit the publication in a repository and give it open access within six months, due to longer embargo periods imposed by the publisher, but it is possible to provide immediate open access by paying an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher, grantees are strongly encouraged to choose this second option.

Q: For ERC projects, is it necessary to provide open access to publications even for the non-main/corresponding author?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains Special Clause 39 ERC, its provisions apply to all scientific publications related to foreground of the project, regardless whether the ERC funded author (PI or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not. If the Grant Agreement does not contain Special Clause 39 ERC, grantees should nevertheless consider providing open access to all publications resulting from the project on a voluntary basis, regardless whether the ERC funded author (PI or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not, as recommended in the ERC Open Access Guidelines.

Q: For FP7 ERC projects, is it necessary to provide open access to publications that appear after the end of the project?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then its provisions apply also to publications published after the end of the project (without time limitation). If the Grant Agreement does not contain a Special Clause 39 ERC, then grantees should nevertheless consider providing open access to the publications resulting from the project (even after the end of the project) on a voluntary basis, as recommended in the ERC Open Access Guidelines.

Q: Is open access to publications mandatory for all ERC grants in FP7?
A:

For FP7 grants resulting from calls in the Work Programmes 2007-2011, there is no formal obligation to provide open access to publications. However, all grantees are strongly encouraged to comply with the ERC Open Access Guidelines. ERC grants resulting from calls in the 2012 and 2013 Work Programmes will normally contain a Special Clause 39 ERC which requires the immediate deposit of all publications related to foreground from the project in a repository for scientific publications. Best efforts must be made to ensure open access to the publication through this repository within six months from publication (and immediately if the publication has been published "open access", i.e. if it is also available free of charge via the publisher.

Q: If a researcher working for a third party to an ERC project publishes an article based on results of the project, do the open access provisions of Special Clause 39 ERC also apply in this case?
A:

For ERC projects, the Special Clause 39 ERC refers to scientific publications related to foreground from the project (where 'scientific' includes publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities). Whether the researcher who has published the article works directly for the beneficiary or for a third party is irrelevant.

Q: Are costs related to running an institutional open access repository for publications, which will also be used by ERC grantees for the publications from their project, eligible costs (on a pro-rata basis)?
A:

For ERC projects, such costs will normally not be directly attributable to the project and can thus not be claimed as direct costs. However, they may be considered eligible under indirect costs. For more details, please, consult the section on 'Indirect costs' of the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues (Part 2B, section 1 on article II.15 ECGA, sub-section 2).

Q: Concerning research data that have been generated or collected as part of the ERC project, are costs for their deposit in an open access data repository (run by an external organization) eligible?
A:

Yes, these costs are eligible if they are incurred during the lifetime of the project, and provided that they are in line with the requirements for direct costs as listed in Article II.14 of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.

Q: A former team member of an ERC project has published an article based on their work related to the project and wants to provide immediate open access to it by paying an article processing charge to the publisher. Is this an eligible cost?
A:

Yes, these costs are eligible if they are incurred during the lifetime of the project and provided that they are in line with the requirements for direct costs as listed in Article II.14 of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.

Q: An ERC funded researcher publishes a paper with a society publisher that offers large discounts on Open Access fees to its members. Are these membership fees eligible costs?
A:

Yes, if the net effect of taking out a membership in the society is a reduction in the cost of the article processing charges (APCs) that is higher than the cost of the membership fee, then the membership fee (for the year concerned) is an eligible cost, provided that it is in line with the requirements for direct costs as listed in Article II.14 of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.

Q: An ERC researcher wants to publish in a journal which allows 'green open access' with a six months embargo period. In case the researcher chooses instead 'gold open access' resulting in an article processing charge (APC), will this be an eligible cost?
A:

There is no requirement to use 'green open access' rather than 'gold open access'. If an ERC funded researcher opts for 'gold open access' although 'green open access' would be possible within the maximum acceptable delay of six months, costs related to APCs are still eligible, provided that they have been incurred during the lifetime of the project and that they are in line with the general rules for eligibility of direct costs as described in the Grant Agreement (see Article II.14.1.d of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement, Single and Multi-Beneficiary). If 'gold open access' is chosen, the publication must still be deposited in a repository for scientific publications and open access must be provided immediately to that deposited version (no embargo period).

Q: For ERC projects, are costs charged by journal publishers for the provision of immediate open access to publications (article processing charges, APCs) eligible costs?
A:

Yes, these costs are eligible if they are incurred during the lifetime of the project and provided that they are in line with the requirements for direct costs as listed in Article II.14 of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.

Q: For ERC projects, if a grant is transferred from one host to another, which organisation is responsible for ensuring open access to publications based on work carried out at the first host institution?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then the initial host institution is responsible for providing open access to those publications that have been published while it was the beneficiary. For any publication after the transfer of host institution, the new host institution is responsible as far as the deposit in a repository and the provision of open access is concerned, irrespective whether the publication is based on work carried out at the old or the new host institution.

Q: For ERC projects, why are the reporting periods for financial (every 18 months) and scientific (every 30 months) reports different and how are they linked?
A:

One of the specificities of the ERC Grant Agreement is the split of the reporting into two distinct sets of reporting periods, in order to diminish the administrative burden on the researchers:

-Scientific reports, usually after half of the project (30 months) and at the end of the project in Starting and Advanced Grants and two intermediate reports (usually every 24 months) and one at the end of the project in Synergy Grants. Scientific reports are submitted by the Principal Investigator on behalf of the Host Institution/beneficiary;

- Financial reports, usually every 18 months and at the end of the project. Financial reports are submitted by the Host Institution with a contribution from the Principal Investigator, as per General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement, Article II.3.1.b for Single or Article II.3.bis.1.b for Multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements.

Two different departments/units in the ERCEA follow the (two) separate reporting streams to independently ensure appropriate work progress, follow-up and monitoring of the project. The templates are sent via advance notice letter 15 days before the end of the reporting period (in order to ensure that the beneficiary uses the latest version available).

If the scientific report has been approved without conditions, the payment will be performed at the end of the next financial reporting period without the need of any additional scientific requirements (if no new scientific issues arise meanwhile). If the scientific report has been approved conditionally, at the end of the next financial reporting period, the payment will be subject to verification that the suggested scientific recommendations have been properly fulfilled in the meantime. If the scientific report has been rejected and a revised version of the report was requested, the payment at the forthcoming financial reporting period will be suspended, until a satisfactory revised scientific report is submitted and approved by the scientific department. If the scientific report has been rejected, the ERCEA may start the procedure for termination of the Grant Agreement.

Final reports submitted within the framework of the termination will be due 45 days after the decision on termination became definitive.

In the evaluation of scientific reports, the ERCEA Scientific Department may require sometimes additional experts review. In these cases the time to evaluate the reports and disburse payments can be suspended till the review is satisfactory.

Q: For ERC projects, is it possible to include the names of individual researchers in a Description of Work?
A:

ERCEA does not recommend, as a common practice, to include names of individual researchers. Exceptions can be requested and have to be motivated. However, a list of all team members will be requested together with each financial report.

Q: For ERC projects, how does the Guarantee Fund works?
A:

At the beginning of a ERC projects, 5% of the maximum contribution will be offset from the pre-financing and transferred to the Guarantee Fund as a financial contribution from the beneficiary. The Guarantee fund aims at covering financial risks and specifically non-reimbursement of amounts due by a beneficiary. At the end of a project, the beneficiary usually recovers its full contribution to the Guarantee Fund.

Q: In some countries, 'habilitation' is a scientific degree awarded to formally acknowledge the achievement of research independence. Are holders of this degree eligible to apply to the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, there is no eligibility restriction to holders of a 'habilitation'. The reference date used for calculation of the applicant's eligibility is the PhD award date or medical doctor degree award date. 

For more information please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2017, Annex 2.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7: where should I deposit/publish my open access articles?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, ERC strongly encourages ERC funded researchers to use discipline-specific repositories for their publications (for Life Sciences Europe PubMed Central, http://europepmc.org; and for Physical Sciences and Engineering arXiv, http://arxiv.org. If there is no appropriate discipline specific repository, researchers should make their publications available in institutional repositories or in centralized ones, such as Zenodo,  http://www.zenodo.org. Although ResearchGate, Academia.edu and LinkedIn are well-known networking and information exchange portals among scientists and scholars, they do not qualify as an open access repositories.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7: Does the open access obligation concern only Principal Investigators or all the participants working on the grant's research?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, the open access obligation involves all results of the project. Therefore, it also affects all team members working on the project, regardless whether the ERC funded author (Principal Investigator or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not.