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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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, is it acceptable to provide open access only to the most important publications related to my ERC project?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, it is not acceptable to selectively provide open access. Open access should be ensured (and ERC should be acknowledged) in all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to the ERC project results.

Q: For ERC projects (STG-COG-ADG-SYG) granted under FP7, what is the best practice for communication between the Host Institution, the Principal Investigator from an ERC Grant and the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA)?
A:

For ERC projects granted under FP7, communication between the ERCEA and the beneficiary is formalised as follows:
Official communication paper letters: have to be sent to the address defined in Article 8 of the Grant Agreement.
Projects reports (financial and scientific): have to be sent electronically, via the Participant Portal (Articles 4 of the ERC Grant Agreement and II.4 of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement (Single and Multi-Beneficiary).In case your organisation did not opt for the electronic signature of financial statements, the financial statements (signed on paper) must to be sent by post to the address defined in Article 8 of the Grant Agreement.
Questions on grant preparation:  can be sent directly to the ERCEA by email through the specific functional mailbox for Starting / Consolidator / Advanced or Synergy Grants.
Questions on ERC Grant Agreements or amendments: can be sent through the ERCEA amendments functional mailbox.
Other questions on ERC grants (throughout the lifetime of the project): can be sent to the ERCEA PI helpdesk: erc-c2-pi-helpdesk@ec.europa.eu (phone + 32 2 2992465).
General questions on FP7: can be sent to the Research Enquiry Service at http://ec.europa.eu/research/enquiries

Q: For European Research Council (ERC) projects -Starting (STG), Consolidator (COG), Advanced (ADG), or Synergy (SYG)- granted under FP7, what are the reporting requirements for an ERC grant?
A:

The ERC Grant Agreement foresees two different reporting streams to cover the financial aspects on the one hand and the scientific aspects of the grant on the other hand. This approach distinguishes ERC projects from standard FP7 projects and intends to make reporting most notably for the Principal Investigator lighter and simpler (Article II.4 of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement (Single and Multi Beneficiary)). Scientific reports are the sole responsibility of the Principal Investigator and are submitted via the Host Institution usually only twice during the lifetime of a project (at mid-term and at the end). Scientific reporting is done via SESAM, which is accessible through the EU Login Participant Portal. The financial reports are to be prepared by the Host Institution in consultation with the Principal Investigator. They provide a declaration of honour to which extent the objectives have been reached, information about how the project has been managed during the reporting period, a chapter on the description of the scientific implementation of the project and the following annexes: Financial Statements and breakdown of direct costs. Depending on the amount of the costs claimed (cumulated amounts equal or superior to €375.000) the report also includes a Certificate on Financial Statements.Article 4 of the ERC Grant Agreement defines the reporting periods and the language that has to be used for the reports. One part of the report, the  Financial Statements (Form C), needs to be introduced via the FORCE application in addition to the paper file that has to be provided to the ERCEA. FORCE is accessible through the ECAS participant portal. A practical user guide on FORCE can be found here.

Q: What are the reporting requirements for an European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept (PoC) grant under FP7?
A:

In the ERC Proof of Concept Grants, given the shorter length, the project report will normally be required only once, at the end of the project. This report will combine the technical and financial aspects in one single document. Article 4 of the ERC Grant Agreement defines the reporting periods and the language that has to be used for the reports. One part of the report, the Financial Statements (Form C), needs to be introduced via the FORCE application in addition to the paper file that has to be provided to the ERCEA. FORCE is accessible through the ECAS participant portal. A practical user guide on FORCE can be found here.

Q: Where can I find the European Research Council (ERC) logo and when can I use it?
A:

The European Research Council (ERC) logo and European emblem can be downloaded from the ERC website logos and banners page. The ERC logo can be used by beneficiaries of ERC funding support for the sole purpose of acknowledging that suppport. No explicit permission is necessary to use the ERC logo in this case.

Q: Under FP7, in the ERC financial reporting, what are "receipts" in Point 2 of the Financial Statement (Form C)?
A:

There are three kind of receipts in the ERC financial reporting under FP7 (Article II.17 of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement (Single and Multi-Beneficiary) and Part 2B, section 1 on Art II.17 of ECGA, in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues):

Financial transfers or their equivalent from third parties to the beneficiary;

Contributions in kind, free of charge from third parties, if they are specifically to be used for this ERC-project only;

Income generated by the project, excluding the cases when it was generated from the use of foreground.

Receipts are to be taken into account at the moment of the final payment (see Part 2B, section 1, on Article II.17 of ECGA (specific mention of Article II.18.3), in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues).
Beneficiaries must take into account and declare receipts which are established (revenue that has been collected and entered in the accounts), generated or confirmed (revenue that has not yet been collected, but which has been generated or for which the beneficiary has a commitment or written confirmation) at the time of the submission of the last financial statement.
 

Q: Under FP7, what are the financial reporting requirements for an ERC grant and how are they submitted?
A:

In FP7, the financial reports shall be submitted by the Host Institution in consultation with the Principal Investigator. (See the 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.)The financial reports provide the following parts:
- a declaration of honour;
- a description to which extent the objectives have been reached;
- information about how the project has been managed during the reporting period; and
- a chapter on the description of the scientific implementation of the project.
 
The financial reports also contain several annexes:
- Financial Statements;
- a breakdown of direct costs table; and
- a Budget follow-up table.
 
Depending on the amount of the costs claimed (cumulated amounts equal or superior to €375.000) the report also includes a Certificate on Financial Statements.In Proof of Concept Grants, given the shorter length, the project's reports will normally be required only once, at the end of the project. This report will combine the technical and financial aspects in one single document.
Article 4 of the ERC Grant Agreement defines the reporting periods and the language that has to be used for the reports.For submission of the Financial Statements (Form C) of the financial report, it must be distinguished whether grants that do have electronic submission and those that do not have electronic submission:- Grants with electronic submission (those signed from 01/01/2013 onwards plus those which were signed before and that opted-in through an amendment): the Financial Statements need to be introduced via the FORCE application only.- Grants without electronic submission: the Financial Statements need to be introduced via the FORCE application in addition to the paper file that has to be provided to the ERCEA.
 
 

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, how does the verification of the scientific reports take place and what are the possible consequences?
A:

In FP7, the scientific reports are analysed by the ERC scientific department, while the financial reports are analysed by the ERC grant management department, in collaboration with the scientific department.The PI receives an advance notice letter at the end of the reporting period to upload the scientific report and publications with links to the Participant Portal; a visual guide on how to create and submit scientific report; and the open access policy.There are four possible consequences resulting from the verification of the mid-term scientific reports by the ERCEA:(i) If the scientific report has been approved without conditions:At the end of the next financial reporting period, the payment will not need any additional scientific requirements (unless new scientific issues arise in the meantime).(ii) If the scientific report has been approved under certain conditions:At the end of the next financial reporting period, the payment will be subject to the fulfilment of the suggested scientific recommendations.(iii) If the scientific report has been rejected (e.g. because of missing publications, or inconsistencies with the current Description of Work) and a revised version of the report had been requested:The payment will be suspended at the forthcoming reporting period, until a satisfactory revised scientific report is submitted and approved by the scientific department.
(iv) 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 effective.
When evaluating the scientific reports, the ERCEA Scientific Department may require a review by additional experts. In these cases, the time to evaluate the reports and disburse payments can be suspended till the review is satisfactory.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, in the cases where the Host Institution has given a large contribution without cost charged to the project (lab or equipment), does this need to be documented and reported on?
A:

In FP7, the "Description of Work" should mention that the project team will use the respective facility without claiming any costs.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, what is the procedure if a Principal Investigator leaves (for whatever reason) the Host Institution?
A:

In FP7, if the Principal Investigator leaves the Host Institution, the participation of the Host Institution in the grant shall be terminated. Articles II.33 (Single) and II.35 (Multi-Beneficiary) of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement are applicable.The Host Institution is strongly advised to contact the ERCEA by sending a request to ERC-C2-AMENDMENTS@ec.europa.eu to receive a tailor made response and further guidance.