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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: 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: ERC- 2017 PoC: Can an applicant submit to the ERC Proof of Concept call and also submit a proposal to one of the 3 main ERC Frontier Research calls (StG, CoG or AdG)?
A:

Yes, an applicant can submit to the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call and at the same time to one of the 3 main ERC frontier research calls (since the restrictions stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017 do not apply to Proof of Concept grants).

Q: For a ERC 2017 Proof of Concept (PoC) grant, is it preferable to have a project of 12 or of 18 months?
A:

Where an ERC PoC proposal has initially indicated a duration of 12 months, during grant preparation Principal Investigators (PIs) are usually advised to go for a longer timespan (18 months) just in order to cope with eventual delays and always finish the ERC PoC project in an acceptable period of time, although the final decision will be with the PI. The reason is that under H2020, extensions of duration to PoC projects are typically not granted once the project has started. It should also be noted that in case a PI opts for the 18 months duration, but the project’s activities are finished within 12 months (or any other month before the 18th), the costs cannot be claimed for reimbursement immediately, but the PI will have to wait until the contractual end of the Grant in order to submit the Final Reports and cost claims (Article 20 of the GA).

More information can be found in the H2020 Model Grant Agreements for ERC Proof of Concept grants:

ERC POC mono-beneficiary MGA

ERC POC multi-beneficiary MGA

 

Q: For a European Research Council (ERC) 2017 Proof of Concept (PoC) grant, are timesheets needed for the Principal Investigator?
A:

Yes, the time sheets are needed if the PI charges salary to the ERC PoC action. All team members for which personnel costs are being charged should maintain timesheets of the hours worked on the project. See also Article 18.1 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement.

Q: For the European Research Council (ERC) 2017 Proof of Concept (PoC) call, what is the general rule of Principal Investigator commitment?
A:

Although there is no minimum commitment percentage regarding the time that the Principal Investigator (PI) is required to work on the action, in the grant agreement the PI must enter a minimum of their working time, as the PI is responsible for managing the ERC PoC project. The cumulative percentage commitment that the PI spends on the ERC PoC action and on the main ERC StG/CoG/AdG grant (if still ongoing) must not exceed 100%.For more information please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017.

Q: ERC-2017-PoC: In a Proof of Concept proposal, can the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary) be considered eligible?
A:

Yes, the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary) could be considered eligible, but only if the establishment of the company happens during the duration of the project and only if there is a need to bring a product on the market. The establishment of the company should not be an end in itself, it must be a mean to an end.Hence, either the POC project will bring a finished product on the market (and this result will happen during the project lifetime), or the cost of establishing the company is not eligible. As this result can hardly be planned in advance, it would be advisable not to include this type of costs in the budget.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Can a Co-investigator from a 2008-2011 European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant call be eligible to submit a ERC PoC proposal as Principal Investigator (PI)?
A:

No, Co-investigators (Co PI) are not eligible for an ERC Proof of Concept grant.

Only Principal Investigators (PI) in Research main grants (ERC Starting, Consolidator or Advanced grants), as well as PI and corresponding PI of Synergy grants are eligible to submit a proposal to the ERC Proof of Concept Call.

More information on the eligibility criteria for the Principal Investigator can be found in the ERC_Work_Programme_2017, section relevant to the call.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Can a spin-off company be the Host Institution for an ERC PoC proposal?
A:

Yes, submitting an application with a spin-off company as Host Institution is feasible, as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria defined in the ERC Work Programme 2017.

The Host Insitution (HI) of the ERC Proof of Concept proposal does not have to be the same as the Host Institution of the main frontier research grant.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: What are the reporting requirements for an ERC Proof of Concept grant?
A:

In the ERC Proof of Concept grants, given the shorter length, the project report is required only once, at the end of the project, and will combine the technical and financial aspects in one single document.Article 20 of the H2020 ERC Proof of Concept Grant Agreement defines the reporting requirements. 

The ERC POC report must be prepared and submitted online via the Participant Portal.