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Q: Under an ERC 2018 PoC, what are the reporting requirements of a project?
A:

In the ERC PoC 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 PoC Grant Agreement defines the reporting requirements. 
The ERC POC report must be prepared and submitted online via the Participant Portal.

Q: Under ERC 2018 PoC, which type of feedback will I receive for my proposal during and after evaluation for the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) call?
A:

ERC PoC 2018 proposals are evaluated on a 'Pass/Fail' basis on each of the evaluation criteria. The applicant receives the feedback on the outcome of the peer review evaluation in the form of an evaluation report. This indicates whether the proposal is retained for funding and provides the passed/failed status for each of the evaluation criteria, with corresponding comments given by the panel.
More information on the evaluation procedure can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2018, in the section relevant to the call.

Q: Under call ERC 2018 PoC, should the applicant provide the names and the Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the team members in the proposal?
A:

For the PoC 2018 Call, although it is not mandatory to provide the names of individual team members or their CVs, the PoC plan needs to include justification that the persons working on the tasks are well qualified for the purpose. The description of the team needs to be filled in the Part B – section3.
More information on the submission and evaluation procedures can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2018, in the section relevant to the call.

Q: Under ERC 2018 PoC call, do peer reviewers receive all parts of a submitted proposal ?
A:

For the Proof of Concept 2018 Call, applicants submit the whole proposal that is evaluated in a single step by the peer reviewers.
For more information on the evaluation process, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018.

Q: Under ERC-2018 PoC call, can an applicant submit a proposal to the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) call and also to one of the four main ERC Frontier Research calls (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy)?
A:

Yes, an applicant can submit to the ERC PoC 2018 call and at the same time to one of the four main ERC frontier research calls (since the restrictions stated in the ERC Work Programme 2018 do not apply to PoC Grants).

Q: Under the ERC 2018 PoC call, are there any share or quota limitations per domain or discipline?
A:

There are no shares or quotas by domain or discipline for the ERC PoC 2018 call. No domain or field is excluded (*) and the possibility for innovation arising from the social sciences and humanities to apply for a PoC funding is fully recognised.
(*) As stated in the ERC Work Programme 2018: “Research proposals within the scope of Annex I to the Euratom Treaty, namely those directed towards nuclear energy applications, shall be submitted to relevant calls under the Euratom Framework Programme.”

Q: Under the ERC 2018 PoC call, if a proposal was not funded in the first deadline (cut-off-date), can it be resubmitted for the second or third deadline of the same call?
A:

No, as stated in the ERC Work Programme 2018, a Principal Investigator may submit only one application per call to the ERC Proof of Concept 2018 call.Important note: More than one Proof of Concept Grant (PoC) may be awarded per ERC funded frontier research project, but only one Proof of Concept project may be running at any one time for the same ERC frontier research project.

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: 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.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: What type of feedback will I receive for my proposal during and after evaluation for the European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept call?
A:

ERC Proof of Concept 2017 proposals are evaluated on a 'Pass/Fail' basis on each of the evaluation criteria. The applicant receives an evaluation report on the outcome. This indicates whether the proposal is retained for funding and provides the passed/failed status for each of the evaluation criteria, with corresponding comments given by the panel.
 
More information on the evaluation procedure can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2017, section relevant to the call.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Should the applicant to the Proof of Concept call provide the names and the Curriculum Vitae of the team members in the proposal?
A:

For the Proof of Concept 2017 Call, although it is not mandatory to provide the names of individual team members or their CVs, the Proof of Concept plan needs to include justification that the persons working on the tasks are well qualified for the purpose: the description of the team needs to be filled in Part B - section 3.
More information on the submission and evaluation procedures can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2017, section relevant to the call.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Do peer reviewers receive all parts of a proposal submitted to a Proof of Concept Call?
A:

For the Proof of Concept 2017 Call, applicants submit the whole proposal that is evaluated in a single step by the peer reviewers.For more information on the evaluation process, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017.

Q: ERC-2017-PoC: Can an applicant submit a proposal 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 could submit a proposal 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 (http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2016_2017/er...) do not apply to Proof of Concept grants).

Q: ERC-2017-PoC: Are there any share or quota limitations per domain or discipline for the ERC Proof of Concept calls?
A:

There are no shares or quotas by domain or discipline for the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call. No domain or field is excluded (*) and the possibility for innovation arising from the social sciences and humanities to apply for a Proof of Concept funding is fully recognised.
(*) As stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017, page 15: "Research proposals within the scope of Annex I to the Euratom Treaty, namely those directed towards nuclear energy applications, shall be submitted to relevant calls under the Euratom Framework Programme."

Q: ERC-2017-PoC call: If a proposal for an ERC PoC call was not granted in the first deadline (cut-off-date), can it be resubmitted by the second or third deadline of the same call?
A:

No, as stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017, a Principal Investigator may submit only one application per the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call.Important note: More than one Proof of Concept Grant may be awarded per ERC funded frontier research project but only one Proof of Concept project may be running at any one time for the same ERC frontier research project.

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: How can the EU emblem be used by beneficiaries of EU programmes and other third parties?
A:

The European Union has a range of programmes which have been set up to support projects and initiatives in various domains across the EU and beyond.In accordance with the Commission's guidelines on visual identity, all EU programmes must be identified exclusively by the EU emblem and the mention of the programme name.The names of programmes, such as Horizon 2020 and FP7, will be used as verbal brands, i.e. references to them will be made without a specific logo.Commission services will apply the Commission’s visual identity guidelines when communicating about EU programmes. Beneficiaries of EU funding will use the European emblem in their communication to acknowledge the support received under EU programmes.The guidelines mentioned below are intended for beneficiaries of EU funding and other third parties who communicate about EU programmes to show how the European Union emblem can be used in conjunction with text which highlights the fact of EU funding.
For further information please see :  The use of the EU emblem in the context of EU programmes - Guidelines for beneficiaries and other third parties 

Q: What are the rules regarding using the EU flag as a logo?
A:

The European emblem (flag) may be used by third parties only if is not:
likely to create confusion between the user and the European Union or the Council of Europe;
linked to aims or activities incompatible with the principles and objectives of the European Union or the Council of Europe.In the case of EU-funded projects:
logos that are developed for projects funded by the EU, and that are not owned by the EU, may not be identical or similar to the European emblem (this includes logos that incorporate the twelve stars);
the European emblem should be given appropriate prominence when displayed in association with a logo;
contractors are exempt from the obligation to obtain prior permission from the Commission to use the emblem, but are subject to the general third-party-use restrictions mentioned above. This tacit authorization to use the European emblem implies no right of exclusive use. It does not permit the appropriation of the emblem, or of any similar trade mark or logo, whether by registration or by any other means.For further information please see :  Europa - The European Flag  (see the Graphics guide to the European flag link for more details)

Q: What is the best practice for communication between the Host Institution, the Principal Investigator and the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA) during the grant preparation and implementation?
A:

In H2020, all interactions with the ERCEA will take place online via the Participant Portal. The handling of documents will be fully electronic as there is no need any more to exchange any paper document. The grants for the successful proposals submitted to the ERC calls will be prepared and then signed electronically. Requests of amendments will be prepared, submitted via the Portal and, in case, accepted or rejected electronically. All reports will also have to be drafted and submitted via the Portal. In addition, Host Institutions (HIs) and/or Principal Investigators (PIs) will be informed via email notifications when they must perform certain tasks in the Portal.
 
Notwithstanding the above and in an effort to keep on offering a high level service, the Agency strongly encourages both the HIs and the PIs to contact the respective Agency staff for discussion in an informal phase about all developments of changes in their respective action. This is of utmost importance in order to avoid cancellation of documents or requests submitted via the Portal which are incomplete or incorrect.
 
The name and surname of the ERC officer responsible for the PI's grant can be found in the Portal. The officer can be easily contacted via the messaging tool that is in My Area>My Projects section of the Portal for your each grant, allowing the PI to communicate directly with the officer without having to use emails.
 
Furthermore, the ERCEA has set up a helpdesk to provide PIs with assistance and guidance throughout the lifetime of the project. The helpdesk can be contacted by email at: ERC-C2-PI-HELPDESK@ec.europa.eu

Q: What are the reporting requirements for ERC research frontier projects granted under H2020 (STG / COG / ADG / SYG)?
A:

The ERC reporting requirements for an ERC research frontier projects granted under H2020 (Starting Grant / Consolidator Grant / Advanced Grant or Synergy Grant) foresee two different reporting streams to cover the financial aspects, on the one hand, and the scientific aspects of the grant, on the other hand, as described in Article 20 of the ERC Model Grant Agreement.
Scientific reports are the sole responsibility of the Principal Investigator and are submitted via the Host Institution usually twice during the lifetime of a project (at mid-term and at the end). The financial reports are prepared by the Host Institution in consultation with the Principal Investigator and must usually be submitted every 18 months; this report must include information on the use of resources and the general implementation of the project (see Article 20.3 of ERC Model Grant Agreement).
At the end of a project, the Host Institution will also have to submit a Certificate on Financial Statements for each beneficiary (and linked third party) depending on the amount of the costs claimed (if the entity requests a total contribution of €325.000 or more). Both types of reports (Scientific and Financial) are prepared and submitted online via the Participant Portal.

Q: How can a candidate, who was not continuously engaged in research or other professional activities during the previous ten years due to maternity/paternity leave, demonstrate her/his merit for the call ERC-2017-ADG?
A:

When applying to the ERC Advanced Grant 2017 call, it is recommended that the researcher provides evidence of recent achievements of intellectual productivity and creativity. If a researcher returned to his/her original or new project(s) following a sabbatical leave, the reviewers are asked to take such circumstances into consideration.
For maternity, the track record considered can be extended by 18 months for each child born before or during the last ten years.
For paternity, the track record considered can be extended by the actual amount of paternity leave taken for each child born before or during the last ten years.
For long-term illness, clinical qualification or national service the track record considered can be extended by the amount of leave taken for each incident which occurred during the last ten years.
For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017: Profile of the ERC Advanced Grant Principal Investigator or the call Information for Applicants.

Q: Can a researcher who is nearing retirement apply to the call ERC-2017-ADG?
A:

Yes, an experienced researcher is welcome to apply to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2017 call at any stage of their career if (s)he can prove - independently of their age - that (s)he is still an active researcher with recent outstanding results. As stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017, Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application.
The commitment and official support of a Host Institution is nevertheless required for the whole duration of the grant.
For more information, see the ERC Work Programme 2017 (sections related to Eligible Principal Investigator and Eligible Host Institution) or the Information for Applicants relevant for the call.

Q: Can only PhD holders apply to the call ERC-2017-ADG?
A:

No, a PhD is not formally required to submit a proposal to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2017 call. As specified in the ERC Work Programme 2017, excellence is the sole criterion for the evaluation of a proposal.
However, a Principal Investigator is expected to have outstanding research results within the last 10 years.
For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017: Advanced Grant profile or the Information for Applicants relevant for the call.