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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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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: Where can I find the European Research Council (ERC) logo and when can I use it?
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 the ERC 2019 Proof of Concept (PoC) call, is it still possible to have a project of 12 months?

Yes. Under the ERC 2019 Work Programme, the financial contribution will be awarded as a lump sum of €150 000 for a period of 18 months. The ERC expects that normally PoC projects should be completed within 12 months. However, to allow for those projects that require more preparation time, projects will be signed for 18 months. Given this initial flexibility, extensions of the duration of proof of concept projects may be granted only exceptionally.

More information can be found in the Multi-Beneficiary Model Grant Agreement for the ERC PoC Lump Sum Pilot (H2020 ERC MGA PoC Lump Sum Pilot — Multi & Mono).

Q: Under call ERC 2019 Proof of Concept (PoC), can a spin-off company be the Host Institution (HI)?

Yes, submitting an application with a spin-off company as Host Institution (HI) is feasible, as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria for an eligible HI defined in the ERC Work Programme 2019. The HI of the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) proposal does not have to be the same as the HI of the main frontier research Grant.

Q: According to the conditions of ERC-CoG-2019 call, how does ERC treat requests to extend eligibility time-window in case of clinical training? Is there a maximum nr of years of clinical training that can be claimed for extension of eligibility window?

For clinical training, the effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD [for applicants whose first eligible degree is their MD such incidents can be considered from the date of the completion of their MD degree] will be considered reduced by the documented amount of clinical training actually received by the Principal Investigator after the award of the first eligible degree, and by up to 4 years maximum.

In case of part-time clinical training, the exact total training time will be calculated pro-rata to extend the eligibility window. Documented clinical training that has taken place between the award of the first eligible degree and the call deadline can be used to extend the eligibility window up to 4 years maximum.

Clinical training should be documented by an official signed testimonial from the employer indicating the start and end date of the training and preferably also the work pattern (full-time or part-time training).

Q: What type of feedback will I receive during and after the evaluation of my proposal submitted to the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call?

During each step of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 evaluation, the two main elements of the proposal (Principal Investigator and research project) will be evaluated and rated. At the end of each evaluation step, the proposals will be ranked by the panels on the basis of the marks they have received and on the panels' overall appreciation of each proposal's strengths and weaknesses.

At the end of Step 1 of the evaluation, on the basis of the assessment of Part B1 of the proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal:

  1. is of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation;
  2. is of high quality but not sufficient to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation; or
  3. is not of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation.

At the end of Step 2 of the evaluation, on the basis of the assessment of the full proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal either:

  1. fully meets the ERC's excellence criterion and is recommended for funding if sufficient funds are available; or
  2. meets some but not all elements of the ERC's excellence criterion and will not be funded.

More information on the results of the peer review evaluation can be found at section 3.7 of the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation.

Applicants may also be subject to restrictions on submitting proposals to future ERC calls based on the outcome of the evaluation. Applicants will need to check the restrictions in place for each call (for 2019 calls, see restrictions on submission of proposals under 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2019).

In addition, once the evaluation of their proposal has been completed, applicants will receive an evaluation report which will include the ranking range of their proposal out of the proposals evaluated by the panel, the panel comment explaining the panel decision as well as the individual comments given by each reviewer (for more details, see Information for applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls).

More information on the evaluation procedure can also be found in the ERC Work Programme 2019 section relevant to the call.