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In FP7, the initial Host Institution can be included in the grant as a second/additional beneficiary or, if the required conditions are met, as a third party carrying out part of the work (Special Clause 30, Article 7 of the ERC Grant Agreement).
In certain cases, a single-beneficiary grant would become a multi- beneficiary grant, in which the new Host Institution would be the principal beneficiary and the initial host an additional beneficiary.
In FP7, each Host Institution applies its own accounting/depreciation practice (See Part 2B, section 1 on art II.15 of ECGA, sub-section 1.(b), in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues).
In case of equipment purchased for the purposes of carrying out an ERC project, its cost can be charged as a direct cost to the project, according to the beneficiary's usual accounting practice. Depreciation is charged in each relevant periodic report. (See Part 2B, section 1 on art II.15 of ECGA, sub-section 1.(b), in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues).Purchased equipment is the property of the Host Institution, irrespective if the whole piece of equipment or only part of it or was financed by the ERC grant.
If there is a change of Host Institution, the initial and the new Host Institutions will need to agree on the terms of transfer of equipment (i.e. the new Host Institution could eventually pay the book value of the equipment to the initial Host Institution).
The VAT on purchased equipment is not considered as an eligible cost for the ERC grant.
From 2012 onwards a Special Clause 40 is included in the grant agreement, in cases when equipment is charged to the ERC project budget. The principles of the Special Clause 40 are:
The new Host Institution is to reimburse the initial HI for the non- depreciated costs of transferred equipment.
This reimbursement as well as the cost of dismantling / transferring /installing the equipment can be declared by the new Host Institution under conditions of Article II.14 of the ERC GA.
The following criteria should be met in order to include Special Clause 40 in the Grant Agreement:
transportability of the equipment;
exclusive use for the ERC project;
at least one piece of equipment has a significant value/importance.
In FP7, the initial Host Institution submits a periodic financial report covering the period from the last report prepared for the
The initial Host Institution calculates and, where necessary, estimates the costs incurred until the date of transfer. The remaining funding is distributed between the remaining reporting periods, according to the project needs and taking into account the Description of Work and the usual accounting and management principles of the new Host Institution.
The ERCEA will reimburse the eligible costs of the initial Host Institution as follows:- If the limit of 90% of the maximum Union contribution to the Grant Agreement has not been reached: The full eligible amount will be reimbursed to the initial Host Institution. At the same time the Host Institution is requested to transfer the full amount of the pre-financing received (pre-financing minus the amount transferred to the guarantee fund) to the new Host Institution.- If the limit of 90% of the maximum Union contribution to the Grant Agreement has been reached: Only the costs up to 90% of the maximum Union contribution to the Grant Agreement can be reimbursed to the initial Host Institution. The initial Host Institution has to transfer the remaining balance to the new Host Institution (as per Article II.6.2 of the General Conditions tothe ERC Grant Agreement (Single and Multi-Beneficiary).
The remaining amount/balance is transferred by the initial Host Institution after the financial report has been assessed by the ERCEA. The initial Host Institution has 30 days from the date of the assessment confirmation/ balance payment by the ERCEA to transfer the EUR amount due to the new Host Institution.
The new Host Institution can claim the costs as of the effective transfer date indicated in the amendment to the Grant Agreement.
Yes, in FP7, the Principal Investigator's salary can be included in the budget of an ERC grant at a later stage. However, the maximum Union financial contribution cannot be increased and a new budget breakdown will be requested during the amendment of change of Host Institution.
In FP7, there is no template provided. It is up to the Host Institutions to agree on appropriate private law arrangements. However, the ERCEA will give advice based on its experience with other cases if requested.
In FP7, portability means the transfer of the entire project or part of it to a new beneficiary. Like the initial Host Institution, the new Host Institution must comply with the requirements of the Rules for participation and be established under national law in an EU Member State or Associated Country. Exceptions from the establishment requirement apply for the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, for International European interest organisations and for entities created under EU law.
A transfer of the project may happen before signature of the grant agreement or during the implementation of the project.
For a transfer of the project proposal before signature of the grant agreement:
The project officer should be informed as indicated in the invitation letter. The change of Host Institution must be formally accepted by the ERCEA.
For a transfer of the project during the implementation of the project:
The new and the initial Host Institution will need to agree on the transfer of the project and all the related aspects so that the project can be pursued. The total Union contribution will not be adjusted.The Principal Investigator has to explain the nature and reasons for the move of the project to another institution, as well as the added value of the move to the scientific output of the project or their career.
The initial Host Institution must introduce the request for the amendment of the Grant Agreement by the ERCEA (Articles II.2.d).vii) and II.34.3 (Single Beneficiary) and II.2.3.vii) and II.36.3 (Multi-Beneficiary) of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement).
Once the amendment has been approved, the initial Host Institution must transfer documentation/ foreground and the part of the pre-financing received for the grant, depending on the case, to the new beneficiary.
In FP7, the need for an amendment of the Grant Agreement is assessed by the ERCEA on a case-by-case basis.
All changes of the Principal Investigator time commitment on the project or/and in total working time spent in an EU Member State or Associated country have to be previously agreed with the ERC Executive Agency. Otherwise there may be a risk for some costs to be declared ineligible or even the grant to be terminated.
For instance, for Synergy Grants from the Ideas Work Programme 2012 onwards:
Principal Investigators should devote at least 30% of their working time to the ERC-funded project, while spending at least 50% of their total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
In FP7 ERC projects, the request can be grouped per grant type, but only if the former authorised representative, the new authorised representative and the contact person are the same in all the projects of the amendment request.
Further advice can be provided via the ERCEA amendments functional mailbox (ERC-C2-AMENDMENTS@ec.europa.eu ).
In the context of FP7 and in exceptional cases, the ERCEA may prolong the duration of a Project.An extension may be granted on well-justified scientific grounds and provided that a high scientific values has been demonstrated in the project implementation or if the request was caused by events that were not reasonably foreseeable at the point of signing the grant. The extension may also be granted in cases of force majeure, health reasons of the Principal Investigator (PI) and parental/maternity leave of the PI in line with the social legislation applicable in the Host country and Host Institution of the PI. Late starts or delays of administrative nature (e.g. purchase of equipment, recruitment of staff) are expected to be caught up during the life time of the project.
Only one extension is accepted for one project. The ERC grant agreements may be extended by a maximum of 12 months, except for Proof of Concept grants for which the maximum is 6 months.
These conditions do not apply in the above-mentioned cases relating to maternity and parental leaves, health reasons or force majeure. A request for extension can be submitted to the ERCEA only after the approval of the mid-term scientific report and no later than 6 months before the end of the project. In principle, retro-active demands for extension will not be accepted.
To extend a project, the ERC Grant Agreement has to be amended (Articles II. 33 (Single Beneficiary) and II.35 (Multi-Beneficiary) of the General Conditions to ERC Grant Agreement).
In the context of FP7 and according to the Ideas Work Programme 2013, a Principal Investigator may hold only one frontier research grant from the ERC at any one time. In particular, a PI may not submit a proposal for another ERC frontier research grant, unless the existing project ends no more than two years after the call deadline.
A request for a reduction of the duration of the project entails the following consequences:
Once a project's duration was reduced, it cannot be extended afterwards (even in case of failure in the application/evaluation process), unless force majeure, maternity or parental leave;
A request for the reduction of the duration of a project has to be approved by the Scientific Department. It will evaluate if the goals of the project can be reached in a shorter time;
Shortening of the project duration might trigger a reduction of the maximum Union contribution.
Nevertheless, it is possible that an ERC grantee (Starting/Consolidator/Advanced/Synergy Grant) also holds a Proof of Concept Grant.