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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: 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: For ERC projects under FP7, if the Principal Investigator goes on maternity / parental leave, does the project need to be suspended?
A:

In FP7, if the Principal Investigator is able to and wants to continue to supervise the project directly during the maternity/parental leave, they can do so, subject to the observance of applicable national law.The Principal Investigator shall inform the ERCEA when they go on maternity / parental leave and whether they intend to require a suspension of the grant for this period. The ERCEA will assess the suspension request.

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.