Mandatory FP7 and Horizon 2020 project administration

This website is primarily for project finance administrators and describes the Research Support Office’s services for project administration of the EU framework programmes FP7 and Horizon 2020. In addition, this website contains useful internal and external links.

Always contact the Research Support Office

The Research Support Office must be involved in all phases from proposal to completion of EU projects under the FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes. The Research Support Office must sign all documents on behalf of Aarhus University, when the project owner (researcher) has approved the documents, and the head of department/head of school has been informed.

In the project implementation phase, the Research Support Office must approve:

  • Grant agreement
  • Financial statement.

The project finance administrator is responsible for:

  • day-to-day administration of the FP7/H2020 project including budget follow-up and financial statements
  • storage of electronic and physical project files for up to five years after project completion (FP7) or up to five years after the Payment of the balance (H2020).
  • settlement of the balance  and closure of the project in Navision Stat.

The procedures in connection with EU projects are described in Aarhus University’s internal rules on external Funding.

Important information for all project phases is available below. The menu items cover a complete project cycle.

EU’s online systems

Only online systems are used when EU communicates with the projects. Therefore, the researcher and the project finance administrator should create a username and a password on EU’s online portal Funding & tender opportunities as soon as possible.

After that, it will be possible to access the project by clicking the Login icon, if the role of Coordinator Contact or Participant Contact has been assigned to you by a colleague having precisely the same role.

The portal is used for the following activities:

  • Preparing the Grant agreement
  • Signing the Grant agreement
  • Scientific and financial reports.

At a later stage, it is also possible for the coordinator to ask for amendments to the Grant agreement. Pdf files of drafts and submitted documents can be generated and sent to the Research Support Office for review/signature. It will then be possible to download all documents during the project’s lifetime.

Preparing and signing the Grant agreement

In the Grant agreement preparation phase, the Research Support Office helps with the following:

  • to enter data into EU’s online system, the ‘Research & Innovation Participant Portal’
  • approves budgets and other data in cooperation with the project owner (researcher). The Research Support Office then submits budgets and data to the EU or the coordinator.
  • the Research Support Office signs the Grant Agreement which determines the consortium’s obligations towards the EU Commission, and the consortium partners’ obligations towards each other.

The Grant agreement preparation phase has tight deadlines and it is important that the project manager and the Research Support Office collaborate closely during this phase.

Consortium Agreement

The consortium partners shall negotiate and sign a Consortium agreement which determines the internal organisation of the consortium including:

  • internal distribution of the funds from the EU Commission (the budget in the Grant agreement)
  • rules concerning dissemination and exploitation including IPR
  • decision making process and project governance
  • how disagreements between the parties will be settled
  • responsibility between the parties.

EU’s online portal Funding & tender opportunities is NOT used to prepare or sign the Consortium agreement. Usually, the coordinator will send a draft to the researcher by email. The draft will be negotiated in cooperation with the project owner (researcher) and a legal advisor from Corporate Relations and Technology Transfer (the former TTO) and finally signed by the Head of office of Corporate Relations and Technology Transfer. The contact person is Team Coordinator Dorte Elleby.

Subcontract

A subcontract is an agreement between AU and a subcontractor concerning services for specific FP7/H2020 projects at AU. It is an EU requirement that the subcontract must be signed before the services are delivered to AU. 

In cooperation by the project owner (researcher) and a legal advisor from Corporate Relations and Technology Transfer (the former TTO) a subcontract is drafted and negotiated. The subcontracts shall be approved and signed by the head of department/head of school. The contact person is Team Coordinator Dorte Elleby.

Project creation

As project finance administrator, you must create the project in Navision Stat as soon as Aarhus University has signed the Grant agreement. The project finance administrator must submit a request for project creation before the project is initiated. The project finance administrator is also responsible for submitting requests for any subsequent changes. Please see section 2.3 Documentation for the Accounting Office in the instructions regarding external funding and the  Projects Unit’s memo on creation of H2020 projects in Navision stat.

Time registration

FP7:

Time registration is required for all EU projects in connection with FP7 also including co-financing, and for Marie Curie projects which include personnel costs.

Click these links to find a FP7 time registration template and a FP7 time registration guide.  

H2020:

Time registration is also required in connection with H2020, but in case of full-time employment on the project it is possible to sign a declaration instead if certain conditions are met. Declaration on exclusive work for the action.

A template adhering to the H2020 regulations has been created.

Click these links to find a H2020 time registration template and a H2020 time registration guide.  

You can find more information(in Danish) regarding the correlation between personnel costs and time registration here.

Reporting

Financial reporting in connection with FP7 and H2020:

The Research Support Office offers advice on and approves all financial statements (Financial statement) at AU.

In order to provide the best service, we encourage the project finance administrators to submit a draft of their project financial statements as quickly as possible after the conclusion of the project period.

We need an email og a Workzone link with the following attachments:

  • a completed NS-EU spreadsheet (for FP7 projects please contact Jesper Juel Holst or Morten Hollænder Beeck at the Research Support Office to get the most recent version of the template. For H2020 projects please find the latest version here: O:\FA_AU-Okonomi\H2020)
  • the AURAP report ‘Projektrapport delregnskab 4 og 5 projekter” (for the reporting period in question).
  • the AURAP report ‘Sagspostering” (for the reporting period in question or longer if relevant).  

If an audit report is required, it is particularly important to get an early start, because the auditor also needs to spend time reviewing  the Financial statement. 

Scientific reporting in connection with FP7 and H2020:

The Research Support Office’s approval is required for management reports in connection with ERC projects, but not for scientific reports.

In some H2020 projects a description of the general “occupational health and safety organization” and the work environment at AU is required as Ethics deliverable. The relevant description ”Note on the work environment at AU” has been prepared by the AU HR department and is available in English in a Pdf- or a Word-format.

Auditing

In some cases, an audit certificate from the university’s external auditor must be enclosed with the Financial statements.

In connection with FP7, audits are required for all projects if spending incl. overhead (Requested amount) equals or exceeds EUR 375,000 in the Financial statement or since the project was started or since the last audit.

In connection with H2020, audits of the Financial statement for all projects are required at the end of the project, if spending excluding overhead (Direct costs) during the entire project period equals or exceeds EUR 325,000. Marie Curie projects under H2020 are exempt from auditing.

The FP7 and the H2020 projects can also be selected for an audit by the university’s external auditor, by the Danish National Audit Office, by the EU Commission and by the European Court of Auditors. Aarhus University has experienced all types of audits in connection with FP7/H2020 projects. Here is a guide (in Danish) to the relevant material for the auditors.

The EU ERFA group at NAT-TECH has composed the following guide (in Danish) with the purpose of providing a quick overview of the key requirements imposed in the context of an EU audit.

The euro exchange rate used in the Financial statements

The euro exchange rate used in FP7 Financial statements is the exchange rate applicable on the first business day of the month after the end of the project period. While the euro exchange rate used in connection with H2020 is the average exchange rate for the whole project period covered by the relevant Financial statement.

Both euro exchange rates must be found on the European Central Bank’s website. The average exchange rate for the H2020 Financial statements appears when you enter the accounting period at the top of the screen.

Coordinator

The coordinator is the link between the EU Commission and the other project partners. If the coordinator is Aarhus University, the Research Support Office can help with some of the coordinator’s tasks (Coordinator Project management team). On the Research Support Office website, you can find additional information about the administration of projects as coordinator. Read more.

Marie Curie

Special administration requirements apply to Marie Curie projects.

Employment contracts must also comply with special requirements and therefore, these employment contracts must be made by staff in the central HR unit.

After project completion, the Research Support Office will also calculate whether any subsequent payments are required. This calculation is done by comparing the actual gross personnel costs with the budget for personnel costs in the Grant agreement. Any subsequent payment will be in the form of a one-off payment.

For more information - se AUs

Guide to Marie Curie ITN stays at Aarhus University

Guide to Marie Curie IF stays at Aarhus University

FAQ

The Danish National Contact Point (NCP) Eurocenter’s FAQ is available on the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s website. Questions about H2020 will be summarised here on an ongoing basis: www.ufm.dk/h2020/faq.
Here you can also read the EU Commission’s official response to more complicated questions. You can find the document at the bottom of the page. The FAQ is updated on an ongoing basis.

Links to the Austrian and German National Contact Points (NCP) are also included, and the questions and answers are in English.  These documents may be useful, if you work with the H2020 rules on a daily basis and deal with questions regarding legal and financial matters.

List of useful links

Internal links:

NS-EU templates for FP7 projects are available from Jesper Juel Holst or Morten Hollænder Beeck, see contact information on the right. For H2020 projects please find the template here: O:\FA_AU-Okonomi\H2020

The audit folder contents

Time registration form

Time registration guide

Slides from course on EU-projectadministration on 30.11.2016

Slides from course on EU-projectadministration on xx.11.2018

AU notes on overhead, auditing, VAT and salaries in connection with H2020

 

External links:

Funding & tender opportunities portal
 (Proposal, contract preparation, reporting and documents about FP7 and Horizon 2020)

ERC - European Research Council

Marie Curie Actions – Click ‘Funded projects’ to access the FP7 guides

AEU - Project administration courses

EU ERFA - a Danish network for research administrators

DARMA - Danish Association for Research Managers and Administrators

EuroCenter - National Contact Point (NCP) for FP7 and Horizon 2020 – list of people to contact regarding legal and financial matters

Euro exchange rate - European Central Bank
(FP7: The first business day of the month after the accounting period has ended. H2020: The average exchange rate for the relevant accounting period)