Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSC) simplification

Anyone who submitted a proposal to the recent MSC calls will have noticed a significant simplification in finances for ITNs (Innovative Training Networks) and RISE (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange) compared with FP7. All proposal budgets are made only in person months of researchers recruited or seconded. This simplification also applies to the reporting stage. The participating organisations report only the person months that have been spent, and the EC’s software converts this into euro.

As a consequence, there are no Certificates on the Financial Statements, no EU procurement rules to follow, and no financial checks or audits of the actual money spent for research expenses, for managing the project or for overheads. So where’s the catch? The management budget is shared between all consortium members, because the person months are shared between them. But the cost falls mainly on the coordinator. So the coordinator must negotiate with the other consortium members to keep part of their budgets – clearly a topic for a consortium agreement. In H2020, consortium agreements are generally compulsory, but not in MSC. Interesting.....

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