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Sixth Framework Programme
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The 'FP6 step by step' section is a structured walk- through of what FP6 participation entails.
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Preparing to make a proposal
The proposal
What happens after submission
Managing a project

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Contract Negotiation

Reference documents and sites

Immediately following the preparation of the ranked list by the Commission services, the coordinators of proposals not to be rejected and for which funding is available are invited to begin negotiations by an official letter giving the framework for negotiation, based on the recommendations in the Evaluation Summary Report. Proposers have to provide further administrative information necessary for the preparation of a project contract and may be requested to take into account in the revised work programme any technical and budget changes proposed during the evaluation.

If it proves impossible to reach agreement with any proposers within a reasonable deadline that the Commission may impose, negotiations on contract preparation may be terminated and the proposal rejected by Commission decision.

Negotiation of reserve list proposals may begin once it is clear that sufficient budget has become available to fund one or more of the projects on the reserve list. Subject to budget availability, negotiations should begin with the proposals at the top of the reserve list and in the order of the final ranking.

As for the proposal, the contract preparation documents consist of two parts: a set of administrative forms (the Contract Preparation Forms) and the description of the work.

  Contract Preparation Forms (CPF)

design feature

A set of administrative forms, based on the proposal submission forms but more detailed, serves to collect administrative information on the proposal and the participants, inter alia:

  • Detailed information on participants' legal status and organisation size
  • Declaration by each participant that it is not subject to any condition making it impossible for the Commission to sign a contract (bankruptcy, fraud, grave professional misconduct, breach of other contractual obligations etc.)
  • Banking information of the coordinator
  • Simplified balance sheet and profit and loss account only for some participants)
  • Costs and requested Community contribution broken down by type of activity and by partner

The information in the contract preparation forms will be used to verify the legal and financial status of participants. Certain details will be used to generate a Projects Fact Sheet for publication. The final version of the financial forms will be included as an annex to the contract.

There is a separate set of contract preparation forms for each instrument.

  Description of the Work

design feature

The description of the work to be submitted together with the contract preparation forms serves as the basis for annex I to the contract (the description of the work).

Negotiation may cover any scientific, legal or financial aspects of the proposal, based on the comments of the independent experts and on any other issue that was taken into consideration at the ranking stage. The scientific aspects would cover, in particular, revisions to the work programme and adjustments to it, resulting from the evaluation and/or other requirements of the Commission.

  Collective responsibility versus ex-ante control

design feature

In FP6, the concept of collective financial and technical responsibility is applied to give more flexibility and autonomy to consortia and to reduce the need for ex-ante financial controls. However, the collective responsibility is not all-embracing. Hence, in cases where the financial collective responsibility is not applied or does not sufficiently cover the advance payment, the Commission has to carry out an ex-ante financial control. The participants concerned have to provide annual business reports for the last three years. The conditions for ex-ante controls are explained in the explanatory notes to the contract preparation forms and in the financial guidelines.

Public bodies (including international organisations) and private organisations whose participation is guaranteed by a member or associated state are not subject to ex-ante financial control.

  Reference documents and sites:

design feature

Gathering information The main actions under Integrating Research Strengthening actions Structuring actions Overview of FP6 structure General advice Who can participate Choosing the instrument Consortium building Horizontal issues Understanding the work programme Understanding the call for proposals Using the Guides for Proposers Before the evaluation Evaluation by independent experts Finalisation of the evaluation Contract negotiation Consortium agreement Structure of the model contract Signature, entry into force A well-managed project Running the project Audits Problems Completion of a contract CORDIS